Increasing the folate levels of women of child-bearing age
() - March 16, 2006 - 12:00am
Expectant moms are now assured of getting adequate folate levels with ANMUM, the only pregnancy milk powder that is clinically proven to increase the folate levels of women within child-bearing age and reduce baby’s risk of developing neural tube defects (NTDs).

"Pregnant women should be aware of the importance of folate in the early stage of their pregnancy because this is when the unborn baby’s brain starts to develop. Folate is needed for the neural tube to close properly, so that the baby will not develop any brain defect inside the womb," said Angie Rocha, nutrition manager of Fonterra Brands Philippines, the maker of ANMUM.

Folate, a vitamin B commonly found in green leafy vegetables, liver and asparagus, among other sources, helps reduce baby’s risk of developing neural tube defects (NTDs).

The neural tube is an embryonic structure that gives rise to the brain and spinal cord. Folate deficiency increases baby’s risk of developing the common types of NTDs, such as Spina Bifida, which causes physical disability, or Anencephaly, which is failure of the brain cavity to form properly. These two defects could prove fatal to the child.

"Moderate to severe deficiencies of folate can also lead to enlarged red blood cells, which leads to low birthweight of the baby. That’s why pregnant women should make sure that they’re getting adequate amount of folate (600 micrograms a day) to lower baby’s risk of developing NTD-related diseases by up to 80 percent," said Rocha.

ANMUM is the only maternal milk proven by doctors to increase the folate levels of women of child-bearing age.

A recent clinical trial headed by Dr. Tim Green of the Department of Human Nutrition at the Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand was conducted among 73 women aged 18 to 47, half of whom were asked to drink ANMUM for three months.

Results showed that the red blood cell folate concentrations of women who consumed ANMUM over the three-month period increased by 49 percent; women who drank ordinary milk did not have this benefit.

"The study also revealed that women who drank ANMUM had 72 percent better red blood cell status than those who drank ordinary milk. Since pregnant women are prone to anemia, daily intake of folate-fortified ANMUM ensures increased red blood cells for the mother, thus helping her to conceive a healthy baby," said Rocha.

Rocha added that ANMUM should not only be consumed by pregnant women, but also by those who are planning to have a baby.

ANMUM ensures that they are being supplemented with the required amount of folate, which works more effectively when taken at the start of conception.

With enough folate, a pregnant mother is ensured that her baby’s cells are developing normally.

This is because folate is necessary in the production and maintenance of DNA and RNA, which are the building blocks of cells. That’s why folate is very essential during pregnancy for tissue growth, particularly in the neural tube, which later becomes the baby’s spinal cord, brain and the bones that enclose them.

Aside from folate, ANMUM is also fortified with essential fatty acids (EFAs), which strengthen the walls of the baby’s brain. It also has calcium, iron, and vitamin D that properly nourish the mother’s body during pregnancy.

Two glasses of ANMUM every day ensures pregnant women and those planning to have a baby that they take in the necessary nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.

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