HealthNotes

HealthNotes

Healthnotes offers comprehensive, science-based health and lifestyle information. Written with you in mind, Healthnotes answers the most commonly asked questions with credible, easy-to-understand information — edited by physicians who review over 550 scientific and medical journals to keep content current, factual, and balanced.

Birth Defects Prevention

Also indexed as:Alcohol-Related Birth Defects, Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Anencephaly, Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Limb-Reduction Defects, Microcephaly, Neural Tube Defects, Spina Bifida, Urinary Tract Birth Defects
Give your baby the best chance at being born strong and healthy. Start by gathering vital information before you get pregnant. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
SupplementAmountWhy
Folic Acid
At least 400 mcg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with folic acid before and during the early weeks of pregnancy dramatically reduces the risk of neural tube defects.
Choline
500 mg choline per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Choline appears to protect against neural tube defects when taken prior to and early in pregnancy, as it has similar biochemical effects as folic acid.
Lecithin (Phosphatidyl Choline)
500 mg choline per day2 stars[2 stars]
Choline appears to protect against neural tube defects when taken prior to and early in pregnancy, as it has similar biochemical effects as folic acid.
Multivitamin
Follow label instructions2 stars[2 stars]
Taking a multivitamin three months prior to and three months into a pregnancy has been associated with a reduced rate of many birth defects.
Zinc
15 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Many doctors recommend a zinc-containing multivitamin to all women of childbearing age who may become pregnant for its potential role in preventing neural tube defects.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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