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Doctor insights on: How Soon Before Conception Should A Woman Start Taking Folic Acid Supplements

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When before conception should a woman start taking folic acid supplements?

When before conception should a woman start taking folic acid supplements?

Now!: If you are trying to conceive, you should start taking prenatal vitamins (containing folic acid) now. Folic acid prevents an abnormality in the fetus that can occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant, so it is a good idea to start the vitamins early. Neural tube defect risks escalate greatly with folate deficiency, and result in serious illness to the child. Start now! ...Read more

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Dr. Barbara Lavi
44 doctors shared insights

Folic Acid Supplements (Definition)

There are many ways to get the folic acid your body needs. It is available in folic acid tablets, multivitamins, fortified breads, rice, pastas, and cereals. While many of these fortified foods contain about 10% of the daily RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance), a few cereals contain a full day's supply of folic acid. It is also possible to get enough folic acid by eating large amounts of liver, dark-green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, whole grains, and ...Read more


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Does taking folic acid supplements lower homocystene levels?

Does taking folic acid supplements lower homocystene levels?

Partly: High homocysteine is commonly due to methylation insufficiency. Folate (folic acid) is just one cog in the machinery. Other factors include magnesium, b12, zinc, b6. Lead toxicity can impair methylation. Use the best active form of folate (folic acid) which is l-methylfolate (folic acid). ...Read more

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I've been taking fefol iron & folate (folic acid) supplements and having bad stomach effects is this normal?

I've been taking fefol iron & folate (folic acid) supplements and having bad stomach effects is this normal?

Maybe.: Iron supplements frequently cause constipation. It is usually mild but can occasionally be severe. It is common practice to provide mild stool softeners when this occurs. ...Read more

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Is it true that folate (folic acid) supplements prevent birth defects?

Is it true that folate (folic acid) supplements prevent birth defects?

Yes: Folic acid deficiency in early pregnancy has been associated with neural tube defect, e.g., spina bifida. Any woman planning to get pregnant should be on vitamin supplement including folic acid. ...Read more

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Who needs to take folic acid supplements?

All fertile women: All women of childbearing age who are at risk for pregnancy should be taking, or at least should consider starting, a Folic Acid supplement. A minimum daily dose of 400mg is advisable. This should be increased to 1000mg in women above 35, or for women taking certain medications, such as valproic acid. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in a newborn baby. ...Read more

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Are folic acid supplements safe for men? I heard they can cause cancer

One study: showed an increased risk of cancer. "Cancer incidence and mortality after treatment with folic acid and vitamin B12." Ebbing M, Bønaa KH, Nygård O, Arnesen E, Ueland PM, Nordrehaug JE, Rasmussen K, Njølstad I, Refsum H, Nilsen DW, Tverdal A, Meyer K, Vollset SE JAMA. 2009;302(19):2119. Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read more

Folic Acid (Definition)

Folic acid, AKA folate (folic acid) (vit B9), is recommended for all women wanting to get pregnant -- 0.4mg (400mcg) daily, which is important for preventing birth defects like spina bifida. Women w/ a hx these disorders should take 10x that amt daily -- 4mg (4000mcg) through the 3rd month of pregnancy. It won't affect fertility, chances of conception/twins, or periods. ...Read more


Dr. Randy Baker
1,994 doctors shared insights

Supplements (Definition)

A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person's diet. Some countries define dietary supplements as foods, while ...Read more