Folic Acid and Pregnancy

Taking a supplement with both folic acid and vitamin B12 lowers homocysteine levels more dramatically than taking folic acid alone. Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been associated with a greater risk of heart disease. Previous studies have indicated that folic acid can lower homocysteine levels. Although it has not been proven that lowering homocysteine level can prevent heart problems, the American Heart Association issued an advisory this week suggesting that those with a history of heart disease make sure that they consume the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid. And because adequate folic acid intake during pregnancy can reduce the risk of certain birth defects, namely neural tube defects, the US Food and Drug Administration ruled that all grain and grain products should be fortified with folic acid as of January 1, 1998. >

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