Folic acid supplementation to avoid neural tube defects prior to conception
Folic acid, or Vitamine B9 is essential to prevent neural tube deformations in the growing embryo. Recommendation is universally suggested to be 400 micrograms a day for a month prior to conception and into the first trimester of pregnancy. Malformations such as spina bifida have been linked directly to a lack of this vital vitamin early during the conception of a new life as it is necessary for new cells to replicate. Too much alcohol consumption can often be a problem in some women in depleting this key vitamin. In some countries such as Switzerland many products are fortified with this vitamin to ensure the population is supplemented. In France, by contrast, this is not the case, and women s health professionals need to advise on correct supplementation. Some women with repeated early term pregnancy loss may be advised to do some genetic testing around the metabolism of methylation and the regularly recommended dose and kind of vitamin formulation may need to be adapted in women where this is case, at least temporarily prior to conception.
Here is a link to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on folic acid supplementation and neural tube malformation prevention.