In case you are planning on getting pregnant, it is a must for you to know about neural tube defects prevention. Neural tube defect is a malformation that appears between the 20th and 28th day of pregnancy.
During this time the neural plate takes the place of the nervous system of the baby.
Information about preventing neural tube defects
Normally these cells fold back to themselves and they create the neural tube that later become the spinal cord and the backbone. The superior pole will become the brain. In case of an NTD, the tube isnâ€™t able to close entirely and so the spinal cord and the brain will be exposed. The most common forms are spina bifida and anencephaly.
When thinking about avoiding neural tube defects you should consider taking folic acid. This substance is essential for the development of the baby and it can be found in small quantities in food. It is a part of the B vitamins complex group. It facilitates cellular division and it is also known as folacin or folate.
Folic acid and neural tube defects prevention
This substance in fact is a coenzyme that has a role to play in several different metabolisms. The baby has to grow tissue, cells and organs and at this stage the need for folate is higher than normal. In the past, the specialists noticed that the women who had babies with NTDs had low folate levels.
As a result of the studies conducted in the field of NTD prevention specialists realized that an extra intake of 0.4 mg of folic acid can drastically decrease the chances of NTDs. Studies were conducted with the help of numerous women and all of them proved the benefic effects of folic acid.
The latest studies regarding neural tube defects prevention show that one of the factors in this matter might be connected to the methioninesynthase activity. This is an enzyme that turns homocysteine into methionine. In order to do this there is need for a methyle group that can be found in folic acid.
In case you are thinking about the prevention of NTD you should know that if this transformation doesnâ€™t take place, it is usually caused by a lack of folic acid. As a result, the homocysteine levels rise and they prevent the neural tube from closing as it should.
You can see that neural tube defects prevention is a really important part of pregnancy.