JOPLIN, MO-- Folic acid is an important vitamin for every patient ... but it's especially crucial for expectant moms.
"It's very important in cell development and cell turnover. And the reason it's so important with babies and fetal development, it's very important in the closure of the neural tube which is part of the development of the spine. And that's where we get neural tube defects. We think folic acid plays a significant role in that." Freeman Ob/Gyn Dr. Angela Langer says some cases are very mild, while others have a major impact. "They can have mental retardation, they could have difficulty walking, may not have control of their bowel or bladder. They could have some deformity of their spine and lower extremities. And they can have brain abnormalities as well and even some cranial/facial or skeletal as well."
To avoid that, Dr. Langer says all women of child bearing age should take at least 400 micro grams of folic acid. And in cases where there are preexisting issues, that could jump to 4 milligrams. "It's really important to be having onboard for at least a month before you conceive."
She adds folic acid supplements are the best choice. "But we think that the bioavailability the absorption rate of folic acid in a supplement is much better."