Essay about Folic Acid Supplementation and Pregnancy

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Scope of the Research Proposal
The purpose of this study is to analyze the preventative effects of folic acid supplementation during preconception and pregnancy in women. Folic acid supplementation is a standard recommendation among a variety of vitamins and minerals during preconception and is said to prevent congenital defects, primarily neural tube defects in children. However, various studies suggest that folic acid supplementation is not directly correlated with the prevention of neural tube defects, but other factors such as socioeconomic status, healthcare, and education come into play (Banhidy, 2011). The use of folic acid to prevent neural tube defects is widely accepted and recommended by health professionals and researchers
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However, the weakness of the study was that the mothers were not picked at random and some were voluntary participants. This factor may have affected the study since the volunteer mothers may have practiced healthy behaviors prior to the data collection, such as prenatal care and avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits. With these factors, it is unclear if FA supplementation has a direct impact on the lowered risk of NTDs (Li, et al., 2013). Another study analyzed a different portion of FA supplementation effects. The preventative effects of FA supplementation were evaluated and estimated. Pregnant women with malformed fetuses and women who had healthy babies, with or without FA supplementation, were studied. Based on the data that was gathered, the assumed beneficial effects of supplementation against congenital abnormalities are clear, but other factors may have a role in the perceived effects. It was concluded that FA supplementation in women before pregnancy lowers the risk of congenital abnormalities, but socioeconomic status and medical care were not taken into account during the study, possibly skewing the results (Banhidy, et al., 2011). Other studies found very similar results in terms of lowered risk of congenital abnormalities with FA supplementation. A study reported that FA supplementation in early pregnancy reduces the risk of

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