Why is folic acid good when I am pregnant?
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the B vitamin family and is also known as vitamin B9. To be completely correct, there are two forms of B9, folic acid and folate. Folate is the active and naturally occurring form of B9. Folate can be found in green leafy vegetables, liver, pulses, avocado and egg yolk, for example. Folic acid is a synthetic form of B9 but can be converted to the active form in the body. So, having said that, shouldn't we have named our product "Folate" and not "Folic Acid" as it obviously contains the active form of folate? Yes, but people say folic acid when they talk about vitamin B9 so to make it easy for everyone to understand what it contains, it is called "Folic Acid".
In case of pregnancy
Folic acid/folate is important for many functions in the body, but the group that needs it a little extra are pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that all women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant take folate/folic acid supplements to ensure optimal levels in the body so that the fetus develops normally during pregnancy. It is because of the vitamin's important function in the cell division process that it is so important in pregnancy and foetal development. It is mainly neural tube defects that are to be prevented by recommending folate/folic acid supplementation.
Neural tube defects are a group of congenital conditions caused by a lack of closure of the structures surrounding the spinal cord (i.e. the spinal canal, also known as the neural tube). Neural tube defects are also known as spina bifida and can cause very serious defects/damage to the fetus.
As you read in the introduction, vitamin B9 often comes in a so-called "non-active" form in supplements, which means that the body has to convert it into an active form that can then be used for various functions in the body. This process is differently effective in each individual, therefore an active (methylated) form is preferable if you are or want to become pregnant, to ensure that you absorb the vitamin. Our product contains Quatrefolic® which is a patented form of active folate with very high bioavailability that is absorbed three times faster by the body than regular folic acid. One capsule contains 400 µg of folate, which is the daily dose recommended by the National Food Administration for pregnant women.
Other functions of the body
Vitamin B9 is not only important during pregnancy, but also has a number of other important roles in the bodies of men, women and children. It is needed for DNA synthesis, amino acid metabolism, blood formation (along with vitamin B12), normal immune system function, psychological functions and it also reduces fatigue and exhaustion.