Everyone needs folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin, specifically Vitamin B9. Our bodies use it to make new cells. Folic acid is also very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine, also known as neural tube defects. Neural tube defects (NTDs) may result to infant death, dysmorphology (deformity) or disability. In some kinds of NTDs, corrective surgical procedures are needed in order to improve the quality of life of patients.
Everyone needs 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid everyday. Simply because folic acid is a water soluble vitamin. Hence, it is excreted in the body regularly. For folic acid to help prevent some major birth defects, a woman needs to start taking it at least one month before she becomes pregnant and while she is pregnant.Every woman in the reproductive age needs folic acid every day, whether she’s planning to get pregnant or not.
In the Philippines, awareness on the significance of folic acid supplementation among Filipino women in reproductive age is presumed to be low. Furthermore, folate deficiency exists. According to the 7th National Nutrition Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, 1 in every 5 pinays is folate deficient. Hence, there is a need for increasing public awareness on this matter, especially in the absence of a legislation for folic acid fortification, supplementation and public education.
Disclaimer: #FolicAcidPH is a non-profit health promotion activity. It does not aim to promote any specific brand or product (supplement or fortified food) nor receive any form of support from any food or pharmaceutical company.
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