Healthy Foods and Vitamins

Folic Acid for Pregnant Women

During pregnancy, a woman needs a larger amount of folic acid, because it helps the growth and development of the fetus. We mention below its benefits, harms, and recommended quantities of it during pregnancy:

Folic acid for pregnant women

The importance of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women

Reducing the risk of the fetus suffering from neural tube defects

Consuming folic acid during pregnancy helps reduce the risk of giving birth to a child with some birth defects, including: spina bifida, a condition in which the bones of the spinal cord do not close completely, and anencephaly, which means.

The brain does not develop, or the brain is significantly underdeveloped, and birth defects usually appear during the first three or four weeks of pregnancy, so it is very important to include folic acid during the early stages of pregnancy, during which the brain and spinal cord of the fetus develop.

It was noted in a large observational study published in the journal Jama that mothers who used multivitamins containing folic acid during the first six weeks of pregnancy had a lower risk of developing neural tube defects in their fetuses . Compared to mothers who never consumed vitamin pills ,

A comprehensive analysis of a number of studies published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2015 also indicated that there is a significant association between pregnant women’s consumption of folic acid supplements and a reduced risk of fetuses developing congenital heart defects .

Reducing the Risk of Premature Birth

It is believed that folic acid may help reduce the risk of premature birth. A 2011 review published in the journal Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that folic acid supplements may reduce the risk of premature birth.

A pregnant woman can try to eat more foods rich in folate, which is the natural form of folic acid. However, a healthy diet does not contain folic acid in sufficient quantity for a pregnant woman, so taking folic acid pills during pregnancy is very important, but a doctor should be consulted first before Use any type of nutritional supplement to determine the pregnant woman’s need for it .

Harmful Effects of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women

Folic acid is mostly safe when taken orally in recommended amounts during pregnancy, and as mentioned previously; A doctor must be consulted about taking the correct dose of any type of prenatal vitamin, because taking too many nutritional supplements may be toxic to the fetus. Consuming 300-400 micrograms of folic acid during pregnancy is common to reduce the risk of giving birth to a child with defects.

Neural tube: While the highest recommended amount of this vitamin during pregnancy is 800 micrograms, mothers of girls who become pregnant younger than 18 years are advised to take 1000 micrograms of folic acid daily.

Warnings of Using Folic Acid

People who suffer from some health conditions are advised to be careful and careful when using folic acid, and among these people we mention the following:

Those who have had angioplasty: (in English: Angioplasty), which is a technique to widen narrowed arteries. The use of folic acid, vitamin B6 , and vitamin B12 intravenously or orally may worsen the condition of narrowed arteries, so folic acid should not be used for people Who recover after this operation.

Those with a history of cancer: Some preliminary and unconfirmed research suggests that taking 800 micrograms to one milligram of folic acid daily may increase the risk of cancer. Until more is known about this effect, people with a history of cancer should avoid high doses of folic acid. Folic acid.

Those with a history of heart disease: Some preliminary research indicates that taking folic acid with vitamin B6 may increase the risk of heart attacks in people with a history of heart disease .

Those exposed to malaria: Some preliminary research indicates that taking folic acid with iron may increase the risk of death, or the need for hospital treatment in areas where malaria is widespread.

Those suffering from anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency: Taking folic acid can mask the symptoms of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, delaying appropriate treatment.

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Zaheer Ahmad

I am Zaheer Ahmad. Currently I am doing P.hd on Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Sorbonne University. Previously, I have also done masters in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology.

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