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WHAT IS IT?
Folic acid is a supplement that is essential when you are pregnant. I am not pregnant but when me and my husband talk we do not know if we would like another baby so I have taken folic acid since my last pregnancy 2 years ago so that I have in it my body if we make a decision to conceive for a baby.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
You need enough folic acid to function as a person but when you are trying to conceive a baby and for the first 3 months of your pregnancy it is even more important for the development of the baby because folic acid protects against many disabilities and deformities of their internal system.
Science has proved that folic acid is so essential for pregnant ladies that they were going to add it to food but I do not know if that ever happened. I think it is a good idea.
HOW DO YOU USE FOLIC ACID?
All of the times I have taken folic acid they have been in tablets. I think in england pregnant ladies do not pay for prescriptions so you can get folic acid for free from your midwife if you need it once you are pregnant. I have never had it prescribed because I have got one or 2 brands that I trust and I am happy to pay for my own.
You take usually one tablet of folic acid every day and you should start from when you try to conceive until you are at least 3 months pregnant. The tablets have not created any side effects for me and they have no benefit that can be noticed also.
Folic acid tablets cost all sorts of money from £2 to about £6, I buy tablets that are about halfway between that price but even though I like some brands better than others I am not always very local because all pharmacies do not sell the same brands of health supplements.
I would give folic acid 10 stars if I could.
So in the UK it is recommended that as soon as a women finds out that she is pregnant, she should start taking 400mcg of folic acid per day. It is believed that the folic acid helps the baby to develop it's spine and nervous system, and makes conditions such as spina bifida less likely to occur. If someone is actively trying to conceive, then it is a good idea for them to start taking the folic acid then, so that if they conceive the baby already has a good supply.
400mcg of folic acid can be taken in a number of ways - you can either buy a pregnancy multivitamin which will normally have the folic acid in it along with a variety of other things, or you can take folic acid on it's own. Folic acid on it's own can be bought from most supermarkets/chemists.
For me personally, although I started taking the multivitamin, I soon changed to the folic acid supplement on it's own. The tablets are MUCH cheaper, and are also a lot smaller as they only contain one rather than many ingredients. I found these easier to swallow while suffering with morning (all day!) sickness (The folic acid can be taken at any time of day, although it's probably best to try and stick to a similar time each day). Also, a downside of the multivitamin I had originally been taking for me was that it contains Iron - while Iron is very important it also can cause problems with the Number 2's, and seeing as I was already suffering I didn't want to make the problem worse.
Overall, whichever way you choose to take it, folic acid is extremely important in pregnancy and therefore I recommend it very highly! Once you get free prescriptions due to being pregnant you could even get the Dr to prescribe them for you and not have to pay for the basic supplements.
Folic Acid is something which we all need in our bodies, and which is present in many food items such as leafy vegetables, a few examples are spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, lettuces, dried or fresh beans and peas. Fortified cereal products, sunflower seeds and certain fruits and vegetables also contain levels of folic acid, known as "folate". Liver and liver based products (pate for example) also contain folate. So as you can see, we get a fair amount in most of our meals.
Folic acid has been shown to have results in reducing the risk of strokes, heart disease and even cancer (research has shown small links between these illnesses and daily folic acid supplements). But the main time that we think of Folic Acid is when pregnant or trying to conceive.
If you are trying for a baby, you should be taking folic acid for at least three months prior to getting pregnant and up to the 12 week (3 month) stage of pregnancy. Of course, if an unexpected pregnancy occurs you cannot have taken folic acid for 3 months previous to the pregnancy, but the minute you know your pregnant you should start taking the supplement which is available from all health shops and most good supermarkets.
Why should I take Folic Acid?
This is what I asked too when I was told I should take the supplement whilst trying to conceive, I knew about it as when my sister was pregnant she used to talk about the vitamin, but I wasn't really sure what it was for.
Folic Acid is shown to prevent Spina Bifida in the baby you conceive, which is a developmental defect of which the symptoms can range from minor to major, and is difficult to live with as a person, and difficult for a parent to deal with. Taking the folic acid supplement daily is said to reduce the risk of Spina Bifida by 75%, and so is well worth taking when trying for a baby, and awareness needs to be raised with young people especially who may not know about this vitamin supplement which they should be taking when trying to conceive or when pregnant. Although your doctor/midwife will prescribe you the vitamin when you are pregnant, they may not explain why you need to take it, and the importance of the folic acid in your pregnancy.
