FOLIC ACID CAMPAIGN
Spina Bifida Association is participating in a National Folic Acid Campaign
to educate all women of childbearing age of the importance of taking
folic acid to reduce the risk of a neural tube defect pregnancy.
women of childbearing age (14-50) should take folic acid daily to reduce
the risk of a neural tube defect pregnancy. Two-thirds of American women
are not getting enough folic acid. Women need to get enough folic acid
every day throughout their reproductive years.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a B vitamin necessary for proper cell growth and formation
of new red blood cells. Taking a daily vitamin supplement with folic
acid is important to the normal development of the fetus and preventing
neural tube defects. The risk of having a neural tube-affected pregnancy
is reduced by 50-70% by taking folic acid daily.
How much folic acid
do I need to take daily?
All women of childbearing age should take 400 micrograms (0.4 milligram)
of folic acid daily. For women who have already had a NTD-affected pregnancy,
the Public Health Service recommends talking with your doctor about
taking a much larger amount of folic acid - 4000 micrograms (4 milligrams),
starting one month before conception and continuing through the first
three months of pregnancy.
How do I get folic
Folate and folic acid are the same vitamin. Folate is found naturally
in food. Folic acid is the synthetic form added to vitamins and enriched
foods. With your daily vitamin supplement also eat foods rich in folate.
Folic acid and folate from the following sources should be consumed
- Take a vitamin supplement
containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
- Eat fortified breakfast
cereals that contain 100% of the recommended daily amount of folic
- Increase consumption
of foods fortified with folic acid - enriched cereals, breads, rice,
pasta. Read food labels for good sources of folic acid.
- Eat foods with folate
- orange juice, green vegetables, liver, beans, nuts, lentils.
[ top of page ]