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Message for Women of Child Bearing Age:

FOLIC ACID REDUCES BIRTH DEFECTS

Research has proven that 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid (a form of folate, a B vitamin) taken three to four months prior to and during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. In fact, as many as 70 per cent of all cases of NTDs in newborns are preventable if the mother is taking a daily supplement of folic acid. Persons with a history of NTDs in the family will require a higher dosage of folic acid and should consult their physician.

Folic acid is found in all multivitamins.

Message for Women of Child Bearing Age:

FOLIC ACID REDUCES BIRTH DEFECTS

Research has proven that 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid (a form of folate, a B vitamin) taken three to four months prior to and during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. In fact, as many as 70 per cent of all cases of NTDs in newborns are preventable if the mother is taking a daily supplement of folic acid. Persons with a history of NTDs in the family will require a higher dosage of folic acid and should consult their physician.

Folic acid is found in all multivitamins.

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Dietary sources rich in folic acid include:

  • Green leafy vegetables (example: spinach)
  • Beans (examples: lentils, black beans, asparagus)
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Dark yellow fruits and vegetables
  • Liver
  • Nuts (examples: roasted peanuts and almonds)
  • Whole grain breads and pastas
  • Fortified grain products
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Dietary sources rich in folic acid include:

- Green leafy vegetables (example: spinach)

- Beans (examples: lentils, black beans, asparagus)

- Citrus fruits and juices

- Dark yellow fruits and vegetables

- Liver

- Nuts (examples: roasted peanuts and almonds)

- Whole grain breads and pastas

- Fortified grain products

Folic acid is lost during storage, preparation and cooking. To ensure you are receiving a sufficient amount of folic acid:

  • Serve vegetables and fruits raw
  • Steam, microwave, boil or simmer vegetables in as little water as possible
  • Store vegetables in the refrigerator
  • Ripen fruit in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperatures, then refrigerate
  • Cook vegetables only until they are tender-crisp
  • When stir-frying, use the highest heat so vegetables start cooking at once.
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Folic acid is lost during storage, preparation and cooking. To ensure you are receiving a sufficient amount of folic acid:

- Serve vegetables and fruits raw

- Steam, microwave, boil or simmer vegetables in as little water as possible

- Store vegetables in the refrigerator

- Ripen fruit in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperatures, then refrigerate

- Cook vegetables only until they are tender-crisp

- When stir-frying, use the highest heat so vegetables start cooking at once.

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Pregnancy may not always be planned. Therefore, any women of childbearing age (approximately 14-45 years) should be aware of the importance of good health habits to the healthy development of their babies. Women are advised to consult a pharmacist or other health care provider about the supplement that is best for them.

 

NOTE: Women taking folic acid in a multivitamin or a multivitamin/mineral supplement should be advised not to take more than 10,000 IU per day of Vitamin A. This could increase the risk of birth defects. Please consult your physician for more information.

Pregnancy may not always be planned. Therefore, any women of childbearing age (approximately 14-45 years) should be aware of the importance of good health habits to the healthy development of their babies. Women are advised to consult a pharmacist or other health care provider about the supplement that is best for them.

 

NOTE: Women taking folic acid in a multivitamin or a multivitamin/mineral supplement should be advised not to take more than 10,000 IU per day of Vitamin A. This could increase the risk of birth defects. Please consult your physician for more information.

For more information on folic acid, contact the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada at 1-800-565-9488.

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For more information on folic acid, contact the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada at 1-800-565-9488.