Folic Acid is essential for healthy fetal neural development. It is necessary for the growth and reproduction of red and white blood cells, the formation of nucleic acids, the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, and the production of gastric HCl. Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect.
1,333 mcg DFE (800 mcg) folic acid in a dietary supplement is more effective in reducing the risk of neural tube defects than a lower amount in foods in common form. FDA does not endorse this claim. Public health authorities recommend that women consume 667 mcg DFE (400 mcg) folic acid daily from fortified foods or dietary supplements or both to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.