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Folic Acid

Q: I am trying to get pregnant. How much folic acid should I take?

Dr. Donnica:
All women who are planning to become pregnant should take 400 micrograms per day before and during pregnancy. This has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects (by as much as 65%!), as well as to reduce the risk of preterm births (by 50%). This amount of folic acid is contained in most prenatal vitamins and now in most daily multivitamin supplements, but check the labels to be sure. I recommend supplements because it is very difficult to get an adequate amount of folic acid in your diet -- it is contained in dark green vegetables and in orange juice, however.

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Created: 11/10/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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