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Folic acid and birth defect prevention


Alternative names

Prevention of birth defects with folic acid

Information


Question:
Does folic acid use help prevent birth defects?

Answer:
There is good evidence that the risk of certain birth defects ( spina bifida and anencephaly) are reduced by taking folic acid 400 micrograms daily from 1 month before conception through the first trimester of pregnancy. Therefore, if you would like to become pregnant in the near future, you should take a multivitamin with this amount of folic acid.

Update Date: 12/5/2003

Jacqueline A. Hart, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Senior Medical Editor, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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