My wife’s recent pregnancy had me doing some serious research about which vitamins and supplements to take during this crucial time. One of the most interesting bits of information I came across in my research was the importance of taking a folate supplement. This amazing little pill is so important for our body’s health and wellbeing that I decided to find out everything I could for her, and myself. Yes, folate is vitally important for pregnant women, but you might not know that nearly everyone, in varying doses, can and should take this supplement. Folate is basically vitamin B9, but there are some important things to know about folate and its effects on the human body. Today I will go over my findings on the fascinating subject in the following article titled Folate supplement: why is this important?
Folate is a form of vitamin B9 that the body needs to maintain red and white blood cells (hematogenesis), convert carbohydrates into energy (metabolism), synthesize and maintain the genetic building blocks of the body (DNA and RNA). A daily intake of folate is also needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy, ensure normal fetal development, and prevent certain serious birth defects. Folate is naturally present in many foods, particularly dark green vegetables, beans, and legumes. There are also vitamin supplements made with a synthetic form of folate known as folic acid. In the United States and around 80 other countries, breakfast cereals, flour, bread, and other foods are fortified with folic acid to prevent folate deficiency within the general population.
While folate is found in many of the foods we eat everyday, there is compelling research that says this may not be enough, especially if our bodies are growing or if we are pregnant. For instance, the recommended daily intake of folate for a healthy adult is 400 mcg. However if you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant the daily recommendation jumps to 600 mcg. And, if you are an adolescent the dosage for this important time goes down to 300 mcg a day. Recommended folate intake increases during pregnancy and breastfeeding to fuel rapid growth and help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus. The most common causes of folate deficiency include an inadequate diet, alcoholism, and difficulties in absorbing foods that contain folate or folate itself.
My wife discovered during her pregnancy just how important taking a folate supplement is, but I was surprised to learn that recent research has also shown that a father’s folate status before conception may be just as important. In a study from McGill University, paternal folate deficiency in mice was associated with a 30 percent increase in various congenital deformities than in offspring with no paternal folate deficiencies. The one big takeaway both myself and my pregnant wife had after our research is that folate is a vital part of everyone’s body, and taking a folate supplement during certain times of growth in life can make all the difference. Why take a chance is what we both said, having folate supplements for the two of us was one of the easiest decisions we made.
You can find folate supplements online and in quality health food and natural medicine stores. While getting your folate from a healthy diet is undoubtedly important, there is no substitute for adding a folate supplement. With so much at stake why take a chance that your body will have a folate deficiency, when taking a supplement is so easy and inexpensive. My wife’s pregnancy turned out fine, we had a healthy, happy, and vibrant baby girl, and we are extremely grateful we found out about folate supplements and their importance. It’s been almost six months and I am still taking my daily dose, I recommend everyone do this.