What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a B vitamin, found in foods and multivitamins. It enhances the
development of all new cells such as skin, hair and nails.
is folic acid important?
- Helps produce new cells in the body
- Helps produce normal red blood cells, which prevent anemia
- Helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, known as
- Protects against heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for
- Protects against colon cancer
Studies have shown that folic acid is essential in the prevention of birth
defects known as neural tube defects, which include spina bifida. Women who
are planning on getting pregnant should be taking a multivitamin containing
400 micrograms of folic acid three months before the start of pregnancy and
through the early stages of pregnancy along with a diet rich in folic acids.
much folic acid do I need?
Men and women who are
not pregnant need 400 micrograms daily, and pregnant women need 600
micrograms daily along with diet. Breastfeeding women are encouraged to
consume 500 micrograms daily.
What are some good sources of folic acid?
Multivitamins can be a good source of folic acid, but many foods contain the
beneficial vitamin as well.
- Brussels sprouts
- Romaine lettuce
- Black beans
- Black eyed peas
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Split peas
Where can I get a prescription for folic acid?
Along with folic acid, women can receive family planning services and
Medical Nutrition Counseling to ensure that their diet is adequate in folic
acid at the Health Department's county health
centers. Call the health center in
your county to schedule your appointment, and get the information you need
to have a healthy pregnancy.
Where can I get more information on folic acid?
more information online, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control at
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/index.html or visit the Kentucky
Folic acid partnership's Web site at
more information on the Health Departmentís programs, please call