5 Fast Facts: Folic Acid

  1. An insufficient intake of folic acid during pregnancy can cause neurological birth defects like spina bifida.
  2. A pregnant woman’s need for folic acid is highest in the first trimester.  All sexual active women of reproductive age should take a folic acid supplement.
  3. Combines with Vitamin B12 in an essential process for the formation of healthy red blood cells.  A lack of folic acid leads to anemia.
  4. Folic acid is necessary for the conversion of toxic byproduct homocysteine to a safe amino acid.  Elevated homocysteine levels are a cardiac disease risk factor.
  5. Leafy green vegetables, beans, and milk are the primary sources of folic acid in our diet.
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