Folic acid paradoxes

Folic acid, or vitamin В9, is one of vital vitamins. Studies dealing with detection of the actual levels of folic acid deficiency among the population of Russia as well as worldwide are few and recent data were mainly obtained by single works conducted in 1980–2008. In 2017, we carried out a monitoring of blood levels of folic acid, vitamin В12 and homocysteine in female patients aged 20–45 years living in Moscow. As has been shown, deficiencies (В9) are diagnosed in not more than 5% of cases. Based on the obtained evidence and also on the analysis of scientific literature about folic acid dosages, a conclusion has been made about the need to take prophylactic and not therapeutic doses of folic acid, which should not exceed the average recommended norms for healthy individuals. The use of active forms of folates is preferable. Prevention of neural tube defects using folates, in uncompromised medical history, is required in the dose 400 μg not less than 3 months before pregnancy. The administration of higher (therapeutic) doses of folates is justified for corrective purposes only when folic acid deficiency is diagnosed.

Key words: pregnancy, neural tube defects, prophylactic doses, folic acid.

For citation: Zhilenko M.I., Kotikova N.P., Dymova A.V., Bagdasarova Z.Z. Folic acid paradoxes. Vopr. dietol. (Nutrition). 2018; 8(2): 56–61. (In Russian).
DOI: 10.20953/2224-5448-2018-2-56-61