science museum

Folic acid and the growing brain

Women who are trying to conceive should take folic acid daily until the 12th week of pregnancy. This is because folic acid is essential for the embryonic brain and spinal cord to grow properly. By taking folic acid, the mother reduces the risk of both spina bifida and anencephaly, conditions in which the tube forming the spinal cord and brain hasn't closed properly.

Folic acid is essential for the embryonic brain and spinal cord to grow properly.
Folic acid is essential for the embryonic brain and spinal cord to grow properly.
Science & Society Picture Library

Science Museum Home Page Who am I? Science Museum Home Page