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If you are pregnant or thinking of having a baby you should take a daily 0.4 mg (400 microgram) folic acid supplement from the time you stop using contraception until the 12th week of pregnancy. Folate is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells which is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Therefore increased folate helps to decrease the likelihood of neural tube defects resulting in malformations of the spine, skull, and brain. Furthermore both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia.
Folic Acid 400ug:
What are Folic Acid tablets for?
Folic acid, known as folate in its natural form, is one of the B-group of vitamins and is needed by the body to help manufacture red blood cells. Folate is found in small amounts in many foods. Good sources include broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas, chickpeas and brown rice. Other useful sources include fortified breakfast cereals, some bread and some fruit (such as oranges and bananas).
It has been noted that high Folic Acid intake can mask some of the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency. An early symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is anemia. But taking large amounts of folic acid treats the anaemia without treating the B12 deficiency. If vitamin B12 deficiency is not noticed, it can eventually lead to damage of the nervous system (neurological damage). This is a concern particularly for older people, because as you get older it becomes more difficult to absorb vitamin B12.
When should I take Folic Acid tablet?
With regard to pregnancy, Folic Acid tablets should be taken from when methods of contraception are no longer being used right through until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy.
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