Folate (known as folic acid when added to foods) is a B-group vitamin found in a variety of foods. Folic acid helps protect against neural tube defects in the developing foetus, so it is important for pregnant women to make sure that they are receiving enough of this important vitamin.
For women who are planning a pregnancy, and during the first three months of pregnancy, a daily folic acid supplement that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended, as well as eating foods that are naturally rich in folate or are fortified with folic acid. The recommendation for this supplement is that for many women the intake of the foods high in folate they may not be eating or eating enough of.
In Australia, all wheat flour used in bread making must contain folic acid (with the exception of flour used in ‘organic’ bread). Three slices of fortified bread (100 g) contains an average of 120 micrograms of folic acid. Breakfast cereals and fruit juices sold in Australia may also have folic acid added. [Read more…]