By Colleen Cody,
RN Healthy Start Program,
Suwannee County Health Department
Folic acid is a naturally occurring B vitamin that helps a baby’s neural tube — the part of a developing baby that becomes the brain and spinal cord — develop properly. It must be taken before and during early pregnancy when the neural tube is developing.
The best way to get enough folic acid is to take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid in it and eat a healthy diet. Most multivitamins have this amount, but check the label to be sure. You also can get folic acid in your diet, but it’s hard to get enough every day through food alone. That’s why the March of Dimes encourages all women of childbearing age to take a multivitamin containing folic acid every day as part of a healthy diet.
Folic acid works, but it only works if taken before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy, when the neural tube is developing into the brain and spinal cord. When the neural tube does not close properly, a baby is born with a very serious birth defect called a neural tube defect (NTD). About 3,000 pregnancies are affected by NTDs each year in the United States. If all women took adequate folic acid before conception and during pregnancy, 50 to 70 percent of NTDs could be prevented.
Folic acid is found in the following foods:
• Fortified breakfast cereals such as Total and Product 19
• Black beans
• Peanuts (only if you do not have a peanut allergy)
• Orange juice (from concentrate is best)
• Enriched breads and pasta
• Romaine lettuce
In recent years, doctors have come to realize that folic acid is very important for everyone in maintaining health. It has long been known that folic acid plays an important role in the production of normal red blood cells. Some recent studies suggest that folic acid may help prevent stroke and some cancers.
Courtesy of March of Dimes Foundation.
NEWS FROM YOUR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT
By Colleen Cody,
- Suwannee Democrat
Morning Update for Thursday, April 24, 2014
Flood warnings remain in effect
Updates on river levels and forecasts.
Morning Update for Wednesday, April 23, 2014
- Walk for Christ drew thousands (+ Video)
- Flood warnings remain in effect
Bank robbery suspect now in Suwannee County Jail
Ellington faces two counts of robbery while masked
Rivers update: Health advisory issued
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued a health advisory for the Withlacoochee River and for the Suwannee River between Ellaville (near U.S. 90 where the Withlacoochee enters the Suwannee) and State Road 250 at Dowling Park. The advisory was issued after lab tests received on April 18 showed higher than normal levels of fecal coliform bacteria. The DOH urges residents who come in contact with the river water in these areas to to wash thoroughly, especially before eating and drinking.
Steven Flowers Band April 25 and Chris Tyler Band April 26 at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Last weekend of live music before the Suwannee River Jam April 30 - May 3
Update: Major flooding expected at Three Rivers Estates along Santa Fe River
The NWS downgraded most Suwannee and Santa Fe forecasts, but Three Rivers is still expected to approach major flood stage this week. The White Springs forecast was reduced from moderate to minor flooding and Suwannee Springs is expected to crest below flood stage. Minor flooding is still expected at Ellaville, Luraville, and Wilcox. New flood stages for the Alapaha near Jennings are now available.
Morning Update for Monday, April 21, 2014
- More Suwannee Democrat Headlines
- Morning Update for Thursday, April 24, 2014