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Absence of Folic Acid Causes Defects in Unborn



Absence of Folic Acid Causes Defects in Unborn

DCU researchers have discovered that there is not enough folic acid being added to food, which is resulting in defects in unborn babies.  Birth defects had been reduced in 2008 but began to increase again in 2009.  It was argued that this was in part due to lower waged families been unable to afford healthier food.  Pregnant women require about 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid per day to promote the health of their unborn baby. Doctors recommend all women of childbearing age to consume a daily folic acid supplement in case they become pregnant.

Examples of associate defects caused by a lack of folic acid include the following: Spina Bifida is a birth defect which arises when an unborn baby’s spinal column doesn’t close to protect the spinal cord.  This prevents the nerves that control the legs moving or working effectively.  People with Spina Bifida usually have constant disabilities that may require surgery.  Anencephaly is a condition where the baby’s brain is underdeveloped, which results in him/her dying before or after immediately, after birth.

Folic acid is vitamin B9 and is essential for cell regeneration, a healthy heart and healthy blood and DNA synthesis. It helps the body produce healthy new cells. “Folic acid is the man made form of folate.  Folate is the naturally occurring vitamin found in food.

Vegetables high in folate  Lentils, Mung Beans, Pinto Beans, Chickpeas, Pink Beans, Lima Beans, Black Kidney Beans, Spinach, turnip greens, bok choy, parsley, lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli and beetroot.

Fruit high in folate    Papayas and strawberries, oranges, pineapple, raspberries, kiwifruit, lemons and limes.

Optimal levels of folic acid can help to lower homocysteine levels, which reduce the risk of heart disease.  A healthy supply of folate is also, essential for the production of red blood cells, a deficiency of folate may cause anemia.  Studies have shown that women, who have a higher dietary intake of folate have a decreased risk of contracting breast cancer.  Taking a folic acid supplement has also been shown to improve the symptoms of depression.

It has been proven taking a folic acid supplement is beneficial for pregnant women, their unborn baby, and people with health problems in general.  In my opinion, taking a folic acid supplement is highly advisable, particularly, for pregnant women or people who are susceptible to anemia or cardiovascular complaints.  Folic acid is a B vitamin, which is water soluble.  This means that any excess of this vitamin is excreted through the kidneys.  Therefore you can’t overdose on it.  I think if a person is very health conscious and consume a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, their diet should contain an adequate supply of folate.  However if a person restricts their fruit and vegetable intake, or has ill health, it would be necessary for them to take a folic acid supplement to enhance their overall health.

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