Monday, February 4, 2008

Folic Acid Linked to Full Term Babies

I was watching the news, and a new study shows that Folic Acid not only helps reduce birth defects in babies, but it also prevents premature birth.

In a large study that included almost 40,000 women, a team of U.S. and Irish researchers found that women who took folic acid supplements for a year or longer before conception had a 70 percent decreased risk of preterm birth between 20 and 28 weeks of gestation.

Any woman that is able to have children, really should be taking Folic Acid, it has other health benefits as well.

What is folic acid and why do we need it?

Also known as Vitamin B9, it plays an important role in facilitating many body processes. Among them are cell maintenance and repair, synthesis of DNA, amino acid metabolism and formation of red and white blood cells.

The benefits of folic acid include inhibiting colon cancer as well as preventing heart disease, as outlined below.

In addition to high cholesterol levels, an equally important risk indicator of heart disease is increased homocysteine, an abnormal protein byproduct. One of the benefits of taking folic acid and other B Vitamins is that they help remove homocysteine from your blood. Too much homocysteine can cause serious artery damage.

A premature birth is one that occurs before 37 weeks' gestation, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Improved medical knowledge and technology have made survival for these small infants more likely -- of babies born at 28 weeks or after, 90 percent are expected to survive, according to the NIH.

My 1st daughter was born at 34 weeks, and my second daughter was born at 35 weeks. I did take folic acid with both pregnancies. With my first I had started taking it about 3 months earlier & with my second I started taking it right when I thought I was pregnant. Even though I have no plans of getting pregnant, I think I am going to start taking it again. Since I know that my body does not do well with pregnancy, and I have preemies, it makes sense. Let's all just hope that I never have to face that issue, two kiddos is enough at this house :)


Chandra said...

I have heard that taking folic acid daily can help with migraines! My cousin started taking it and her have pretty much stopped. I have so many I have to take a prescription daily :( I should probably try the folic acid also and see if it helps.

Ginny said...

I have never heard that. I get terrible headaches. I def. need to run out & by some! Thanks for that info, I appreciate it!

Aisha B. Holley said...

This is good information for me since me and my husband are planning to have a baby in a year or two. Would like to exchange links with you.

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