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Folic Acid – Prenatal Balance for Lifelong Health

Folic Acid – Prenatal Balance for Lifelong Health

Pregnant mothers are advised to make sure they get enough folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in their babies. However, the effects of folic acid on prenatal development are not yet well understood. A recent study in mice presented at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Nutrition in San Diego, California, showed that insufficient and excessive folic acid intake during pregnancy can affect offspring health and disease susceptibility in adulthood.

Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock

According to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) theory, the risk of developing chronic diseases is influenced by adverse events during the perinatal period. Considering the interplay between genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors, this fundamental concept places particular emphasis on maternal influences such as nutrition, nutrient availability, stress and inflammation, and highlights their ability to permanently alter the structure and function of cells and tissues. A better understanding of these effects could enable closer monitoring or early intervention.

Folic acid, an essential water-soluble B vitamin, plays a major role in various metabolic and biosynthetic processes during growth. It serves as a critical regulator of metabolism, including mitochondrial metabolism, is essential for epigenetics, and plays a crucial role in DNA synthesis and stability.

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