The B vitamin Folic acid is referred to as the “pregnancy vitamin”, as it is indispensable in all cell division and cell growth processes. Accordingly, it also plays prominent role in the development of nascent life: 100 billion new cells are generated from a fertilised egg cell during the course of pregnancy!
However, it is very difficult to take up sufficient quantities of this extremely heat- and light-sensitive vitamin via diet alone. Only around 10 % of women manage to do so. The vitamin is found in foodstuffs such as green salads, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, pulses, tomatoes, wheat germs, yeast, eggs and nuts. However, when storing and preparing these foods, the folic acid is largely destroyed.
It is particularly important that folic acid is available to the body in adequate amounts right at the start of pregnancy. This is because folic acid ensures that the neural tube of the embryo closes completely. Later, the central nervous system, the spinal cord and the brain will develop from this neural tube. This process takes place as early as between day 23 and 25 of the pregnancy ‒ that is, at a time when most women are still unaware that they are pregnant.
You should therefore begin supplementing your diet with additional folic acid as soon as you plan to conceive! After all, the folic acid requirement is considerably greater during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period, and it is important to start your pregnancy with a good basis.
A folic acid pool only builds up slowly, however. By taking 800 micrograms a day, you can bring the folic acid level in your body up to the required level withing four weeks. By taking 400 micrograms a day, you would need around 12 weeks. At the same time, taking folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida (“open spine”) and other anomalies (such as cleft lip and palate).
Folic acid has another important property: It regulates the level of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is a harmful metabolic product generated by the body. With the help of folic acid and vitamin B12, it is converted into other, useful amino acids. The substance is suspected of playing a decisive role in the occurrence of feared neural tube defects.
Note: Women who have taken hormonal contraceptives such as “the pill”, generally demonstrate a particularly poor folic acid level, as these preparations rob the body of this vitamin.
As already mentioned, folic acid is needed for cell division and cell growth. It is thus vital for the rapid physical development of the foetus, embryo and later the baby.
And you are responsible for feeding your child – initially via the umbilical cord and then via breast milk during lactation. That is why it is so important that you also take adquate amounts of folic acid during the entire pregnancy and breastfeeding period!
Our supplement Folio®forte supply you with the right amount to optimally prepare for pregnancy and to cover the first trimester of pregnancy. From the 13th week of pregnancy up to the end of the breastfeeding period you can cover your folic acid requirement with Folio®.
If you are not permitted to take additional iodine : All Folio® products are also available in iodine-free form.
You yourself also benefit form optimum folic acid supply: On the one hand, folic acid is needed for producing maternal tissue; on the other it supports the immune system. Both are indispensable in enjoying a problem-free pregnancy.
The vitamin also assists in generating a normal blood count (highly important for pregnant women!) and also has the pleasant side effect of reducing tiredness!