Asda's Folic Acid:
When me and my husband decided to start trying for a baby, folic acid was the first thing I went out and bought. I was looking online at shops like Holland and Barret which had the folic acid, but were charging quite alot for it, around £5 for a tub of 60 pills. As I pay for my presriptions there was no use in me going to my doctor as that would have cost me £7. I then looked in Asda for the supplement.
They had a range of products which claimed to be "pregnancy supplements", which contained folic acid, but only the amount which you would get from eating say an orange everyday, which isn't enough. Then I saw the box of folic acid, each box contains 150 pills, which will last you of course 150 days, around 4 months. The folic acid is £2.43 for this box, which was cheaper than the health stores, but they also had an offer on when I went, and which is still on until the 10th October 2009, for two packs for £4, so thats 300 of the pills, lasting you around 8 months, which is perfect for if you are trying to conceive which can take a long time to happen.
The pills are small and plain white pressed powder tablets, which are easy to swallow and tasteless, you simply take one of the pills everyday whilst trying to conceieve and for the first 3 months of pregnancy. They're easy to swallow and not unpleasant tasting.
For £4 every 8 months, they are definitely worth buying and investing in if you are trying to conceive, I don't know anybody with Spina Bifida, and I don't know anybody who has a child with it, but I do know it isn't a nice thing to live with, like any birth defect, and if you have a 75% chance of stopping it from happening, then it's something well worth doing.
Of course there will be women out there who took folic acid religiously for three months prior to and three months after conceiving, who still gave birth to a child with Spina Bifida, but the chance is much greater if you don't take the vitamin. As I said earlier in this review, awareness needs to be raised about this, as I don't think it is publicised enough, people are more interested in talking about alcohol during pregnancy and ensuring food isn't pink etc, whilst this is just as important to remember, if you can do this one extra thing to ensure you have a healthy happy pregnancy and birth, and have a healthy child, then it's well worth it!
Folic acid is an extremely important vitamin and is probably one of the most underated. It is also called folate or folacin and is one of the "B" vitamins, also known as Vitamin B9. All vitamins are essential in maintaining a healthy body. Many of these vitamins are found in plentiful quantities in foods that we normally consume and therefore the question of deficiency does not arise. However several vitamins are present only in limited types of foods and also in limited quantities and much below the recommended daily allowance. This creates various levels of deficiencies that are associated heavily with the diet that we consume. Folic acid is one of these vitamins. Studies have learnt that many people in Western societies have a mild folic acid deficiency and as such has suggested that increasing folic acid intake could prevent an estimated 13,500 deaths from cardiovascular diseases each year. Folic acid deficiency is common amongst alcholics, people living at poverty level, those with liver disease and women taking birth control pills. Folic acid is required by the body to produce red blood cells and chemical components of the nervous system. It also helps synthesize DNA and normalize brain function and is a critical part of spinal fluid. It is required for energy production and is sometimes referred to as as "brain food". It helps in strengthening the bodies immune system and can also help with depression. However what appears to be one of the most significant importances of Folic acid is it's very important role in pregnancy. Women who become pregnant should get at least 400 micrograms (0.4mg) of folic acid every day. It is also important that this level is available in the body prior to pregnancy. What I am trying to imply here is that folic acid should be taken regularly and not only when a woman becomes pregnant. If it is taken in the recommended allowance only upon the elapsment of pregnan
cy then the benefits are very severely reduced. By getting the RDA of 0.4mg a day studies have showed that this can prevent upto 75% of many serious types of birth defects, which include neural tube defects like "spina bifida". Studies have also shown that women who take the RDA of folic acid are around 40% less likely to suffer from breast cancer, than those who are only mildy deficient. Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin that therefore does not stay in your body for very long. Therefore it is essential that your body gets the RDA very day. This is very more essential during pregnancy and fetal development as the body's requirement for this vitamin increases. There are two different forms of folic acid. These are the synthetic form and the natural form. The synethetic form is found in multivitamins and fortified bread and grain products including many breakfast cereals. The natural form is found in leafy green vegetables like broccoli and spinach and in some fruits and juices, like orange juice. Chicken liver and beef liver also provide high yields of folic acid. However as mentioned earlier in this opinion, many of us do not get enough folic acid and indications of deficiency include: Sore tongue, which is red Apathy Anemia Digestive problems Fatigue and tiredness Graying hair Insomnia Memory problems Restless legs syndrome Paranoia The best way of ensuring that your body gets the required amount of folic acid is to take multivitamins that contain the RDA, which is 400 micrograms (0.4mg). Alternatively more specific medication that contains only Folic acid is also an ideal way to keep yourself protected and healthy. Since folic acid is a "water soluble" vitamin the body retains what is required and excreats any excess through urine. Therefore taking a moderately high level of folic acid poses hardly any risks or c
omplications whatsoever. One of these prepartions is the type made by FSC. FSC stands for Food Supplement Company and they produce many medications and cover most of the essential vitamins, minerals, herbs, aromatherapy, homoeopathic and back flower remedies. The product made by FSC contains exactly 400 micrograms and are yeast free. They are presented in tablet form and are available in glass bottles containing 90 tablets and 180 tablets. The 90 tablets are sold for £2.92 and the 180 tablets for £4.38 a bottle. They should be taken one a day and therefore the pack size is conveniently packaged in 3 month and 6 month supply. On this note many other pharmaceutical manufacturers produce there own labels of folic acid and therefore it is easily available at most pharmacies. I would once again like to reiterate that folic acid is an essential vitamin for all of us and more so for pregnant women and for those expecting to become pregnant. Therefore I would stongly urge you to look at your intake of folic acid and if you are deficient, make sure that you take the necessary steps to correct it. You will certainly be thankfull that you did.
Folic Acid (B9) Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that forms part of the B-complex family of vitamins. It is also known as vitamin Bc but most of you will know it as vitamin B9. Low levels of folic acid may lead to anaemia. Folic acid is essential for the division of body cells, and it is also necessary for the utilisation of sugar and amino acids. Most folic acid deficiency is the result of a poor diet, because it is abundant in foods such as leafy green vegetables, yeast, and offal. Recent scientific findings indicate that folic acid can prevent some types of cancer and is helpful in the treatment of heart disease. If women have enough folic acid in their bodies before pregnancy, it can help decrease the risk for neural tube defects (NTDs), which are birth defects of the baby's brain (anencephaly) or spine (spina bifida). Once pregnant, it is recommend that women continue to take folic acid into the first trimester. Health Properties ============= * Folic acid may protect the body against cancer. * Improve the condition of the skin. * It is a natural analgesic. * It is needed by the body for metabolism of RNA and DNA. * It is essential for transmission of genetic code. * As mentioned before, it helps prevent anencephaly and spina bifida in unborn babies. * It helps the body form blood. * It increases appetite in debilitated patients. * It can help improve lactation in breast feeding mothers. * It helps build up babies’ resistance to infection. * A must for women taking the Pill. Dosage ====== The recommended European Union recommended daily allowance is between 200 and 360mcg, however, the US RDA is 400mcg. There are many people at risk of deficiency, including heavy drinkers, pregnant women, the elderly, and those on low-fat diets. If you think you are in the risk category, then it is recommended that
you consume between 400 and 800mcg. of folic acid per day. Please note that taking folic acid in large doses can cause severe neurological problems and may also cause insomnia and interfere with the body’s absorption of zinc. Sources ====== * Broccoli * Cabbage * Eggs * Frozen peas. * Liver (not recommend if you are pregnant) * Nuts * Oranges and orange juice * Spinach * Wheatgerm * Yeast products such as Marmite * Cantaloupe * Romaine lettuce * Strawberries Unfortunately, although the above foods all contain folic acid, it would be very difficult to get the required amount from your diet alone, therefore, it is recommend that it be taken in supplement form. So as you can see from the above, folic acid is extremely important in the diets of pregnant women, those trying for a baby, and for after the birth if breast-feeding. However, it is just as important for maintaining good general health levels in everyone especially for help in prevention against cancer and heart disease. Folic acid is available from good health food suppliers such as Holland and Barrett www.hollandandbarrett.com or from online companies such as Woods Supplements www.woodshealth.com where at the moment you can buy 100 400ug tub of tablets for £1.18 (normal price £3.95) or 250 400ug tables for £2.74 (normal price £6.85).
