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Folic acid is a B vitamin. It helps the body make healthy new cells. Everyone needs folic acid. For women who may get pregnant, it is really important. When a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, it can prevent major birth defects of her baby's brain or spine.

Foods with folic acid in them include leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans, peas and nuts. Enriched breads, cereals and other grain products also contain folic acid. If you don't get enough folic acid from the foods you eat, you can also take it as a dietary supplement.
Study: Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can impair child's intellectual development

Study: Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can impair child's intellectual development

Pregnant women in Austria commonly suffer from an iodine deficiency. This may have a negative impact on the development of their unborn child's brain. These are the key findings of a joint study by the Endocrinology and Metabolism Unit at the University Department of Internal Medicine III together with the University Department of Gynaecology at the MedUni Vienna and AGES, which have now been published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. [More]
Report: Folic acid saves babies from neural tube defects

Report: Folic acid saves babies from neural tube defects

Fortifying grain foods with the B vitamin folic acid has saved about 1,300 babies every year from being born with serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (NTDs), according to new data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. [More]
Most Americans unaware of the positive benefits of folic acid

Most Americans unaware of the positive benefits of folic acid

Each year, more than four million women in America give birth and 2,600 infants are born with neural tube defects. [More]
Vitamin B counteracts levels of DDT in women who are more likely to get, stay pregnant

Vitamin B counteracts levels of DDT in women who are more likely to get, stay pregnant

Women who have adequate levels of B vitamins in their bodies are more likely to get and stay pregnant even when they also have high levels of a common pesticide known to have detrimental reproductive effects, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research. [More]
Multiple micronutrients for pregnant women does not reduce infant mortality compared to iron-folic acid

Multiple micronutrients for pregnant women does not reduce infant mortality compared to iron-folic acid

In Bangladesh, daily maternal supplementation of multiple micronutrients compared to iron-folic acid before and after childbirth did not reduce all-cause infant mortality to age 6 months, but did result in significant reductions in preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study in the December 24/31 issue of JAMA. [More]
Multiple micronutrient supplement during pregnancy reduces pre-term births, increases infant birth weight

Multiple micronutrient supplement during pregnancy reduces pre-term births, increases infant birth weight

A multivitamin given daily to pregnant women in rural Bangladesh reduced pre-term births, increased infant birth weight and resulted in healthier babies overall, according to the large randomized trial conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers. [More]
Pregnant women lacking vitamin E nearly twice as likely to have miscarriage

Pregnant women lacking vitamin E nearly twice as likely to have miscarriage

Pregnant women in Bangladesh with low levels of the most common form of vitamin E are nearly twice as likely to have a miscarriage than those with adequate levels of the vitamin in their blood, according to new research led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. [More]
Taking folic acid supplementation before conception reduces risk of SGA at birth

Taking folic acid supplementation before conception reduces risk of SGA at birth

Taking folic acid before conception significantly reduces the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) at birth, suggests a new study published today (26 November) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. [More]
Vitamin B12, folic acid supplements may not reduce risk of memory and thinking problems

Vitamin B12, folic acid supplements may not reduce risk of memory and thinking problems

Taking vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements may not reduce the risk of memory and thinking problems after all, according to a new study published in the November 12, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study is one of the largest to date to test long-term use of supplements and thinking and memory skills. [More]
Researchers develop DNA-based drug delivery system that targets cancer cells

Researchers develop DNA-based drug delivery system that targets cancer cells

Biomedical engineering researchers have developed a drug delivery system consisting of nanoscale "cocoons" made of DNA that target cancer cells and trick the cells into absorbing the cocoon before unleashing anticancer drugs. The work was done by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [More]
Medac Pharma launches Rasuvo (methotrexate) injection for patients with RA, pJIA and psoriasis

Medac Pharma launches Rasuvo (methotrexate) injection for patients with RA, pJIA and psoriasis

Medac Pharma, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company, has announced the launch of its lead product Rasuvo (methotrexate) injection for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), poly-articular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA) and psoriasis in the U.S. [More]
Epidurals and reduced postpartum depression: an interview with Dr. Zakowski

Epidurals and reduced postpartum depression: an interview with Dr. Zakowski

The “maternity blues”, which resolve within 10 days of giving birth, occurs in up to 80% of new moms. A major depressive episode, by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria, is defined as having at least a 2-week period of persistent depressed mood ... [More]
Study examines relationship between maternal iron intake and offspring autism risk

Study examines relationship between maternal iron intake and offspring autism risk

Mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during their pregnancies than the mothers of children who are developing normally, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found. [More]
Food allergies in inner-city children: an interview with Dr. Robert Wood

Food allergies in inner-city children: an interview with Dr. Robert Wood

The general interest is in trying to better define the true prevalence of food allergy; not just how common it is, but whether it's becoming more common over time. [More]
Gap in stillbirth rates between indigenous and non-indigenous women in Australia is closing

Gap in stillbirth rates between indigenous and non-indigenous women in Australia is closing

The gap in stillbirth rates between indigenous and non-indigenous women in Queensland, Australia, is closing, however indigenous women are still at risk of stillbirth due to preventable causes, find researchers in a new study published today (3 September) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG). [More]
B vitamins do not prevent Alzheimer's disease

B vitamins do not prevent Alzheimer's disease

Taking B vitamins doesn't slow mental decline as we age, nor is it likely to prevent Alzheimer's disease, conclude Oxford University researchers who have assembled all the best clinical trial data involving 22,000 people to offer a final answer on this debate. [More]
Medac Pharma's Rasuvo injection gets FDA approval for RA, pJIA and psoriasis

Medac Pharma's Rasuvo injection gets FDA approval for RA, pJIA and psoriasis

Medac Pharma, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on the development of new molecules and improving the effectiveness of existing medicines, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Rasuvo, a subcutaneous injectable methotrexate (MTX) therapy delivered in an auto-injector for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA) and psoriasis. [More]
Parents should take initiative to make sure their hungry teens have healthy fare to eat

Parents should take initiative to make sure their hungry teens have healthy fare to eat

Refrigerators and pantries across the country are bracing for the seasonal assault from teenagers who are now done with school and will eat most of their meals at home for the summer months. [More]

Hispanic women urged to be informed about pregnancy and baby health

Hispanic women are significantly more likely to have a baby with a neural tube birth defect, and nearly a quarter of all preterm births in the United States are Hispanic, according to a new report from the March of Dimes. [More]
Female mice deprived of dietary zinc before conception experience fertility problems

Female mice deprived of dietary zinc before conception experience fertility problems

Female mice deprived of dietary zinc for a relatively short time before conception experienced fertility and pregnancy problems and had smaller, less-developed fetuses than mice that ingested zinc during the same times, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. [More]