Frequently Asked Questions
Folic Acid is a supplement which is converted into folate (Vitamin B9) by the body, where it contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy. It is contained in many foods, such as leafy greens, legumes and foods, such as breads, which have been fortified with Folic Acid. It is particularly important for women who are trying for a baby and during the early stages of pregnancy. The UK Department of Health recommends that women planning for a baby should take a supplement containing 400µg of Folic Acid.
A Folic Acid supplement can be taken daily, however The UK Department of Health specifically recommends that women planning for a baby should take a supplement containing 400µg of Folic Acid, such as Ultra Folic Acid, up to the twelfth week of their pregnancy, when the baby's neural tube is developing. Supplemental folic acid intake increases maternal folate status. Low maternal folate status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Folic acid can also be used throughout pregnancy, as it contributes to maternal tissue during pregnancy.
Folic acid can be taken by men and women of all ages for general well being as it contributes to the normal function of the immune system and normal psychological function.
Folic acid tablets are a source of folic acid, a supplement which is converted into folate (vitamin B9) in the body. There are a number of folic acid benefits for women, the best known being its contribution to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy. It is particularly important for women who are trying for a baby and during the early stages of pregnancy. The UK Department of Health recommends that women planning for a baby should take a supplement containing 400µg of Folic Acid.
Ultra Folic Acid tablets combine 400µg folic acid with vitamin B12, which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
The Department of Health recommendation for most women trying to get pregnant and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is 400 micrograms, taken once a day.
This daily amount can be found in Ultra Folic Acid and in all products in the Pregnacare range including, Pregnacare Conception, Pregnacare Original, Pregnacare Gummies, Pregnacare Liquid, Pregnacare Plus and Pregnacare Max.
If there's a higher risk of neural tube defects during your pregnancy, your doctor will recommend a higher dose of 5mg, taken once a day.
Ultra Folic Acid supplements are small as they just provide the single nutrient in microgram amounts, whereas the Pregnacare supplements are slightly larger tablets as they provide a higher number of nutrients. For example Pregnacare Original, provides a comprehensive formulation packed with 19 nutrients including folic acid which contributes to maternal growth and zinc which contributes to normal fertility and reproduction.
Difficulty in swallowing tablets is quite a common experience. Vitabiotics have researched this extensively and recommend that after chewing some food (e.g. banana), just before you swallow, pop the tablet into your mouth and swallow it together with the chewed food, followed by some liquid. The throat opens up wider to swallow the chewed food and so the tablet should go down with greater ease. Alternatively, the tablets may be swallowed with thicker liquids such as yoghurts or smoothies.
The UK Department of Health recommends that women planning for a baby should take a daily supplement containing 400µg of folic acid while you're trying for a baby (ideally for 3 months before) and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Folic acid and iron are a popular combination, as both contribute to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue. Feroglobin Capsules combine folic acid with iron and vitamin B12, in a special slow release delivery system which ensures that the release of nutrients is gradual and gentle on the stomach.
Folic acid is important for the development of a healthy foetus and can reduce the chance of neural tube defects (NTDs).
Taking supplemental Folic Acid intake increases the maternal folate status. The beneficial effect is obtained with a supplemental folic acid daily intake of 400mcg for at least one month before and up to three months after conception.
Folic acid also contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy and has a role in the process of cell division.
Folic acid is water soluble, which means that our bodies can’t store it very well, so you need to ensure that you’re getting an intake of Folic Acid every day. This is why the UK Department of Health recommend a daily supplement: the recommendation is women who are trying to conceive should take a daily Folic Acid supplement of 400µg and continue to take them during the first 12 weeks pregnant when the baby’s spine is developing.
Every product in the Pregnacare range includes 400µg of Folic Acid.
If you didn't take folic acid supplements before getting pregnant it’s recommended to take them as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. It also is safe to continue taking folic acid supplements after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The UK Department of Health recommends that women should take a folic acid supplement when trying for a baby, ideally from 3 months before, through to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Yes, you will still need to take a supplement as fortification is only to improve the folic acid contribution from the normal diet. The government announced in September 2021 the good news that folic acid will be added to UK white flour in the future (the new rules will exclude gluten-free and wholemeal flour). This is to help increase the amount of folic acid in maternal diets, as low folic acid status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects (NTDs), such as spina bifida. This will, however, not replace the need for mums-to-be to take a folic acid supplement, as the UK Department of Health continues to recommend that all women trying to conceive until the 12th week of pregnancy should take a daily supplement containing 400µg folic acid.
Leafy greens, such as spinach, and legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, are all good sources of Folic Acid. It is also found in broccoli, avocado, brussels sprouts, nuts & seeds, and citrus fruits. A number of grain-based foods, such as bread and pasta, are fortified to boost their Folic Acid content. Read more about Folic Acid foods here
The Pregnacare range is designed to provide expert nutritional care for every stage of pregnancy and includes the recommended level of folic acid as part of a comprehensive vitamin and mineral formula.
As Pregnacare contains the recommended levels of folic acid for before and during pregnancy, you do not need to take a separate folic acid supplement.
Yes, it’s important for men to get sufficient folic acid in their diet. Although folic acid is best known for helping to support maternal tissue growth during pregnancy, it also has a number of other benefits, including supporting normal immune function and normal blood formation.
Both Ultra Folic Acid and Pregnacare Gummies are vegan friendly. Pregnacare Him & Her Conception, Pregnacare Conception, Pregnacare Original and Pregnacare Liquid are vegetarian friendly. Our Vegan Vitamins & Supplements offer a range of options for those following a plant based diet.
Folate and Folic Acid are different forms of Vitamin B9. Folate is the form naturally occurring in foods such as asparagus, avocados, brussels sprouts and leafy greens, whereas, Folic Acid is a manmade version usually found in supplements and fortified foods.
Pregnacare Max includes L-Methylfolate, a more advanced form of folic acid, which is more bio-available, and more easily absorbed by the body.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) and Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) are two of the eight B complex vitamins. Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 both contribute to normal immune system function, as well as normal energy release and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin B12 contributes to normal red blood cell formation and also has a role in the process of cell division.
Vitamin B12 is advocated by experts to be taken alongside Folic Acid before and during pregnancy. Research suggests* that taking a daily supplement of at least 2.5µg of Vitamin B12 (the EU RDA), in addition to the recommended daily 400µg supplement of Folic Acid, may further reduce the risk of Neural Tube Defects.
Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal and dairy produce, so B12 supplementation is especially important for women who are following vegetarian or vegan diets. Vitamin B12 and 400µg Folic Acid is included in all Pregnacare products. Ultra Folic Acid also combines 400µg Folic Acid with Vitamin B12.
* Addition of Vitamin B12 to folic acid supplements to optimise the prevention of Spina Bifida and other Neural Tube Defects, Professor John M. Scott, Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College, Ireland 2012