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Daily Vitamins Are a Good Way to Improve Health

Armen Hareyan's picture

If you resolved to improve your health this year, taking a daily multivitamin is a good way to keep that promise, especially if you're a woman of childbearing age. January 8 through 14 is National Folic Acid Awareness Week and an ideal time to make this important and affordable health commitment.

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"By taking a daily multivitamin, women are giving Tennessee's babies the best possible start. I ask that all women of childbearing age take this simple step to improve health for life for our babies," said Governor Phil Bredesen. "Far too many babies don't live to see their first birthday in Tennessee, and simple steps like these are part of our plan to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes in our state."

The Tennessee Department of Health and other health organizations have long recommended that most women take a multivitamin along with eating a varied, healthy diet. Studies suggest multivitamins may reduce the risk for some cancers, heart disease and stroke. For women, taking a multivitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid dramatically reduces the risk for serious birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects (NTD). Tennessee residents gave birth to almost 200 babies with spina bifida or anencephaly, the two most common NTDs, between 1999 and 2003, according to the Tennessee Birth Defects Registry.

"Neural tube defects occur very early in pregnancy