A couple of months ago, the Go Folic! Outreach Team asked some of the youth workers and Wellness Academy students at Cole Street Youth Clinic if they would be interested in writing a blog entry for us. Ginger Bugayong, who works at the clinic as a Youth Advocate and with the Wellness Academy as a Peer Advisor responded. We sent her a set of questions to consider. Here are her answers.
Tell us a little about the clinic.
I work at Cole Street Youth Clinic in San Francisco. We serve youth between the ages of 12-24. We’re located at 555 Cole Street San Francisco, CA 94117 It’s in the upper Haight parallel to the panhandle.
Cole Street Clinic is distributing Go Folic! Multis. Can you tell us about that?
Cole Street Clinic has been distributing Go Folic! Multis – multi-vitamins with folic acid – for several months. When I first talk to clients about them, the most common responses are either that they don’t know what folic acid is or they tell me that they’ve heard of it but don’t really know about it.
What do clients there like most about the vitamins?
Clients generally like that it’s free once they figure out how expensive it is at the store. Once they’re educated about the health benefits, they like knowing they’re taking a health supplement to get their daily vitamins since there is no time to eat healthy foods all the time.
What advice would you give to a young woman who is wondering if she should take the vitamins or not?
Just take it. There isn’t any con to taking it. Whether you are a teen, middle aged, or elderly, I would suggest taking the supplement. Your boy makes new cells everyday and folic acid is used to make the new cells. It’s like beauty from the inside out because it makes your skin, hair and nails look healthy. Healthy is a good look. There are so many benefits from taking the supplement, why not take it?
What would you like young women out there to know about taking folic acid?
If you plan on getting pregnant or might possibly become pregnant, taking this vitamin will help reduce or prevent the risk of neural tube defect (birth defects) for your unborn child. 50% of pregnancies are unplanned so it is not a bad thing to play it safe. Taking the vitamin a year before or during the pregnancy can also reduce the risk for premature labor. Even if pregnancy is not in your future at all, there are still many benefits from the vitamin. Folic acid can lower your risk for breast, cervical, and colon cancer. It can also make your heart healthier and helps your body deal with stress.
Are you taking multi-vitamins?
I have been taking the vitamins but I have a hard time remembering everyday, so I decided to bring the bottle with me in my purse. That way, when I’m rummaging in my bag to look for something, I look at the bottle and remember. I’ve noticed my hair become a little more shiny and my nails grow faster. Very subtle, but it’s there.
Ginger’s interview is the first in our series of “healthy women profiles.” Contributors receive a $50 Visa Giftcard. To learn more about how you can become a contributor, go to http://www.gofolic.org/contests.