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Brides-To-Be Should Say 'I Do' to a Daily Multivitamin With Folic Acid
Date:12/29/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "For richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health," are some of the most common words heard in wedding vows. But what is often overlooked is the health of the married couple's future children. With National Folic Acid Awareness Month taking place January 12 through 18, 2009, brides-to-be should start thinking about saying "I do" to taking a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily--to protect their own health and the health of their children-to-be.

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in foods, such as leafy green vegetables, whereas folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is found in supplements and added to fortified foods. This essential B-vitamin helps build and maintain healthy cells, which is especially critical for the developing fetus. Studies have shown that if taken before and during early pregnancy, folic acid can significantly reduce the number of birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects (NTDs) by up to 70 percent.

Despite the food fortification program that began in 1998, which enriched breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products with folic acid, the average non-pregnant Caucasian woman gets only 128 mcg per day of folic acid from fortified food, according to a study published in the May 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition--African American and Hispanic women get even less folic acid in their daily diet.

"There are nearly 60 million women in the U.S. who are of childbearing age," says Elizabeth T. Jordan, DNSc, RNC, a perinatal clinical nurse specialist and member of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition Board of Directors. "We know that nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned and that the average woman is getting less than one-third of the recommended amount of folic acid. W
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SOURCE Council for Responsible Nutrition
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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