Folic acid prevents spina bifida in newborns

Experts have warned that all sexually active women of childbearing age should take folic acid supplement because it prevents any children they have being born with spina bifida. There is a rise in number of cases of disability among newborns. In unborn children spina bifida causes vertebrae in the backbone to form incorrectly. It often leads to lower-body paralysis & other damage to the nervous system.

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Due to this problem child can suffer lifelong bladder & bowel problem & in some cases children have brain damage. But experts said that 75% of the cases could be prevented if mother could take folic acid three months before the conception & during pregnancy period.

Dr Margo Whiteford chairman Spina Bifida Association said, “We don't know if this is down to folic acid but we do know that most women don't take enough folic acid at the right time. Ladies do know about folic acid preventing spina bifida but they wait until they've missed a period before they start taking it. The spinal cord develops within the first four weeks of pregnancy so by that stage it's too late - if the baby's going to have spina bifida it will already have developed it.”

Daily dose of 400- microgram folic acid supplement until the twelve week of pregnancy is recommended by The Food Standard Agency. The folic acid can be also obtained from eating food containing the natural form of folic acid like brown rice, cereals 7 green vegetables. Mothers are less likely to have an abortion once the condition is diagnosed.


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