Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Folic Acid, Wrong Way of Taking Folic Acid May Harm Your Baby for Life

It is common knowledge that almost every expectant mother needs to supplement folic acid during pregnancy preparation and pregnancy. But in actual implementation, it is not as simple as swallowing a pill, and many problems will arise. Today, we will solve these problems one by one. 01 Supplementing folic acid is the first step in scientific preparation for pregnancy. Folic acid, or pteroylglutamic acid, is a water-soluble B vitamin. It was first discovered and purified by Mitchell from spinach, so it was named folic acid. Folic acid is an essential element for the synthesis of nucleic acids, a necessary substance for cell growth and tissue repair, and an indispensable nutrient during embryonic development. A large number of studies have confirmed that folic acid deficiency is common in Chinese people, especially among women of childbearing age. One in every three women of childbearing age is deficient in folic acid. Folic acid supplementation for women of childbearing age is a basic national policy in my country, and its core purpose is to prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects. 02 It is recommended to supplement folic acid during pregnancy preparation and throughout pregnancy. Folic acid should be supplemented during pregnancy preparation. This is the first preparation we do for pregnancy. Although some foods we eat every day contain a large amount of folic acid, frying and frying will denature and inactivate most of the folic acid, and it is impossible for us to eat a lot of raw vegetables all day long. Therefore, most women may be folic acid deficient. Surveys show that the average dietary folic acid intake of women of childbearing age in my country is less than 0.266 mg per day. If the loss in cooking is subtracted, the actual intake is less than 0.2 mg, which is far lower than the 0.4 mg recommended by the Chinese Nutrition Society and the World Health Organization. Therefore, it is still necessary to supplement folic acid, especially for people who rarely eat vegetables, and they should actively supplement folic acid. Many people worry about whether taking folic acid all the time will be harmful to the body after they have been preparing for pregnancy for a long time but failed to get pregnant. The editor is here to tell you that as long as the dose is reasonable, there is no harm (daily supplementation of 0.4 mg during pregnancy preparation is safe), and you can take it with confidence. The first trimester of pregnancy, that is, the first three months of pregnancy, is a critical period for the differentiation of fetal organ systems and the formation of the placenta. Cell growth and division are very vigorous. At this time, folic acid deficiency can lead to fetal malformations and fetal neural tube development defects, thereby increasing the incidence of anencephaly and spina bifida; it also affects red blood cell production and placental development, increasing the chance of spontaneous abortion. In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, in addition to the growth and development of the fetus and the development of the placenta, the mother also needs to increase blood volume to supply oxygen and nutrients to the fetus, which means that the demand for folic acid increases. If folic acid is insufficient, pregnant women are prone to placental abruption, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and megaloblastic anemia; fetuses are prone to intrauterine growth retardation, important organ dysfunction, premature delivery, and low birth weight. In short, folic acid must be supplemented during pregnancy preparation and early pregnancy. Women who have the conditions can supplement folic acid throughout pregnancy. 03 How to choose between ordinary folic acid and active folic acid? Ordinary folic acid and active folic acid are suitable for different people: ordinary folic acid is suitable for people with normal folic acid metabolism; active folic acid is suitable for people with folic acid metabolism disorders. According to preliminary estimates, approximately 80% of the Chinese population has folic acid metabolism disorders. Folic acid metabolism disorder refers to changes in certain genetic loci in the body that cause certain genes involved in folic acid metabolism toenzyme activity decreased. In other words, in some people, due to key gene mutations in the folic acid metabolism pathway, enzyme activity is reduced, so that the folic acid that has been absorbed by the body cannot perform normal physiological functions. If you want to know whether you have a folic acid metabolism disorder, you need to do relevant genetic testing. Folic acid metabolism disorders are divided into three levels: no risk, low/mild risk, and moderate/severe risk. Different risk levels require different folic acid supplements: Untested people: You can take active folic acid directly to prevent unknown risks. It can also be taken according to different risk levels after folic acid metabolism testing. No risk: Just take regular folic acid. Low/mild risk: Regular folic acid supplementation is possible, but active folic acid supplementation is more recommended to avoid possible risks to the greatest extent. Moderate/severe risk: Active folic acid supplementation is recommended to avoid risks to a greater extent. 04 What should you pay attention to when purchasing folic acid 1. Pay attention to the dosage of folic acid. There are three different dosages of folic acid on the market: 0.4 mg, 0.8 mg, and 5 mg (prescription required). Different dosages are suitable for different stages and groups of people. When purchasing Be sure to check the dosage. From pregnancy preparation to early pregnancy, the demand for folic acid for pregnant women and fetuses increases. During this period, it is recommended to take 0.4 mg of folic acid daily. After the first 3 months of pregnancy, the fetus’s demand for folic acid increases, so the supplemental amount needs to be increased, usually 0.8 mg to 1 mg. 5 mg of folic acid is a prescription drug. It is mainly used by women who have had a baby with neural tube defects (spina bifida) in the past, as well as women who have a family history of giving birth to babies with neural tube defects, or women who are anemic. It is generally not used.

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