How important is folic acid if you want to have children?
In general, folic acid can support the fertility of women and men. After all, vitamin B9 is involved in many important processes in the body. In terms of fertility, however, it is said to help women in particular to produce healthy egg cells and to lead to improved sperm quality in men.
Why is folic acid important if you want to have children?
Folic acid is especially important in the first weeks of pregnancy because it contributes to the healthy development of the embryonic neural tube (the first stage of development of the central nervous system). This is what will later form the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is also commonly known as vitamin B9. The risk of neural tube defects can be significantly reduced by an adequate supply of folic acid before conception and during pregnancy. Optimal folic acid levels are therefore a must for every woman who wants to conceive.
Can you get pregnant faster with folic acid?
Unfortunately, the question of whether you can get pregnant faster by taking folic acid cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. What is certain, however, is that optimal nutrient levels and a lifestyle that supports fertility, in addition to the correct determination of fertile days, can significantly support and accelerate successful conception.
How much folic acid should I take if I want to have a child?
It is recommended that women take 400 µg (millionths of a gram) of folic acid daily. Incidentally, a large proportion of women do not get enough folic acid through their diet. The folic acid intake of pregnant women is often around 270 μg, which is well below the recommended amount.
What folic acid should I take if I wish to conceive?
It is not easy to meet the daily requirement of folic acid through our normal diet, so women who want to have children should take additional folic acid. A supplement with high bioavailability is recommended, but it is best to discuss the details like your individual nutrient levels and requirements and an intake of food supplements in preparation for pregnancy in detail with a trusted gynaecologist.
How long should folic acid be taken before pregnancy?
Since the neural tube closes by the 28th day of pregnancy, it is important to take in enough folic acid before conception. It is recommended to start taking it at least 4 weeks before, but ideally you should start 3 months before pregnancy.
Why is folic acid important during pregnancy?
Optimal folic acid levels are an absolute must during pregnancy. One reason for this is that folic acid plays an important role in the division and formation of new cells. For this reason, the recommended intake increases significantly during pregnancy.
With a good daily intake of folic acid, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Can I take too much folic acid if I want to become pregnant?
Yes, it is possible to overdose on folic acid. The consequences can include allergic skin reactions, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, sleep disorders, restlessness and depression. In addition, a vitamin B12 deficiency could be masked, resulting in damage to brain and nerve cells.
Folic acid to regulate your cycle?
A sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals is very important not only for our general state of health, but also when it comes to supporting fertility and creating the optimal conditions for a healthy pregnancy. One should always keep in mind that a regular, healthy cycle is a sign of good fertility and overall health.
Folic acid for men who want to have children
As we already know, folic acid in men helps to keep sperm healthy and motile and generally promotes good sperm quality. Studies show that taking folic acid (and zinc) can significantly increase sperm count.
Food with folic acid
Folic acid cannot be produced by the body and must therefore be taken in with food. Pregnant women are recommended to take twice the daily dose, which cannot always be covered by food and therefore usually resort to supplements in tablet or capsule form. In order to meet and balance your needs, it is advisable to take folic acid while you are still trying to conceive. Of course, the dosage should be discussed with your doctor beforehand. It is also advisable to eat a diet rich in folic acid. Natural sources of folic acid and foods containing folic acid include whole grain products, green leafy vegetables, spinach, tomatoes, peanuts, broccoli, carrots, beans and lentils, asparagus and chickpeas.
Symptoms of folic acid deficiency
Folic acid deficiency can lead to anaemia. This is often referred to as “folic acid deficiency anaemia”. The following symptoms can be an indication of a folic acid deficiency:
- difficulty concentrating
- a burning or tingling sensation of the tongue
- redness of the tongue
- inflammation of the mucous membranes
- paleness of the skin
- breathing difficulties
- loss of appetite
- diseases of the cardiovascular system
A folic acid deficiency can usually be detected very easily by a blood check up.
Causes of folic acid deficiency
One reason for a folic acid deficiency can be an imbalanced diet. Our body can only store very small amounts of folic acid, so we have to get adequate amounts regularly through our diet. Folic acid is sensitive to heat, which is why foods containing folic acid should always be prepared very gently. Increased alcohol consumption, chronic diseases such as diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, the intake of certain medications and the use of hormonal contraceptives can also result in a folic acid deficiency. Chronic liver disease can also lead to a deficiency, as folic acid is mainly stored in the liver. The causes of a folic acid deficiency can therefore be very varied.