Folic acid in pregnancy: which one to take, in what dosage, when and for how long!
Folic acid in pregnancy is highly recommended, but before discovering together whether it is better to take it at the beginning or before pregnancy, which one to take, in what dosage, when and for how long, let's understand together what it is and why it is so useful to expectant mothers.
Folic acid is nothing more than vitamin B9, a substance useful for cells to grow and multiply. It plays an important role in the synthesis of DNA, proteins and the formation of hemoglobin. Folic acid, despite its importance, is not produced spontaneously by our body, but must be taken. It is found naturally in green leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, certain fruits, milk, cereals, yeast Cooking, unfortunately, destroys a large part of the folic acid present in these foods: therefore, it is always better to consume them raw.
While folic acid is good for everyone, pregnant women need it even more! Let's find out why, but in the meantime, here's a video on what to do when you decide to have a baby:
Folic acid in pregnancy: why take it?
It is recommended to take folic acid during pregnancy because several scientific studies have found a connection between the presence of neural tube defects in the baby and low levels of folic acid in the mother's blood. Defects of the Neural Tube (ie the structure from which the skull, brain, spine and spinal cord are formed) lead to malformations of the central nervous system of the embryo due to the failure of this structure to close within 30 days of conception. If this does not happen, cases of anencephaly, cephalocele or spina bifida may occur, depending on the part that remains uncovered.
The intake of folic acid during pregnancy leads to a 50-70% reduction in the onset of these malformations, which have a rather varied incidence. In Italy, between 150 and 200 children with thorns are born every year. bifida, while in the US the problem is wider. Not surprisingly, the US Food and Drug Administration ordered in 1998 that folic acid be added to foods present in many foods, such as flour, so that women in pregnancy can take the recommended daily amount more easily. Often, however, nutrition is not enough and it is necessary to supplement vitamin B9.
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When to take folic acid, early or before pregnancy? For how long?
The "folic acid must" be taken from one month before conception, and then continue in the next two or three months. The neural tube closes within thirty days of conception, as we have said, and this is why it is important that the expectant mother already has the right amount of folic acid in circulation in the blood.
In short, if you decide to have a child, don't wait to get it! If the pregnancy was not calculated, however, immediately start taking it, but know that prolonging its intake beyond the recommended period is useless.
Which folic acid to take and what is the correct dosage?
The recommended dose of folic acid in pregnancy is 0.4 mg per day. But be careful: if you have already had a pregnancy with problems of this kind or if you suffer from epilepsy or insulin-dependent diabetes you will have to increase the dose to 4 mg!
As we have seen, nutrition is often not enough: you should buy supplements and take 0.4 mg per day. The specific products for pregnancy are: Gravigil, Folene, Folingrav, Serengrav and Folacor. You can choose otherwise, after consulting your doctor, medicines such as Fertifol or Folidex which provide the recommended dose and are dispensed at the expense of the National Health System up to three months after conception. Finally, be careful not to take folic acid in other multivitamins not specific for pregnancy, because they may contain too much vitamin A, which increases the risk of malformations.
The scientific information in this article is taken from Saninforma.it.