Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT -

Op­ti­mal lev­els of folate, a B group vi­ta­min, are needed right from the be­gin­ning of a preg­nancy. Ad­e­quate in­take sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the risk of neu­ral tube de­fects, and the neu­ral tube is of­ten formed by the time a woman finds out she is preg­nant. Folate is found in green leafy veg­eta­bles,

cit­rus fruits, liver and legumes.

The Rec­om­mended Di­etary In­take (RDI) for folate dur­ing preg­nancy is 150 per cent of the nor­mal daily re­quire­ment for adults, and it can be dif­fi­cult to meet these needs with­out a sup­ple­ment. When plan­ning a preg­nancy, the Min­istry of Health rec­om­mends tak­ing a folic acid sup­ple­ment for at least one month be­fore you might be­come preg­nant and through­out the first trimester to re­duce the risk of neu­ral tube de­fects.

Your doc­tor can ad­vise the op­ti­mal dose for you based on your cur­rent health pic­ture (some peo­ple with pre-ex­ist­ing health con­di­tions may re­quire more than oth­ers, or a form that is slightly dif­fer­ent in struc­ture). It is also im­por­tant to know that tak­ing sin­gle nu­tri­ents is not al­ways ideal as each nu­tri­ent feeds into par­tic­u­lar bio­chem­i­cal path­ways. Vi­ta­min B12 and folate rely on each other, for ex­am­ple, so a health pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­enced in pre-con­cep­tion care is best to guide you with what is right for you. do not con­tain iodine so lo­cally grown pro­duce re­flects this, and stud­ies have shown ev­i­dence of iodine de­fi­ciency re-emerg­ing in New Zealand. Iodine is es­sen­tial for the pro­duc­tion of thy­roid hor­mones, which con­trol the ba­sic ac­tiv­ity of each cell in the body, in­clud­ing me­tab­o­lism, growth and devel­op­ment.

Thy­roid is­sues can af­fect fer­til­ity, so op­ti­mal iodine in­take

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