Should I be taking folic acid?

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Q: My husband and I want to start a family. I know folic acid is important but can you clarify why, the amount and when to take it?

Folic acid (vitamin B9) is vital for its role in preventing spina bifida and other neural tube defects, which can limit or seriously impact on a baby’s life.

In 1991, research established that supplementing with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily can reduce the risk of spina bifida (SB ) and other neural tube defects (see below) by up to 72 per cent. New research suggests that adding a daily 2.5mcg (minimum) of vitamin B12 is key to further reducing the risk. Vitamin B12 is essential for cells to take up folic acid, but some 60 per cent of women may not have enough. Read More…