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Folic Acid

Resources and Education

What is Folic Acid

  • Folic acid is a B vitamin found in multivitamin supplements
  • Folate is the form of folic acid found naturally in foods

Who Needs Folic Acid?

  • Everyone needs some folic acid
  • Women who are of child-bearing age need extra folic acid
  • Pregnant women, especially in the first 3 months of pregnancy need more folic acid

Why is Folic Acid Important?

  • Folic acid can help protect your unborn baby from birth defects of the brain or spine, such as spina bifida
  • Your baby 's brain and spine form in the first weeks of pregnancy, so you need folic acid in your body before you get pregnant and in the first months of pregnancy

Where Can I get Folic Acid?

  • From foods that contain a form of folic acid
  • From taking a multivitamin that contains 800 mcg. or 0.8 mg. folic acid

What Foods Contain Folic Acid?

  • Whole grains and cereals are fortified with folic acid
  • Examples of foods rich in a form of folic acid: orange juice, breakfast cereals, beans (pinto, navy, kidney, lima), lentils, garbanzo beans, spinach, strawberries, sunflower seeds, liver, wheat bread and tortillas