Forget your New Year’s Resolutions, or better yet, consider a new and super easy one. If you’re trying to conceive, either on your own or through fertility treatment, either now or sometime during 2019, there is absolutely no doubt about the single most important step you can take to have a healthy pregnancy, baby and family- start taking folic acid.
Pre Conception. Folic Acid. Healthy Pregnancies. Healthy Babies.
Carolyn Gundell, MS, Nutritionist at fertility practice, RMA of Connecticut, shares her wisdom and expertise on why, how much and even when to take folic acid while planning your future baby making for the year. “Folic acid is an essential B-vitamin and the synthetic form of naturally occurring folate found in foods. Folic acid is necessary for DNA synthesis of red blood cells, nervous system, and proteins and cellular growth and reproduction.”
It’s simple: prenatal vitamins for women, a multivitamin with 100% of the RDA for men. The effects are research-driven for men, folic acid improves sperm quality and for women, it vastly reduces the occurrence of neural tube defects in babies.
A Better Fertility Outcome Starts This Week
In 2019, January 6-12 is Folic Acid Awareness week. It’s the most relevant and important change you can make in your life for your baby to be and should be started at least 90 days in advance of conception occurring.
Take an extra minute and a half and read why eating enough folate acid isn’t the answer, find out how taking your vitamins at a certain time of the day makes a difference, and understand why more is not better.
5 Folic Acid Facts- Fertility Program Recommends Supplement
Since folic acid fortification of US grains started in 1998, neural tube birth defects have decreased by thirty-five percent. However, even with this fortification, not all women are getting enough of this essential B-vitamin. Here are a few reasons why a woman’s food intake may not be enough and why a folic acid supplement is so important:
- Folic acid /folate is a water-soluble nutrient, which means that our bodies do not store this B vitamin. Availability is dependent upon an individual’s daily nutrient intake.
- The main food group that receives folic acid fortification is grains, which is a food group that is recommended in general for lifelong health. However, manufacturers of whole grain products are not required to fortify with folic acid—so be sure to check the labels for this indication.
- Many women focus on organic foods when trying to conceive and during pregnancy. However, manufacturers of organic grains are also not required to fortify grain with folic acid. Some do, but many do not. It is recommended to check the labels of your favorite organic grain products for folic acid fortification.
- Ethnic foods found in the US are often not fortified with folic acid. This is especially true for corn masa flour—which is more popular among Hispanics. In fact, Hispanic women are twenty percent more likely to have a child with a neural tube birth defect than a non-Hispanic white woman.
- Some medications and regular intake of alcohol can interfere with folate metabolism and other medications can reduce the serum and tissue concentration of folate.
Want to learn more? You can check out the flip book that we created with Carolyn Gundell, MS’s additional hints on why folic acid and preconception can make such a significant difference. Another option is to attend our FREE in-person event, "What's Your Real Fertility Age?"
Topics: Infertility Specialist, Nutritionist, preconception, TTC, infertility support, fertility and nutrition, female infertility, men and infertility, men infertility, fertility health, fertility nutritionist, Infertility Terms, infertility treatment, folic acid