Here is why every Ghanaian woman must take folic acid and the right dosage needed.

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Here is why every Ghanaian woman must take folic acid

If you are pregnant, you can take folic acid to help prevent certain birth defects in your baby. Folic acid and folate are two forms of the same b-vitamin.

Folate is the form that occurs naturally in food while folic acid is man-made.

Your body needs folic acid to help make new cells, including brain cells, blood cells, DNA and RNA, and the genetic material inside your cells.

During pregnancy, you need even more folic acid because your baby’s body needs it, too. Folic acid helps your baby’s brain and spinal cord develop normally.

Taking folic acid can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects in your developing baby called an embryo. At the embryonic stage, The neural tube begins as a tiny oval-shaped piece of embryonic tissue which folds into a tube about 28 days after conception.

When the tube closes properly, it continues to develop into your baby’s brain and spinal cord. If the neural tube does not close due to the lack of folic acid In your diet your baby may have a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly in spina bifida where the tube fails to close at the bottom and leads to protrusion of the developing spinal cord.

Children with this defect often require surgery and have permanent disabilities, including leg paralysis developmental delays and nervous system problems.

In the condition called Anencephaly, the neural tube fails to close at the top preventing large, parts of the brain and skull from developing completely babies with this defect are unable to live and usually die before birth or soon after.

Folic acid may also protect against other birth defects such as cleft lip, palate, and atrial septal defect, which is when a hole between the right and left upper chambers of the heart fails to close during development.

Experts recommend all women who are able to become pregnant, take a daily multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid every day during pregnancy.

The need increases to 600 micrograms of folic acid each day in addition to the food folate in your diet because your body does not absorb folate found Naturally in food as easily as the man-made folic acid.

Caregivers will often prescribe 1,000 micrograms of folic acid daily to ensure that minimal levels are covered. More may be required in some groups of women, especially those with previous miscarriages and those women deficient in folic acid.

Talk with your doctor about the optimal dose for you

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