Having the folic acid supplementations could reduce the first occurrence, as well as recurrence, of neural tube defects. We know well that the women of our population have low density of vitamins and minerals in their diet so, the folate intake is also at the poor rate. During pregnancy the need of folate increases in women to avoid the closure of neural tube. Folate is the crucial substance having its vital role in nucleic acid synthesis during pregnancy the sufficient amount of folate in mother can impair cellular growth and replication the foetus or placenta. The deficiency of folate can lead towards the risk of preterm delivery, infant low birth weight, and fatal growth retardation. The metabolic effect of folate deficiency is the elevation of blood homocysteine. And similarly, the increased maternal homocysteine concentrations are linked both with increased habitual spontaneous abortion and pregnancy complications which can result in poor pregnancy outcomes and of decreased birth weight and gestation duration.


As we know that the intake of vitamin is very important in a normal being as well as it is much more important in an expecting lady about 30% of the conceptions are spontaneously aborted and 10-15% terminate whereas, the other 20% terminate before clinical recognition of pregnancy occurs. 5-15% of life born infants have low birth weights. The countries having folate deficient women are ore supposed to face the adverse pregnancy outcomes, poor growth, painful delivery and poor nutritious child.


We are entirely dependent on dietary sources or supplements for folate supply. A large proportion of women of reproductive age have low dietary folate intake and they don’t even bother to have folic acid supplements or fortified cereals. Some of the major sources of folate includes cooked dried beans, leafy green vegetables and fortified cereals. We can also take folic acid in the form of multi-vitamin, orange juice is the major source of folate while, white bread, dried beans, salad are also some of the good sources. Folate deficiency can be caused by smoking cigarettes, using alcohols or using oral contraceptives. The major factor is economy like low income women who can’t afford the good diet or alternative supplements lack these vitamins.


Folate plays a vital role in fetal development. It act as a cool factor for a lot of essential cellular reactions like transfer of single carbon unit it needs for cell division as its role in DNA synthesis it is also a major substrate for a lot of enzymes that effect the metabolism of several amino acids like transmethylation and transsulfuration path ways.




The deficiency of folate metabolism can lead towards mega low blastic Anemia. Most of fetal misfortunes occurred in women with early disturbances in folate metabolism.. hyperhomocysteinemia is a marker for folate deficiency or abnormality. It is totally associated with complications such as pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and placental abruption.


In short, studies suggest that poor dietary folate intake and low circulating concentration folate are linked with enhanced risk of hazardous birth outcomes supplementation studies consult that some women more likely the poor ones may benefit from receiving additional folic acid during, as well as before, pregnancy. So yet there are no data from well controlled studies that can be documented the security of clinical trials to determine whether supplementations with folic acid with B-vitamins reduces the risk associated with gestational hyperhomocystenamia.


Theresa O Scholl and William G Johnson

(American Oxford Journal)


Author: Rahema Hameed

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