Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that is very important for metabolism and used to make healthy new cells in the body. Getting enough folic acid is especially important during pregnancy and development.
Why is folic acid so important for women?
All women of childbearing age (menstruating women) should take the recommended amount of folic acid. Even if you are not planning to get pregnant, your body needs folic acid to make new cells every day. Most importantly, getting enough folic acid protects your baby from neural tube defect disease and lowers the risk of it happening. Neural tube defect is the most common congenital anomaly in our country and in the world. Neural tube defects (NTD) are congenital defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. They change the shape or function of one or more parts of the baby’s body and can cause serious lifelong problems for a baby.
What is the difference between folic acid and folate?
Folic acid and folate are different forms of vitamin B9. Folic acid is a handmade chemical type of vitamin B9 that is used in vitamin supplements and added to some foods. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, peas and nuts. The biggest difference between folic acid and folate is that the body uses folic acid more easily than folate. Since folic acid is used more efficiently by the body, folic acid is used in the first stage.
How much folic acid does my body need?
Folic acid is measured in micrograms (mcg). The World Health Organization has determined the recommended daily use for women of childbearing age as 400 micrograms. Folic acid can be added to the diet of many foods rich in folic acid to ensure that individuals have sufficient dietary intake.
Folic Acid Requirement During Pregnancy
The reason for the increase in folate requirement during pregnancy is tissue synthesis et al. in both fetus and pregnant women. known as physiological changes (Greenberg et al., 2011). Since it is not possible to meet the increased folate requirement with diet alone, folic acid supplementation in pregnant women is recommended all over the world (Wang et al., 2016; Yan et al., 2017). During pregnancy, if possible, before NTD, anemia, etc. In order to prevent health problems, WHO recommends 400 mcg/day or 2800 mcg folic acid supplementation once a week to every woman and consumption of folic acid-rich foods (WHO, 2012a and 2012b). In women who have faced NTD problem in their previous pregnancies, 4-5 mg/day folic acid supplementation, which is considered as a drug dose, is among the recommendations in order to reduce this risk in subsequent pregnancies (Czeizel et al., 2013). With a planned pregnancy, folic acid supplementation (400 mcg/day) should be started before pregnancy and it should be continued during the first trimester (EFSA, 2014). It is known that support should be started 2.5-3.5 months before pregnancy. It has been reported that there is a decrease in sperm count and low quality in men with folate deficiency (Steegers-Theunissen et al., 2013). (one)