Science

Birth Defects Effectively Prevented By Folic Acid

By Duna Bil , Jan 11, 2017 09:58 AM EST
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FALLUJA, IRAQ - NOVEMBER 12: An Iraqi child suffering from a birth defect is pictured on November 12, 2009 at Falluja General Hospital in the city of Falluja west of Baghdad, Iraq. Birth defects have soared in Fallujah, which was the site of two major battles between the U.S military and insurgents after the invasion of Iraq according to Iraqi doctors. (Photo : Muhannad Fala'ah / Getty Images)

In order to prevent birth defects in newborns, the US Preventive Services Task Force, reaffirmed its position on folic acid. The independent panel of experts make evidence-based recommendations and is currently re-educating the public about the effectivity of folic acid in ensuring the health of newborns. The experts are recommending all women who are planning to get pregnant to start loading up on the vitamin B variant.

All women of childbearing age should consider taking folic acid, they say. They explain that this is because about half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned. The stakes of folate deficiency is very high among newborns and therefore is better prevented with early supplements of the vitamin.

Unfortunately, according to studies, less than half of the women take the supplement even though health education have been going on for years about it. In several health reviews, scientists found that there is a dramatic reduction of neonatal birth defects in mothers who took folic acid during the initial period of pregnancy. Thus the panel of experts reaffirms its recommendation, the Vox reports.

Pregnant women, and even those who are planning to get pregnant, are advised to take a daily supplement of 0.4 to 0.8 milligrams of folic acid. It is important to note that health experts do not usually prescribe supplements during pregnancy since most of them are useless and occasionally dangerous. But with the case of folic acid, there is extremely reliable evidence that the supplement is a good idea, the Tucson says.

Pregnant women tend to be susceptible to numerous health issues as reported earlier. That's why pediatricians recommend modifications in diet, exercise, and rest during pregnancy. One of the most important thing that pregnant women should remember is taking the folate supplement to avoid health problems such as birth defects.

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