Folic Acid

Folic acid, folate and folacin, all form a group of compounds functionally involved in amino acid metabolism and nucleic acid synthesis. Good dietary sources of folate include leafy, dark green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits and juices, peanuts, whole grains and fortified breakfast cereals.
Recent studies show, if all women of childbearing age consumed sufficient folic acid (either through diet or supplements), 50 to 70 percent of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord could be prevented, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Folic acid is critical from conception through the first four to six weeks of pregnancy. This means adequate diet or supplement use should begin before pregnancy occurs.