If you are trying to conceive, you may have been advised to take folic acid. We explain all the benefits of this supplement.
The Benefits Of Folic Acid When Trying To Conceive
1. What is folic acid: Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9 or folate. Like Vitamin C, it is a water-soluble vitamin. Like most vitamins, folic acid cannot be produced directly by the body: it must necessarily be provided by the diet.
Once in the body, folic acid fulfills many important functions: it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system, the immune system, the production of red blood cells and more.
Among other roles, it also intervenes in cell division. Outside pregnancy, the recommended intake of folic acid in adults is about 300 μg / d. During pregnancy, they rise to 400 μg / d.
2. The benefits of folic acid before and during pregnancy: As soon as you plan to become pregnant, it is very important to consume enough folic acid. This is because vitamin B9 plays a key role in the development of the embryo, especially that of its nervous system that begins to form in the fourth week of pregnancy.
It is advised to start taking vitamin B9 at least 3 months before conception. Talk to your doctor and he may prescribe folic acid supplements if needed.
The goal is to prevent a vitamin B9 deficiency, which is potentially harmful to the health of the future baby: it increases the risk of premature delivery, can lead to growth failure or, in the most severe cases, lead to severe malformations of the nervous system such as spina bifida.
Folic acid is also supposed to have a beneficial effect on female and male fertility but this remains to be proven clearly: it is therefore especially for its known effects on the development of the future baby that it is recommended before and during pregnancy.
2. Where to Get Folic Acid: While folic acid supplements are common, you can also find vitamin B9 in many foods, including leafy vegetables (eg spinach, salads, broccoli), egg yolk, giblets (but avoid the liver, it contains too much vitamin A: in excess, this vitamin can be dangerous for the future baby) or some fruits (eg nuts, red fruits, oranges, bananas).