Folic Acid (Folate) During Pregnancy

folic acid during pregnancy
folic acid during pregnancy

Folate is one of the group B vitamins (vitamin B9) and in many applications, including growthCell division, and metabolic processes are essential. The folic acid required by the body is provided through nutrition, the human body can absorb about 50% of the folate in food, and the excess is excreted. Folic acid is a type of folate that is produced artificially and is converted into active tetrahydrofolate in the body.

The importance of folic acid during pregnancy

In the first trimester of pregnancy, the need for folate increases, and its deficiency leads to disorders of the central nervous system, including spina bifidacleft lip and palateheart defectspremature birth, and miscarriage. The need for folate increases by 83% in pregnant women, which cannot be obtained from food, so it is recommended to take 400 micrograms of supplements daily after stopping the use of contraceptives (at least 4 weeks before pregnancy) and during the first trimester of pregnancy. Folic acid should be taken with a folate-rich diet to provide 550 micrograms of folate daily.

Taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of neural tube defects in children by about 70%.

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Should the consumption of folate continue after delivery?

After giving birth, during breastfeeding, folate enters the child’s bloodstream through breast milk and plays an important role in the child’s development. A child up to the age of 4 months needs to consume 60 micrograms of folate daily, and between the fourth and twelfth months, he needs to consume 80 micrograms of folate daily. It is recommended that lactating women consume 450 micrograms of folate daily.

Foods containing folic acid

Folate is found in

  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • nuts
  • legumes (peas, lentils), oranges
  • whole grain products
  • eggs
  • berries

and some cheeses such as gouda or buttermilk. Vegetables and fruits should not be eaten for a long time. have been stored because folate is very sensitive to heat and oxygen and the content of folate in food depends on the proper storage of food and up to 70% of the vitamin can be lost during food preparation, which can be prevented by noted below:

  1. Use fresh vegetables
  2. Coarsely chop foods containing folate
  3. Do not fry food too much
  4. Steaming food
  5. Using vegetable juice in sauces

Note: Offal is rich in folate, but pregnant women should avoid eating it.

Symptoms of folic acid deficiency

  1. Poor concentration
  2. fatigue
  3. heart palpitations
  4. ringing in the ears
  5. change in the sense of taste
  6. pale gums eyelids and lips
  7. weight loss
  8. diarrhea

but finally, a blood test can definitely prove that there is a folate deficiency.

Does taking folic acid to have any complications?

Side effects related to the use of folic acid are very rare, but if the dose is high (more than 1000 micrograms per day), it may cause restlessness, nausea, taste disturbance, loss of appetite, and digestive problems. Long-term use of high doses of Folic acid can cause depressionnightmares, and epileptic attacks.

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How to use folic acid during pregnancy

It is better to take folic acid supplements first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with enough water.

Duration of folic acid intake

It is better to continue taking folic acid with a high dose until the twelfth week (if you forget one dose per day, there is no need to take two doses) and in the second trimester, when the fetal organs are formed, the dose can be taken in consultation with a gynecologist. Cut it off a little or completely.

Although it is recommended to continue using this supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding to help the child grow better.

Should folic acid be taken with iodine during pregnancy or not?

With the exception of folic acid and iodine, all the vitamins and minerals needed for pregnancy can be obtained through food. Pregnant women’s need for iodine reaches 230 micrograms per day from the time of conception.

Iodine is very effective in the functioning of the thyroid gland and its deficiency leads to a delay in the growth and development of the child’s brain, therefore, iodine should be consumed after childbirth and during breastfeeding. Simultaneous consumption of folic acid supplements and 150 micrograms of iodine is ideal.

Foods rich in iodine include

  1. fish
  2. seafood
  3. milk
  4. eggs

Folic acid without titanium dioxide?

Titanium dioxide is a white coloring agent in many dietary supplements, including folic acid supplements. Due to the possible damage of titanium dioxide to DNA, the use of this substance was declared unsafe in 2021. To ensure the absence of titanium dioxide in the folic acid supplement, it is better to check the ingredient list of the supplement.

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women’s Omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy play an important role in the development of the brain and vision of the child, and the consumption of salmon and mackerel fish during pregnancy and breastfeeding is a cause for concern due to salmonella. Supplements are the best alternative.

Upspring contains omega-3 DHA and EPA-rich algae oil, which also supports normal heart function. Daily consumption of 200 mg of DHA in addition to the daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids, i.e. 250 mg of DHA and EPA (equivalent to two capsules) will have favorable effects.

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