Taking folic acid – What does that cost and what does it buy you?

This week our latest survey revealed that 95% of women know that they should take folic acid. It’s really positive to see that knowledge and awareness of this issue is extremely high.

Women know they should take it, but a lot of them don’t. Why not?

Here’s what women say:

  • "I’m not planning on having a baby" –  But 50% of pregnancies are unplanned!
  • "I get enough in my diet as I’m very healthy" – You can’t get enough from your diet to prevent Neural Tube Defects.
  •  "My first child was healthy without taking it" – You protect yourself best by taking it for every child.
  • "I’m on the pill so I’m fine" – Contraception is not 100% effective so you should take it just in case.
  • "It’s very expensive" – You might be surprised how cheap it is.

Let’s have a look at this last point. We did a quick survey in both Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (ROI) to find out. In NI the cost ranges from 1p to 8p and in ROI from ½c to 18c. (The 18c one also contained iron and vitamin D.)

What does that buy you?

Pregnancy may be the last thing on your mind, but if it did happen, for this small price you could help protect your baby from conditions like a Neural Tube Defect (NTD).

If all women who could become pregnant took folic acid, around 50 of the 80 cases of NTDs could be prevented. More miscarriages and infant deaths might be avoided.  

So the bottom line? It could cost you as little as the price of one cup of coffee, your weekly magazine or a lip balm to take your folic acid for a whole year.

the cost of folic acid tablets infographic

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Posted: 24/11/2016 14:18:35 by Aileen McGloin
Filed under: Campaigns, Folic acid


About Me

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Aileen McGloin
Hi, my name is Aileen McGloin and I am the Director of Marketing and Communications, at safefood. I trained as a public health nutritionist originally and am passionate about changing food-related behaviour. I have a particular interest in using digital technology to promote health. At home, I love books, am in a book club and married to a crime writer. I’m a fiend for all things fashion and like walking, swimming and TV that is so bad it’s good. I live in Co. Wicklow with my husband and 10 year old daughter.