How can I get the right amount of folic acid to prevent birth defects?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Coleen  Boyle, PhD, MS
Public Health & General Preventive Medicine
There are two easy ways to be sure to get enough folic acid to prevent birth defects each day: 
  • Take a vitamin that has folic acid in it every day. Most multivitamins sold in the United States have the amount of folic acid women need each day. Women can also choose to take a small pill (supplement) that has only folic acid in it each day.  Multivitamins and folic acid pills can be found at most local pharmacy, grocery, or discount stores. Check the label to be sure it contains 100% of the daily value (DV) of folic acid, which is 400 micrograms (mcg).
  • Eat a bowl of breakfast cereal that has 100% of the daily value of folic acid every day.  Not every cereal has this amount. Check the label on the side of the box, and look for one that has 100% next to folic acid.
The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.

Continue Learning about Vitamin B9

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.