Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maternal folic acid and its affect on offspring

Two recent studies show the crucial aspect of not just adequate folic acid supplementation during pregnancy, but also the crucial nature of absorbing the folic acid into usable folate.

The first study, in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined the epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes, how they have been implicated in human disease, and how the maternal diet plays a crucial role in offpspring. The researchers measured folate intake from diet, the use of folic acid supplements and the period of consumption, maternal and cord red blood cell (RBC) folate, and genotypes for 5 methylation (detoxification) cycle enzymes. Supplement use after 12 weeks of gestation was associated with a better level of methylation (detoxification). Given the importance of methylation in ridding the body of excess toxicity, assuring adequate levels of folate during pregnancy is yet again confirmed.

 The second study, appearing in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that folic acid supplements during pregnancy may reduce the risk of childhood brain tumors. Simply, children of mothers who took folic acid supplements during pregnancy were at significantly lower risk of developing brain tumors during childhood, with the risk reduced by up to 45%.

No comments: