Five Minutes or Less for Health Weekly Tip: Take Folic Acid

take folic acidEveryone needs the B vitamin, folic acid; but for women who can get pregnant, it is really important. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of her baby’s brain and spine. Take 400 micrograms (400 mcg) of folic acid every day, starting at least one month before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. Two easy ways to be sure you get enough folic acid each day are:

  • Take a daily multivitamin with folic acid. Check the label to be sure it contains 100% of the daily value of folic acid–which is 400 micrograms (400 mcg).
  • Eat a bowl of breakfast cereal that has 100% of the daily value of folic acid every day. Not every cereal has this amount. Check the label on the side of the box, and look for one that has “100%” next to folic acid.

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Page last reviewed: December 30, 2014