Meet Dr. Donnica Video Introduction TV Appearances

Diseases & Conditions Today on DrDonnica.com Clinical Trials Decisionnaires FAQs Top Tips Fast Facts Debunking Myths News Alerts Celebrity Speak Out Guest Experts Women's Health Champions Books Women's Health Resources

Mission Privacy Policy Sponsors Press Room What's New? Contact Us

This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.


Hope Award

Send to a Friend

Folic Acid Prevents Birth Defects

January is birth defects prevention awareness month:  are you aware that the most important steps a woman can take to preventing birth defects are actually before she gets pregnant?  These are lifestyle changes to make sure that the mother is as healthy as possible: step one is to stop smoking and stop drinking before conception.

We've know for years that pregnant women benefit by taking prenatal vitamins:  now we also know that all women planning to become pregnant should take folic acid, 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%!  In addition, women who take folic acid may reduce their risk of a preterm birth by 50%.  This dose of folic acid is contained in most prenatal vitamins and now in most daily multivitamin supplements, but check the labels to be sure.  You can get folic acid from your diet in dark, green vegetables and in orange juice, but it's very difficult to get 400 mcg that way.

Folic acid is most well known for its ability to reduce birth defects when taken by women before and during pregnancy, but what about its effect on men?  Folic acid supplementation by expectant fathers has no benefit on babies, but it can benefit men:  it has been shown to suppress homocysteine, is a blood factor linked to higher rates of heart disease, stroke, depression, and Alzheimer's disease.  The standard daily recommendation for men and women is the same, 400 micrograms per day.

Created: 1/8/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

All the content contained herein is copyrighted pursuant to federal law. Duplication or use without
the express written permission of DrDonnica.com subjects the violator to both civil & criminal penalties.
Copyright © 2006 DrDonnica.com. All rights reserved.

Home | Today on DrDonnica.com | Meet Dr. Donnica | TV Appearances | Clinical Trials
Diseases & Conditions | Decisionnaires | Celebrity Speak Out | Guest Experts | Women's Health Champions
FAQs | Women’s Health Resources | Archive | Books & Tapes | Site Certification | Advanced Search
Mission | What’s New? | Press Room | Privacy Policy | Sponsors | Partners | Contact Us