I first became aware of Folic Acid on the side of cereal boxes in the early 1990’s but since then, this magic little tablet has proved its importance time and time again. It has been shown through many studies, if a woman takes a daily supplement of 400 micrograms of Folic Acid for three months before conception, and for the first trimester of pregnancy, the chance of a baby being born with Neural Tube defects such as Spina Bifida can be prevented. This daily supplement is crucial in the early stages to help build a healthy spine. The neural tube is formed very early in pregnancy and as not all pregnancies are planned, it’s better to be safe. If you are a woman of childbearing age, and sexually active you should be taking Folic Acid. Even if you are taking the contraceptive pill, there can be complications at times, leading to unexpected pregnancies. There is a general misconception out there that women should only take this medicine during pregnancy, this is really not the case. It’s easy to form a habit of taking one as part of your daily ritual. It is good for your heart, it can help to ward off certain illnesses, and in some cases, studies have shown, it acts as a natural anti-depressant.
There are a number of products on the market containing Folic Acid. Clonfolic is a popular choice, as is our own brand of tablets. It is also contained in many pregnancy supplements such as Pregnacare range and our own brand pregnancy vitamins.
SafeFood is a government network designed to share information with the public and connects with food and health professionals in Ireland. On the 14th of June , a campaign is being rolled out called ‘Babies know the facts about Folic’. This campaign aims to talk to their audience with humour and use this open mindedness to educate them with all the facts of Folic Acid. One of the poster images is below:
After seeing this image who wouldn’t want to talk about Folic let alone anything else? I really like the approach being taken here and think this is a very clever way to start a conversation especially about a topic like this.
In Community Pharmacy we have a great opportunity to start this conversation and for the four weeks that this campaign will be running Conefrey’s Pharmacy staff will be promoting some Folic Acid containing products with a different one every week being nominated as our product of the week. We will also be running a prize draw through our Facebook page starting Monday 20th of July for four weeks of the duration of the campaign. The link to our Facebook page is www.facebook.com/CONEFREYSPHARMACY. The winner will win a hamper of Conefrey’s Pharmacy own-brand vitamins. Feel free to enter the competition and spread the word with your friends. If you have any queries about Folic Acid or any multi-vitamin or supplement please leave a comment here, and we will be happy to advise you!