We discuss often the fact that Folic acid is vital to the proper growth and development of babies in the womb, and the prevention of neural tube defects. But the benefits of vitamin B-9 extend beyond the womb and into adolescence.

The primary job of folic acid is to help the body maintain old cells and create new ones. Folic acid makes red blood cells, is necessary in the creation of produce DAN and RNA , promotes tissue growth, prevents anemia, metabolizes homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of amino acid. While much of this is obviously important during pregnancy, it’s also important during other stages of rapid cell division and growth, including the teenage years.

Early stages of heart disease and anemia can begin early in life, even during adolescence. Making folic acid a part of every teenagers’ daily diet helps them establish the defense early and develop healthy habits they can carry with them the rest of their lives.

There are other, visible benefits of folic acid, that may help parents sell their children on taking the vitamin. That includes stronger and healthier nails, glowing skin, healthy hair, and help in preventing acne, something every teen worries about.

Finally, while most teenagers don’t plan on getting pregnant, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Females in Arkansas have one of the highest rate of unplanned and teen pregnancies in the U.S. 10% of all Neural Tube Defects (a very severe birth defect) in the state of Arkansas were born to teen mothers. Making folic acid part of your teen’s daily regimen can help reduce the risk of NTDs like spina bifida by up to 70%.

Learn more about the benefits of folic acid for teenage girls.