The Benefits of Folic Acid During Pregnancy

Mom and Baby

When you first find out that you are pregnant, you would literally think about what vitamins to take for you and you’re growing unborn. You would only want the best for the baby. You will be very careful on taking medicines and vitamins. However, you would need to consult an OB-GYN. they would initially prescribe you FOLIC ACID in the first trimester of your pregnancy. 

In this article we are going to discuss the reasons why you should take folic acid and how much is the recommended dosage for it.

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the B vitamin group. It is often contained in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, Jew’s mallow, and liver.

In recent years, folic acid has been gaining attention as a nutrient to be taken during pregnancy, and in 2000, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in Japan issued a notice to women with a chance of pregnancy to consciously take folic acid.

In recent years, folic acid has been gaining attention as a nutrient to be taken during pregnancy, and in fact, CDC or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests that every woman of reproductive age should take folic acid every day whether she is pregnant or not.

How is Folic Acid important?

One of the main roles of folic acid, along with vitamin B12, is to make red blood cells, which is why folic acid is said to be the “blood-forming vitamin.

Furthermore, folic acid plays a role in helping to synthesize DNA, which is necessary for cell proliferation and is a very important nutrient for building the body’s foundation.

Adequate folic acid intake during pregnancy has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing neural tube defects (NTDs) in the fetus.

Here are some well-known benefits of folic acid to pregnant women. Read the information below!

Reduce The Risk of Developing Neonatal Disorders

Studies have shown that if you take enough folic acid early in pregnancy, you can reduce the risk of neural tube defects, and congenital malformations, by as much as 70%.

Folic acid is a necessary nutrient for DNA synthesis to perform cell division.

In the early stage of pregnancy, the cell division of the baby is active and important organs such as the brain and spinal cord are formed. During this cell division, if folic acid is deficient, organ formation does not work well and neural tube defects are likely to occur.

Prevent Megaloblastic Anemia (pernicious anemia)

During pregnancy, there are many pregnant women suffering from anemia, as they also require blood to deliver to the baby.

In addition to iron deficiency anemia due to iron deficiency, megaloblastic anemia due to a deficiency of folic acid may be possible, so the intake of iron and folic acid must be done to prevent anemia.

Why Do You Need Folic Acid When You’re Pregnant

In early pregnancy, three germ layers that form the basis of the baby’s body are formed.

It is important to take adequate nutrition in this stage to grow a baby healthily. And folic acid is one of the most important nutrients for early pregnancy.

The First Trimester

There is no other reason why you need to take folic acid during pregnancy than for the healthy development of the fetus. Let’s take a closer look at the neural tube closure disorder we mentioned above.

If folic acid intake for pregnant women is deficient in early pregnancy, she may not be able to make the neural tube successfully, increasing her risk of developing neural tube closure disorder. Inadequate intake of folic acid in the early pregnancy may increase the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus.

Neural tube closure disorder is a congenital abnormality caused by the failure of the neural tube of the fetus to form well, which takes around 4 to 5 weeks in the early pregnancy. An encephalopathy, spina bifida, and meningeal aneurysms are said to occur, and spina bifida, which causes spinal formation failure.

In either case, it can lead directly to death or require lifelong treatment and rehabilitation. Folic acid intake during pregnancy is important in order to prevent such fetal disorders. Folic acid intake is required not only during pregnancy, but also before pregnancy and during lactation, and CDC recommends taking it 3 months prior to pregnancy.

The reason for this is that many women are unaware of their pregnancy in the early stages and may not be able to support the development of the fetus until they are aware of it. The neural tube of the fetus is said to form a few weeks after fertilization. Therefore, it is recommended that you take folic acid when you are planning and expecting a pregnancy.

How Much Folic Acid Should You Take?

The ideal intake of folic acid in men and women over the age of 18 is 400 mcg (micrograms) per day. However, additional folic acid does not necessarily have to come from food sources; rather, doctors recommend taking folic acid from supplements and dietary supplements in the early stages of pregnancy. 

For the folic acid intake recommended for each pregnancy period, take a look at the chart below.

Period Amount Taken From Food Effect
Fertility Treatments (very important) 480μg Improve the implantation rate which makes you be pregnant easily
Early pregnancy


*Very important

480μg – Reduce the risk of fetal neural tube defects

– Prevent anemia

– Reduce morning sickness

Mid-late pregnancy


480μg – Support fetal growth(prevent low birth weight)

– Prevent anemia

Breast Feeding 340μg – Increase the quality and quantity of breast feeding

– Support uterine recovery

– Prevent hair loss and postpartum depression

Targeted Folic Acid Intake For Each Pregnancy Period

Now let’s take a look at the target amount of folic acid you need for each stage of your pregnancy.

Fertility treatment – 3 months of pregnancy

Folic acid intake is especially important during and immediately after the planning stage of pregnancy. An additional 400 µg/day of pteroyl monoglutamic acid is recommended for pregnant women at this time.

This means that you need to take 240 µg/day of folic acid mainly from your diet, and 400 µg/day from supplements. However, the maximum amount of pteroyl monoglutamic acid taken from a supplement is 900-1000 μg/day. Excessive intake may cause side effects such as health problems, so be careful not to overdose.

4 months of pregnancy – delivery

From around the fourth month of pregnancy until delivery, you should take an additional 240 μg of folic acid daily in addition to the 240 μg of folic acid per day you take from your diet. It is important to note here that the folic acid you take in addition is natural folic acid, not supplements.

That means you need to get 480 μg of folic acid from your diet every day. Keep in mind that you need to take a lot of natural folic acid on an ongoing basis during pregnancy.


Even during breastfeeding after childbirth, you need 100 μg of folic acid in addition to the 240 μg you get from your diet every day. Again, the additional amount is recommended for natural folic acid, so you’ll need to get 340 µg/day from your diet.

The reason why folic acid is needed when we are breastfeeding is that folic acid is used to make blood from tiny liquids to help hematopoietically heal and give a steady supply of breast milk.

According to the “National Health and Nutrition Survey” published by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the average intake of folic acid for women is 234 μg/day in their 20s, 243 μg/day in their 30s, and 253 μg/day in their 40s.

The daily intake of folic acid/240 μg that should be taken from the diet has been almost cleared, but the required intake from the 4th month of pregnancy to the lactation period has not been achieved.

Don’t forget to take supplements between pregnancy and the third trimester, and from the fourth trimester onwards try to take a standard amount of natural folic acid. If you need to take 480 µg of folic acid from food after the fourth month, it is equivalent to about three avocados and two bunches of boiled spinach.

Food Sources of Folic Acid

In this section, we provide a list of foods that are rich in folic acid and other nutrients. So, please read the information below carefully and take note of the benefits of these foods in women’s health! 


Here is the list of vegetables containing folic acid that you must consume every day. 

  1. Legumes

Legumes are fruit and seeds such as beans and peas. See beans high in folate by clicking here.

  1. Broccoli

 100g of broccoli contains 210 micrograms of folic acid. If you try various toppings such as mayonnaise and sesame, you can enjoy them without getting bored with the taste.

  1. Asparagus

100g of asparagus contains 180 micrograms of folic acid. You can eat it not only with mayonnaise but also stir-fried in olive oil.

  1. Spinach

Folic acid contained in a cup of boiled spinach is about 268 micrograms. It is a leafy vegetable which is easy to get in any season and can be taken often with your meals.


There are many varieties of fruits that you can eat daily. However, to attain the right amount of folic acid in your body, you need to select the right fruits for you. Here are some fruits that you need to consume:

  1. Avocado

Half of an avocado contains 84 micrograms of folic acid. It is a nutritious fruit that is also called forest butter.

  1. Kiwifruit

 100g of kiwi fruit contains 36 micrograms of folic acid. It is a great-tasting low-calorie fruit that you can take as a snack to add to your Folic acid supplement from your meals.

  1. Strawberry

100g of strawberries contain 90 micrograms of folic acid.

  1. Lychee

100g of lychee contains 100 micrograms of folic acid. If you freeze lychee, you can easily keep it fresh longer.


Of course, you can eat different kinds of meat. But to get folic acid, you need to be aware of the specific meats that provide essential folic acid. Below are some of the well-known meats that you must eat:

  1. Liver

100g of livers of chicken, cow, and pig, contain considerably abundant folic acid – around 810 micrograms to 1300 micrograms. However, be aware that livers contain a lot of vitamins A so do not eat too much. 

