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Folic Acid

  1. Most people have heard of folic acid (also known as vitamin B11). But did you know that it is one of the few vitamins that the Dutch don't always get enough of? And that it is especially important for pregnant women to take enough folic acid?

  1. Folic acid is necessary for the growth and proper functioning of the body. This vitamin is also important for the production of white and red blood cells.

Development of unborn child

  1. If you want to become pregnant or are just pregnant, it is wise to take extra folic acid. Folic acid is important for the early development of the unborn child. The advice is to take a supplement of 400 to 500 micrograms of folic acid daily. Folic acid deficiency at the beginning of pregnancy increases the risk of neural tube defect (NBD), spina bifida, cleft lip and open palate in the baby. Pregnant women are advised to keep taking folic acid during the first two months of pregnancy. Folic acid naturally occurs mainly in green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli and lettuce), fruits (such as bananas, melons and lemons), whole grain products, bread, meat and dairy. People who eat a varied diet get enough folic acid, except for pregnant women. That is why they are advised to take extra folic acid. Women who take a long time to become pregnant can safely take extra folic acid for years. There is no risk of excess folic acid.


  1. Folic acid is known not only as vitamin B11, but also as folate or citrovorum factor. The name for the natural forms of folic acid in food and drink is tetrahydrofolates. The form in which folic acid is present in supplements is pteroylmonoglutamic acid (PMG).


  1. Much research has already been done into the health effects of folic acid. For example, taking folic acid would protect against colon cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia. But the results of the studies are inconclusive. The evidence is therefore insufficient to draw any conclusions.

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