A Simple Solution To Help Premature Birth: Folic Acid - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/31/08

A Simple Solution To Help Premature Birth: Folic Acid

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A huge concern for every pregnant woman is that their baby could be born too soon because premature babies may not survive.  If they do make it, they may suffer serious medical problems. It has been a mystery why that happens, but now  there is new evidence that expectant mothers can do something to greatly reduce the risk.

It's a simple solution, an inexpensive pill that can cut your risk of premature birth in half. For some time, folic acid has been recommended during pregnancy to prevent birth defects. Now, researchers at the National Institutes of Health say they have found folic acid can reduce the risk of having a premature baby. "This is promising because of how strong the effect is."  "The longer women took folic acid, the stronger the effect was." Dr. Radek Bukowski lead study.   The study followed nearly 40 thousand women and doctors found those who took one pill a day of folic acid for a year before conceiving were half as likely to give birth before 32 weeks and 70 percent less likely to deliver before 28 weeks.

The March of Dimes calls this its most influential study of the year and reminds women that folic acid only works if you take the pill. Long before you even think about getting pregnant. "It's a dramatic finding. A 70 percent decrease is huge." "Every woman in America of childbearing age should be taking a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid, every day." Dr. Alan Fleischman  of March of Dimes,  but here is the catch, you have to take the folic acid in supplements. Lots of foods contain it and that's a bonus but researchers say women need the extra boost of folic acid that comes in a supplement.

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