One of the most important reason for taking folic acid if you are pregnant is to prevent your unborn child from having spina bifida . Otherwise some people have a greater need for this B vitamin Natural sources are found in eggs,liver ,greens milk ,and grains. Raw oatmeal contains this vitamin ,I use Quaker oats mixed with warm dried milk diluted in water ,drizzled with honey ,mix to a quite wet consistancy ,no cooking delicious !! Deficiency symptoms ,digestive problems , tongue inflammation,memory impairment,greying hair .
Folic Acid is necessary for all women who are planning to become or who are pregnant. Taking the recommended daily amount of folic acid helps to prevent problems in your baby such as spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Women can get folic acid free once they are pregnant from their doctor and before conception on prescription or from a health food shop. It really is essential to take this and it has no side effects at all.
A bit of information for those wondering why doctors always seem to be going on about folic acid...folic acid is important in everyone's every day diet as it is linked to red blood cell formation and therefore deficiency may lead to anaemia. Recent studies have shown that it can also reduce the amount of homocysteine (an amino acid from meat)in your blood and this helps reduce the liklihood or heart disease. In terms of pregnancy, folic acid is important in early pregnancy to help a baby's seural tube form properly, thus a lack of folic acid leads to an increased risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida (where the neural tube doesn't close) being the most notable. Because this develops in the early weeks, it is recommended that if you are trying to concieve you take a folic acid supplement before hand. However, if you do find out later that you are pregnant, it isn't too late to start! For people who aren't keen on taking supplements, you can increase the amounts of citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes and cereals that you eat and this should have the same effect. There's a good fact sheet on folic acid at http://www.mothernature.com/ency/Supp/Folic_Acid.asp and in the case of pregnancy, your GP will know tonnes about it!
Nothing can describe how precious a baby is untill you have one of your own and because there so precious you want to protect them from the start and folic acid can help you right from the word go. Its not a supplement you take for yourself infact you won't even notice your taking it but it will help to insure that your baby has the best start from conception and help to protect against spina bifida and other spinal abnormalitys and if you can manage to take it at least 12 weeks before conception then even better. there are many brands on the market and many differances in prices but the pack that costs £6 has no more advantage then Tesco's own brand ( which im taking ) for £1.60 ,folic acid is folic acid. My only suggestion is its made available on prescription for free to everyone trying for a baby , of course if your pregnant then you get free prescriptions anyway.
Folic Acid taken up to 3 months before pregnancy is great.....But if for some reason you find out that you are pregnant and have not been taking Folic Acid....Its not to late to start and still reap the benefits of this tablet where your baby is concerned. No matter how short a time you take Folic Acid you can still gain...Your baby can become healthier and stronger and you will also have peace of mind that you have given the best start that you can to your growing Baby.
Folic acid should be taken by anyone planning a family. Lack of it at conception, and in early pregnancy can cause problems. Lack of Folic acid can cause birth defects...who would wish that on their unborn child. It is best to be safe. I am no expert and do not know all the information. In doctors waiting rooms, hospitals etc. there are usually leaflets on the subject. I suggest when planning a family pick one up & educate yourself on the subject. Most people now take it before pregnancy and during the first few months, on their Doctors advice.... it is advisable to do so. Some people can`t be bothered...I`m ok, it`ll never happen to me...how selfish....how much trouble is it to take a tablet each day ?!!!
Folic acid is essential for any woman planning a pregnancy. It should also be taken during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects in your baby. You can get a prescription for it or it can bought over the counter at any chemists which is usually cheaper than the prescription charge. If you have an unplanned pregnancy start taking folic acid as soon as you discover you are pregnant to reduce any risks.
It is claimed that folic acid is a necessary precursor for the manufacture of genetic material like RNA and DNA. It is also claimed that folic acid assists in the growth and repair of tissues and in the conversion of fats and amino acids into other useful