January 7th through January 13th is Folic Acid Awareness week. What is folic acid and what should we be aware of?
Medlineplus.gov defines Folic acid as “a B vitamin. It helps the body make healthy new cells. Everyone needs folic acid.” Folic acid is especially important for women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. The Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, “Folic acid protects unborn babies against serious birth defects.” It is recommended that women get 400 mcg of folic acid daily.
The potential for birth defects as a result of folic acid deficiency is serious. CDC statistics show that every year in the United States we see the following:
Folic acid can be found in food such as leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans, peas and nuts. It can also be obtained by consuming enriched breads, cereals and other grain products. Those that do not get sufficient folic acid from their diet can take a dietary supplement.