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Folic Acid

What is folic acid?Pregnant woman
Why is folic acid important?
How much folic acid do I need?
What are some good sources of folic acid?
Where can I get a prescription for folic acid?
Where can I get more information on folic acid?

What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a B vitamin, found in foods and multivitamins. It enhances the development of all new cells such as skin, hair and nails.  

Why is folic acid important?
Folic acid:

Women who are planning on getting pregnant should be taking a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid three months before the start of pregnancy and through the early stages of pregnancy along with a diet rich in folic acids.  

How much folic acid do I need?
Men and women who are not pregnant need 400 micrograms daily, and pregnant women need 600 micrograms daily along with diet. Breastfeeding women are encouraged to consume 500 micrograms daily.

What are some good sources of folic acid?
Multivitamins can be a good source of folic acid, but many foods contain the beneficial vitamin as well.

Vegetables: Asparagus, avocado, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, greens, romaine lettuce, spinach

Fruits: Lemons, limes, oranges, papaya

Grains: Breads, cereals, pastas

Legumes: Black beans, black eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, navy beans, peanuts, pinto beans, split peas

Where can I get a prescription for folic acid?
Along with folic acid, women can receive family planning services and Medical Nutrition Counseling to ensure that their diet is adequate in folic acid at the Health Department's county health centers. Call the health center in your county to schedule your appointment, and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy.

Where can I get more information on folic acid?
For more information online, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Kentucky Folic Acid Partnership
For more information on the Health Department’s programs, please call 859.341.4264.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention