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Can spina bifida be prevented?

To help prevent spina bifida, take adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy, by eating foods high in folate and/or by taking folate tablets. 0.5 mg of folic acid daily for a month before and three months after conception can reduce the risk of spina bifida. Foods that are high in folate include bananas, oranges, spinach, asparagus and legumes. A tablet form of folate is available and is usually recommended in addition to the dietary intake. Your doctor will most likely prescribe a higher dose of folate if you have a family history of cleft lip, spinal problems, or if you are taking epilepsy medication.

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Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 07 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 1148 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Fetal alcohol syndrome


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