Higher folic acid awareness in high BMI pregnancy needed, say researchers

Nutritional status before and during pregnancy affects fetal growth and development and general maternal health.

The incidence of maternal obesity is increasing worldwide, across Europe and in the United Kingdom. However, studies examining micronutrient intake during pregnancy tend to focus on undernourished women rather than obese women.

Obese women are often thought to be ‘overnourished’, but a recent observational study conducted in the United Kingdom showed that the majority of obese women had baseline intakes of iron, vitamin D, iodine and folic acid. It was reported to be below the intake (RNI). .

Folic acid and folic acid play an important role in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs). Because the neural tube closes within four weeks of conception, the UK Department of Health recommends that women supplement with 400 µg of folic acid daily before conception and up to 12 weeks’ gestation.

However, maternal obesity has been shown to be associated with increased risk of NTDs, and in the United States, despite the implementation of a cereal folic acid fortification program in the United States in 1998, increased maternal BMI was associated with serum It was associated with decreased folic acid status.

In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) recommends that obese women (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2) should consume a high dose of 5 mg folic acid daily. increase.

In addition to folic acid, vitamin D and iodine are micronutrients important for fetal brain and skeletal development during pregnancy.

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