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Prevents Birth Defects


Each year, thousands of babies born with defects that could have been avoided. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, since 1992 twenty thousand cases of neural tube defects have been avoided in the United States if the mothers had taken folic acid supplements. Folic acid is a B vitamin that when you are expecting a baby, helps the neural tube (which forms the brain and spinal cord) of the fetus to develop properly. Adults, on the other hand, this element helps in the production of red blood cells and many studies suggest other benefits for those taking folic acid.

In China, a recent study found that regular use of folic acid before pregnancy decreased the number of defects of the brain and spine by 89%. Since 1993, the country has called on women planning to conceive, who consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. In general, doctors agree that this is the minimum dose to avoid malformations. The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 micrograms United States in the months before pregnancy and during pregnancy, since studies indicate that this measure reduces neural tube defects by up to 70 percent, according to the March of Dimes.

The important thing is to start taking vitamins before becoming pregnant, since the defects begin in the first 28 days of gestation, ie when women have realized or are pregnant. To give you an idea, in the U.S., prenatal vitamins contain between 800 and 1000 micrograms of folic acid (that is the maximum recommended dose, you should not take more than a thousand micrograms daily of folic acid). Another fact to keep in mind is that over half of pregnancies are unplanned, so even if they plan a baby right now is a good idea to take a vitamin containing folic acid anyway.


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