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Can Fam Physician. 2008 Nov;54(11):1545-7.

Folic acid: the right dose.


ABSTRACTQUESTION The new Motherisk Guidelines suggest 5 mg/d of folic acid. Why was the dose increased? What is the time frame for taking such a dose?ANSWER Recent data from Ontario reveal that 40% of women of reproductive age still do not achieve therapeutic systemic levels of folate needed to prevent neural tube defects. Compliance is less than optimal among women using prenatal vitamins, rendering many women unprotected against neural tube defects. Taking a higher dose of folate will allow achievement of protective folate levels, even with partial compliance. Five mg of folate should be used daily several months before conception until the end of the first trimester.

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