Podcast Transcript: Folic Acid or Folate
If you want to be pregnant or can become pregnant, you need to know about a vitamin called Folate. Folate helps you have a healthy baby. Another name for folate is folic acid.
Folate can prevent brain and spinal cord birth defects.
The brain and spinal cord are forming very early in pregnancy. You may not even know you are pregnant yet. That is why you should take folate before you get pregnant.
New research showed that people who took folate for a year before their pregnancy had much lower chance of having a preterm delivery. This was even true for people who smoked or had premature deliveries before. Even better news is that it prevented a lot of babies from being born too early.
The best way to get folate every day is to take a multiple vitamin. Read the label.
Folate is also in food. Many breakfast cereals have all the folate you need in just one bowl. Fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, bananas, oranges, and nuts are good sources of folate. Cereals, bread and pasta may have folate added. Always read the label to make sure you are getting enough folate.
It would be smart to take folate every day–even if you are not planning on getting pregnant.
If you become pregnant or are breast feeding, you will need more folate. Ask your doctor how much you will need to take.