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A study from The Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John\'s revealed that incidence of neural tube defects in Newfoundland is among the highest in North America. What�s more, low red blood cell folate levels are prevalent among pregnant women who live there. The researchers took blood samples from 1,424 women, who were approximately 16 weeks pregnant, during their first prenatal visit. 27% of the women had deficient or marginal red blood cell folate levels and 43% of the women had deficient or marginal blood levels of vitamin B12. Given these findings and high incidence of neural defects in Newfoundland, the researchers consider the situation \\"a serious public health concern that should be addressed.\\" Women of childbearing age need to consume 400 micrograms of folate per day through food and/or supplements. During pregnancy, the recommended intake increases to 600 micrograms per day. Good food sources of this B vitamin include spinach, orange juice, lentils, asparagus, avocado and whole grains. Multivitamins and prenatal supplements contain between 0.4 to 1 mg (400 �1000 micrograms) of folic acid, the synthetic form of folate.