Low Folic Acid

Folic Acid

  • Folic acid (or folate in its natural form) is one of the B group vitamins.
  • Everyone needs folic acid, but it is especially important to women who are planning a baby.
  • To reduce the risk of your baby being born with Spina Bifida or other neural tube defects, ensure you have enough folic acid in your diet.



How much do I need?

  • A healthy adult needs 200µm (micrograms) of folic acid per day. Most people should be able to get this amount by eating a varied and balanced diet.
  • Women who are planning a baby or are up to 12 weeks’ pregnant need 600µg per day.
  • Take a 400µg folic acid supplement one month before getting pregnant and for 12 weeks once you are pregnant.


Sources of folate

Folate is found in small amounts in many foods.

Good sources include:

  • Breakfast cereals with added folic acid, e.g. Weetabix
  • Wholegrain or brown bread, pasta or brown rice. Some bread has added folic acid – check the label.
  • Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day, include:-

Spinach, peas, asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, citrus fruits and fruit juices e.g. oranges, grapefruit and kiwi.

  • Tinned baked beans
  • Chick peas
  • Marmite


Folic acid is destroyed by heat and water. Steam or microwave vegetables. Do not keep food hot.