Folic Acid is well known for the important role it plays in the health and development of an unborn baby. The Department of Health now recommends that all women planning a pregnancy as well as those during the first 3 months of pregnancy take a supplement of 400µg of Folic Acid daily. This is good advice as official data shows that 47% of women have dietary intakes below the RNI of 200µg per day.
More recently folic acid has been in the news as it contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism which is a compound implicated in the build up of plaques within blood vessel walls. Folic acid is therefore an important nutrient in all adults’ diets, not just in pregnancy, which is one good reason to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, a rich source of this important nutrient. Although as folic acid is a water soluble vitamin, the body can not store it for long.