To reduce the risk for neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida or anencephaly, women of reproductive age should consume at least 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid daily by eating one serving of fortified breakfast cereal or taking a supplement. In addition, women should eat foods rich in naturally occurring folate such as orange juice, strawberries, cantaloupe, asparagus, broccoli, cooked dry peas and beans, and dark green, leafy vegetables. Created: 10/26/2007 by MMWR.
Date Released: 10/26/2007. Series Name: A Minute of Health with CDC.
A MINUTE OF HEALTH WITH CDC
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Trends in Folic Acid Supplement Intake Among Women of Reproductive Age – California 2002–2006
October 26, 2007
This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC – safer,
It’s important for all women of child bearing age to get enough folic acid. Only
about 1 out of 3 women actually get enough of the vitamin. Scientific studies
have shown that a daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid can prevent more
than half of neural tube defects that might otherwise occur. The neural tube,
which becomes the brain and spinal cord, is one of the earliest structures to
develop during pregnancy. Since about half of all pregnancies aren’t planned, a
woman may not know for a month or two that she’s pregnant, which is why it’s so
important for all women of childbearing age to take folic acid every day.
Researchers plan to keep studying folic acid to see if there is more that can be
done to prevent neural tube defects in babies.
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