  1. Chicken Thigh Meat (with skin)

Folic acid contained in 100g of chicken thigh is 23 micrograms.


Other than vegetables, fruits, and meats, you can get folic acid from other food sources like seeds and nuts.


100g of peanut contains 98 micrograms of folic acid.

Absorption Rate of Folic Acid from Food is only 50%

You may try to take folic acid from foods as much as you can. However, the absorption rate of folic acid from foods is only 50%.  And this is divided into two types: “polyglutamic acid type” called natural folic acid and “monoglutamic acid type” called synthetic folic acid.

Most of the folic acid contained in the food is polyglutamic acid type, but it has been considered that the polyglutamic acid type loses about 50% of the folic acid by heating or stomach acid. So if you are trying to get folic acid from food sources only, you’ll have to eat a lot.

So if you try to take of folic acid only from food, the folic acid dosage that you’ll get is only 240μg.

Polyglutamic acid type (Natural folic acid)

Polyglutamic acid is a natural folic acid contained in food. It is easy to be decomposed by heat, and there is a difference depending on the food, but the absorption rate to the body is said to be about 50%. It changes to monoglutamic acid during digestion in the body.

Therefore, it is the polyglutamic acid type that leaves you with only 50% of the total intake. If you take 800μg, you’ll only get 400μg. As with spinach, for example, you’ll have to eat about 13 bunches of spinach to meet the daily requirement of folic acid. So, it’s not easy at all to take enough folic acid during pregnancy. Also, there is a risk that you might forget to take other necessary nutrients while you focus on folic acid.

Monoglutamic acid type (Synthetic folate)

Monoglutamic acid is a type of folic acid with one-bound glutamate, which is mainly contained in supplements. The absorption rate in the body is high, and the recommended intake of folic acid announced by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan is set at this amount of monoglutamic acid type.

The folic acid intake recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare also indicates the amount of synthetic folic acid. That is processed folic acid from supplements, not from food. Women who are pregnant should take into consideration and feel comfortable using folic acid in supplements.

Folic Acid Supplements Recommended For Men & Women 

There are many folic acid supplements available in various pharmaceutical shops and medical stores. But you should consider an organic and trusted folic acid supplement by many women. Thus, we encourage you to take our Belta Folic Acid Supplement for Women, and for Men as well. 

Belta Folic Acid For Women

Hear the good news of becoming a mommy because Belta Folic Acid welcomes a new baby! One of its main benefits is an increase in the capacity to conceive. Creating healthy cells for both men and women improves the nutrients available to reproductive organs, supports a healthy cycle for women, lowers the risk of birth defects, and aids in a child’s growth.

It is made of natural nutrients, such as EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), as well as 23 different types of vegetables and 100% yeast-derived folic acid.  It is also available in little tablets, which are very simple to swallow. It contains the following nutrients: Iron (20 mg), Calcium (250 mg), 13 vitamins (Vitamin C, Niacin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B, Vitamine B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Inositol, Beta Carotine, Biotin), and 14 minerals (Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, Molybdenum, and Iodine.

Women are allowed to take the supplement four times daily: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and right before bed.

Belta Folic Acid For Men

You’re a daddy-to-be if you use this product that improves organ productivity! The improvement of the ability to conceive is one of its primary advantages. It increases the nutrients available to reproductive organs, promotes a healthy cycle for semen reproduction, lowers the risk of birth abnormalities due to the betterment of sperm quality and motility, and aids in the development of a child by producing healthy cells for both men.

It is composed of natural ingredients; including 23 kinds of vegetables, 100% yeast-derived folic acid, and 5 all-natural beauty components, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). It also comes as small tablets which are very easy to take. 

Contrarily, men need to take two tablets daily—one in the morning and one before bed.


We introduced several foods containing folic acid and how folic acid is a very important nutrient for those who are currently pregnant or those who are pregnant. It reduces the risk of developing neural tube defects (NTDs) in the fetus and and provides nutrition in every stage of your pregnancy. Try Belta Folic Acid Supplement. It is a bestselling product from Japan that garnered the Pavone Gold award for quality!


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