How much folic acid do you need? How much folic acid should you take every day? How much folic acid is needed if you follow a balanced diet? According to the conventional wisdom, girls as young as 14 should take folic acid supplements every day, and, of course, every woman should take folic acid every day. Why? Studies show that folic acid prevents a number of birth defects, but some studies show that too much folic acid may increase your chance of developing certain cancers.
According to the government, women should take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily just in case. For pregnant women the dose is higher (600 micrograms). Women who have given birth to babies with certain birth defects should consult with a doctor because they might need a prescription for an even higher dose (4000 micrograms of folic acid).
Having said that, I am uncomfortable with an idea of taking selective supplements (especially for young girls) just because there is a possibility of being deficient. Following a balanced diet and eating at least five servings of organic fruits and vegetables is arguably the best way to get all the vitamins your body needs. Just to be on the safe side, however, pregnant women should get tested.
If you are pregnant or expecting to be pregnant, and the test shows that you are deficient, take folic acid, but if the test shows that your folic acid levels are normal, I would double check with the doctor before taking folic acid supplements, or any other supplements for that matter.
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