Neural tube defects arise during the first month of pregnancy (before many women know they are pregnant) is important that women have enough folic acid in her body before conception. It is recommended that all women of childbearing age take folic acid because about half of the pregnancies registered in the United States are not planificados.
However, many women are not getting the recommended amount of folic acid daily.
Studies have shown that if all women consumed the recommended amount of folic acid before and during early pregnancy, could prevent up to 70 percent of all neural.1 tube defects,
The neural tube is the embryo from which form the brain and spinal cord. This structure, which begins as a tiny ribbon of tissue, normally folds inward to form a tube approximately 28 days after conception. If this process goes well and the neural tube fails to close completely, defects can occur in the brain and spinal cord. Each year there are about 3,000 pregnancies affected with neural tube defects in the US1.
Neural tube defects, most common are spina bifida and anencephaly. Spina bifida, often called open spine, affects the spine and, sometimes, the spinal cord. Children with the severe form of spina bifida have some degree of leg paralysis and problems with bladder control and bowel and, sometimes, neurological and developmental problems. Anencephaly is a fatal disease in which the baby is born with the brain and skull severely underdeveloped.
Folic acid can help prevent other birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate and certain defects cardíacos.
Study suggests that women who take folic acid for at least 1 year before pregnancy can reduce your risk of having a premature birth (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) in the mitad.
The study also suggests that these Women can reduce their risk of having a baby too early (before the age of 32 weeks gestation) to 70 percent. Premature babies are more likely to suffer complications and permanent disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, vision loss, and those who are most at risk infants.
March of Dimes recommends that all women capable of becoming pregnant take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily as part of a healthy diet even before getting pregnant. Women who follow this advice, based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (Institute of Medicine, IOM),
May get all the folic acid and other vitamins they need. A survey by Gallup for the March of Dimes in 2007 indicated that 40 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States taking vitamins with folic acid diario.
Healthy diet should include foods fortified with folic acid and foods rich in folate, the natural form of folic acid found in food. Many grain-based products in the United States are fortified with folic acid. This means that they added a synthetic (artificial) of folic acid. Flour, rice, pasta, bread and fortified cereals are examples of products made from fortified grains. A woman can check the label to see if a product is fortified. Among the rich sources of folate include green leafy vegetables, legumes, oranges and orange juice.
Folic acid from supplements and fortified foods is more easily absorbed by the body than natural folate from food. According to the IOM, the body absorbs about 50 percent of food folate, 6 as it can absorb about 85 percent of folic acid in fortified foods and 100 percent of folic acid supplements vitamínicos.6 Cooking and storage may destroy some of folate from food.
It isrecommends that women who may become pregnant consume 400 micrograms per day of synthetic form fólico.1 acid, 6 To ingest this amount, women can take a multivitamin or a serving of cereal that contains 100 percent of the daily value of folic acid (400 micrograms) .1 The most multivitamins and 50 breakfast cereals contain this amount in a single porción.8 Other cereals contain only 25 percent of the recommended amount. Women are advised to consult the label on the packaging of cereal to see how much folic acid it contains.
Is it possible that some women need more folic acid?
If a woman has already had a pregnancy with neural tube defects, you should consult your doctor before the next pregnancy to see how much folic acid to take. Studies have shown that taking a higher dose of folic acid per day (4.000 micrograms or 4 milligrams), from at least one month before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy, reduces by 70 percent the risk of having another afectado.1 pregnant woman should only take a prenatal vitamin, plus three folic acid tablets 1 mg to receive the amount over adecuada.1 Take a prenatal vitamin can cause the woman to take too much of other vitamins such as vitamin A.
Women with diabetes, epilepsy and obesity are at increased risk of having a baby with tube defects neural.1 These women should consult their doctor before pregnancy about whether they should take a higher dose of folic acid.
Do women need folic acid throughout pregnancy?
Yes Pregnant women need extra folic acid throughout pregnancy to produce the additional blood cells that your body needs during this period. Folic acid also contributes to the rapid growth of the placenta and fetus and is needed to produce new DNA (genetic material) as cells multiply. Without adequate amounts of folic acid cell division could be affected and lead to insufficient development of the fetus or placenta.
The IOM recommends that women increase their folic acid intake to 600 micrograms per day (through supplements and food) once confirmed embarazo.6 Most doctors recommend a prenatal vitamin, most of which contain from 800 to 1.000 micrograms of folic acid. However, women should not take more than 1,000 micrograms (1 milligram) unless your doctor indique.1, 6
What is folic acid in fortified foods?
From January 1, 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (Food and Drug Administration, FDA) requires the addition of 140 micrograms of folic acid per 100 grams of cereals, bread, pasta and other foods labeled “enriched.” This allows women to more easily obtain the amount of folic acid they need through their food. Studies show that enrichment is associated with increased levels of blood folate in women aged fértil.9 Since the fortification of cereals, the incidence of neural tube defects has decreased by about one third although other factors also contributed to this disminución.10 The amount of folic acid added to fortified foods (with the exception of some cereals) is low and most women can not get the daily amount of folic acid they need only through diet. In fact, a study by the government in 2007 found that folate levels in the blood decreased significantly in women of childbearing age from 1999-2000 to 2003-2004, for reasons that have not been established precisión.9
When the FDA determined that the grains should be enriched with folic acid, limited the amount to be added due to concerns that high levels of folic acid could mask a vitamin B-12.11 This condition is called pernicious anemia occurs mostly in the elderly. Very high doses of folic acid (more than 1,000 micrograms per day) can correct the anemia caused by vitamin deficiency but not the deficiency itself, which could make the diagnosis is delayed. If left untreated for a long time, deficiency of vitamin B-12 can cause irreversible neurological damage. To date, investigations have shown no risk of pernicious anemia or other side effects due to current levels of folic acid fortification.
How folic acid prevents birth defects?
Not well known how folic acid prevents neural tube defects. Most studies suggest that editing could be due to nutritional deficiencies. However, others suggest it is because folic acid supplementation helps people to compensate for characteristic genetic traits that prevent them from seizing the folate included in your diet. These features could mean for women at additional risk of having babies with neural.12 tube defects
Folic Acid Does it provide other health benefits?
Folic acid is important for everyone’s health. Plays an important role in the production of red blood cells. People with folic acid deficiencies often develop a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia (characterized by a reduced number of red blood cells). Folic acid may also play an important role in the prevention of other health problems.
Do you support the March of Dimes research on folic acid?
March of Dimes has supported various research grants to better understand how folic acid prevents neural tube defects. Fellows are also studying how folic acid may help prevent birth defects and other health problems. A fellow is trying to determine if a deficiency or folic acid can contribute to errors in cell division and produce, therefore, birth defects such as Down syndrome. This research could lead to new ways of preventing some chromosomal defects. Another grantee is investigating whether folic acid deficiency in the mother during critical stages of pregnancy could affect imprinted genes (those that act differently depending on whether they are inherited from the father or mother) and a propensity to cause chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. If so, it might be possible to develop nutritional interventions to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.