Medical expert says folic acid helps prevent major birth defects




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of child bearing age were on Wednesday advised take folic acid because it helps prevent major defects which could occur some days after conception.

Dr Benjamin Uchegbu, a General Physician at the Minna General Hospital, Niger , told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in that the defect would result ‘spina bifida’.

“It is important in of child-bearing age because it helps prevent major defects which can occur 23 27 days after conception (closure of neural tube).

“This result in spina bifida (poor or defective closure of the covering of spinal cord and nerves) which result in disabilities in .

“It can also cause anencephaly (absence of brain tissues) which is compatible ,’’ Uchegbu said.

According to him, most times before the would realise they are pregnant and commence folic acid, the defects would have occurred.

Uchegbu advises that early build up of folic acid was very important before pregnancy occurs.

The said the deficiency of folic acid could also cause anaemia especially monthly blood losses, that is menstrual blood loss.

He said, “because of poor dietary intake, the women need to build up both before during and after child bearing.

Uchegbu described folic acid as water soluble vitamin B which occurs naturally as folate in green leafy vegetables.

He said the folate is easily denatured or lost during cooking, excessive washing or poor preservation of foods.

“Folate is important in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis that is cell metabolism,’’ Uchegbu said. (NAN)