When the baby is developing early during pregnancy, folic acid helps form the neural tube. Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida).
What is the main function of folate?
Folate (vitamin B-9) is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.
What does folic acid prevent in pregnancy?
Folic Acid Can Help Prevent Birth Defects
Folic acid can reduce certain birth defects of the brain and spinal cord by more than 70 percent. These birth defects are called neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs happen when the spinal cord fails to close properly. The most common neural tube defect is spina bifida.
What folate means?
(FOH-layt) A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Folate helps to make red blood cells. It is found in whole-grain breads and cereals, liver, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, beans, and yeast.
What is the difference between folate and folic acid?
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 in food, while folic acid is a synthetic form. High intake of folic acid may lead to increased blood levels of unmetabolized folic acid.
Which folate is best for pregnancy?
Folic acid is a pregnancy superhero! Taking a prenatal vitamin with the recommended 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Take it every day and go ahead and have a bowl of fortified cereal, too.
Which folic acid is best for pregnancy?
It’s important to take a 400 micrograms folic acid tablet every day before you’re pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.
When is folic acid most important in pregnancy?
Folic acid protects your future baby against neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Ideally, you should take folic acid supplements for 2 months before you get pregnant and until you are 12 weeks along. This is when your baby’s spine is developing.
What is folate found in?
Sources of Folate. Folate is naturally present in a wide variety of foods, including vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables), fruits and fruit juices, nuts, beans, peas, seafood, eggs, dairy products, meat, poultry, and grains (Table 2) [4,12].
What is folate on a blood test?
A folate test measures the amount of folate in the blood. Folate is one of many B vitamins. The body needs folate for normal growth and to make red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), and platelets. Folate also is important for the normal development of a baby (fetus).
What happens if your folate is low?
When you have anemia, your blood can’t bring enough oxygen to all your tissues and organs. Without enough oxygen, your body can’t work as well as it should. Low levels of folic acid can cause megaloblastic anemia. With this condition, red blood cells are larger than normal.
Should I take folic acid or folate when pregnant?
Folate and folic acid are important for pregnancy because they can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Folate is a B group vitamin needed for healthy growth and development.
Do you need folate or folic acid when pregnant?
Folate and its cousin folic acid are vital for developing a healthy baby because it prevents neural tube defects. Since the neural tube develops within the first 28 days of pregnancy, it is recommended all women of childbearing years consume folate.
Is folate and Methylfolate the same?
There is a gene, called MTHFR, that helps produce an enzyme that converts a portion of folate and folic acid into folinic acid. Folinic acid is then converted into the active form methylfolate, which is used by our cells to perform the functions mentioned above.