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Folic Acid Prevention Birth Defects

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You need to know that Folic Acid supplements can prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects (NTD) and other malformations. NTD malformations include spina bifida (open spine); meningomyeloceles, myeloceles; anencephaly (open skull);  encephalocele (gap in the skull) and other anomalies. 

Please Remember - Enough Folic Acid cannot be obtained by diet alone, you need a supplement. Over 70% of NTD and other birth defects can be prevented by taking 0.4mg of folic acid each day (as pills or as vitamin pills with folic acid). All women should take a supplement because most pregnancies are unexpected. Starting to take folic acid only when pregnant is too late.

If an instance of NTD has occurred in your family, you should ask your physician or a medical geneticist to prescribe folic acid for you. You may need much more folic acid (4mg) because NTD risks in your family may be higher.

Finally, consider that folic acid probably decreases the occurrence of other birth defects and prevents cardiovascular problems as we grow older. Please explore additional information given below

Proof Folic Acid Protects Women of Childbearing Age (May 13, 1999)
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation said today that there is not sufficient evidence for a claim that deficiency of the B vitamin folic acid "has all but vanished in the United States" as a result of food fortification ... The FDA ... must raise blood levels of the vitamin among women of childbearing age - and raise them enough to have a strong preventive effect against birth defects. As yet, there is no direct evidence that women in the 15 to 40-year age range have generally attained protective blood levels of folic acid ...Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More detailed information provided by the FDA

Folic Acid Now
Why folic Acid is so Important.
CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Folic Acid
Good News for Women and Babies

[Spanish] Ácido fólico

Folic Acid to Reduce the Risk of Birth Defects
Teratology Society Consensus Statement
Teratology 55: 381 (1997)
Recent randomized controlled studies ... have shown that women who consume folic acid-containing supplements, while eating their usual diets, have 50-75% fewer infants with neural with neural tube defects.

How Folate Can Help Prevent Birth Defects
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
FDA Consumer
July 1996, Revised February 1999.
Here's important information for the future mother-to-be: Think folate now ...

Folic Acid Fortification

[Spanish] Acido Fólico Ahora
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Knowledge & use of Folic Acid by Women of Childbearing Age - United States, 1995 & 1998
MMWR Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report

Folic Acid & Prevention of Neural Tube Defects Educational Materials Sources

B Vitamins Reduce Homocysteine & heart Disease

[*] Knowledge About Folic Acid & Use of Multivitamins Containing Folic Acid Among Reproductive-Aged Women -- Georgia, 1995
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A comprehensive study of women's health that includes questions about folic acid. This report summarizes the survey findings regarding knowledge and use of folic acid, which indicate that only 20% of Georgia women aged 15-44 years consumed a multivitamin containing greater than or equal to 400 ug of folic acid per day, and 71% did not know that folic acid can prevent some birth defects ... Prevalence of knowledge about folic acid varied directly by respondent's educational and income levels. Women with a college degree were more likely to have heard about folic acid than were those with only some high school (45% versus 12%), and women with incomes above 150% of poverty level were more likely than women with incomes below 150% of poverty level (31% versus 18%). Women with higher educational levels were more likely to consume a multivitamin containing greater than or  equal to 400 ug of folic acid per day than were less educated women ...

[Ukrainian] Folic Acid and NTD Prevention

[Ukrainian] Folic Acid

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