Young women are failing to take folic acid when trying to conceive because the message is not put on social media.

Young women are failing to take folic acid when trying to conceive because the message is not put on social media.

Those aged 18 to 24 could be ignorant of the vitamin as health campaigns do not target popular networks such as Instagram and Snapchat, experts warned.

More than half of young women trying for a baby are not taking folic acid despite the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida, a study by a British firm found. Dr Sarah Johnson, from SPD Development, led the research surveying almost 11,500 women and presented the findings to the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver yesterday.

‘Younger people don’t use traditional channels for getting information, they use social media,’ she said.

The NHS advises all women to take 400mg of folic acid daily if trying to conceive.

Folic acid-rich foods include: fortified breakfast cereals; enriched bread, rice, pasta and other grain products; orange juice; green vegetables; and legumes such as navy beans, kidney beans, lentils and garbanzo beans. A large glass of orange juice and a bowl of fortified cereal will provide 50-100% of the recommended daily amount of folic acid.