Folic Acid and Iodine

Information about Folic Acid and Iodine

It is essential to take folic acid (500ug or 0.5mg) daily pre-conception and in the first 3 months of pregnancy. This simple measure can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects eg spina bifida. Some patients will require a large dose if they are on certain medication or have a particular medical history.

Additionally, food rich in folate such as green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereals and breads, and fruits (oranges, strawberries, bananas etc.) can add benefit particularly when eaten fresh.

In most of southern Australia the soils are low in iodine, and hence our foodstuffs are low in Iodine. Iodine is important throughout pregnancy for development of the central nervous system (normal brain function). A supplement known as I-Folic contains beta Iodine and folate in a simple, easy to digest tablet. Iodised tablet salt is a good alternative.

Read more on our Women’s Health Blog.