Folic acid: The Superhero of Pregnancy

In this article you will learn about:

1. What is folic acid?
2. Role of folic acid during pregnancy.
3. How much folic acid do you need?
4. When might you need some extra boost of folic acid?
5. When to stop taking folic acid?
6. Food sources of folic acid.
7. Signs of folic acid deficiency.
8. is supplements of folic acid really required?

So before we continue to explaining how come folic acid is a superhero for a

pregnant woman during the course of pregnancy and before, it is important to

first, know

what is this Folic acid?

Folic acid is an essential nutrient for the B complex group of vitamins.

Chemically this cute little guy is C19H19N7O6 (N-(4-{[(2-amino-4-oxo-1,4-

dihydropyridine-6-yl)methyl]amino}benzoyl)-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamic

acid) let’s go with the folic acid only. It has been also known as

Folate, Folacin, Folvite, Pteroylglutamic acid, Vitamin M, Vitamin Bc,

Incafolic, Acifolic, Cytofol so don’t confuse with their names they have the

same function.

How it affects the body…

Folate, as a cofactor, is involved in numerous intracellular reactions in the body,
and that has been isolated from biological sources. Folic acid is involved in
single-carbon transfer reactions and serves as a source of single carbon units in
different oxidative states during the metabolic process. The mechanism
involved in the absorption, transport and intracellular metabolisms of this
a cofactor is very complex. This superhero does not stand alone, much of folate is
bound tightly to enzymes, indicating that there is not the excess of this cofactor
and that its cellular availability is protected as well as being strictly regulated,
which proves that nature’s management is the best.

Role of folic acid during pregnancy

  • If you are pregnant or planning your pregnancy, it’s critically important to get enough folic acid. it affects the body in several ways …• It is suggested that folic acid can protect a baby from neural tube defects by atleast 50%. neural tube defects (NTDs) is a serious birth defect of the spinal

    cord (such as spina bifida). The neural tube is the part of the embryo from

    which fetus spine and brain develops. Neural tube defects occur at a very early

    stage of development, before you even know you are pregnant – which is why

    it’s important to begin taking folic acid before you start trying to conceive.

    • It helps to prevent brain defect (such as anencephaly: when major parts of the

    brain do not develop correctly.) in your baby.

    • You need folic acid to prevent a certain type of anemia, as it is essential

    for the synthesis of normal red blood cells and can reduce the risk of developing


    • It’s also essentially required for the production, repair, and functioning of

    DNA, which is our genetic map and a basic building block of cells.

    • Folic acid helps the rapid cell growth of the placenta and requires for the

    development of the baby.

    • Folic acid can help prevent birth defects that typically occur during the first 3-

    4 weeks of pregnancy.

    • Consuming folic acid prior to pregnancy and at the time of pregnancy

    decreased the chance of early delivery by 50% or more. That’s why in most

    cases, women that consult with a doctor when trying to conceive are told to

    begin taking folic acid with prenatal vitamins.

    • It is been observed in the studies that folic acid to reduces the risk of other

    pregnancy complications which include:

    1. Several types of cancers

    2. Alzheimer’s disease

    3. Heart disease.

    • When you took before and during pregnancy, folic acid can protect your little

    baby against:

    1. Low birth weight

    2. Cleft lip and palate

    3. Premature birth.

    Information and statements in this article made are for educational purposes

    and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

please read the next article for the how much folic acid you need in your body.

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