Extra-folic Acid Does NOT Reduce Pre-Eclampsia


The long-claimed benefits of high-dose folic acid during pregnancy are falling from the spotlight. It was proved that in decades it didn’t show any benefits in preventing pre-eclampsia, the second major cause of perinatal mortality in Canada. 

There are other benefits of using it, but the primary target – to prevent fetal neural-tube defects – was not fulfilled. It was believed previously that it reduces the risk pre-eclampsia by 30 percent.

All women should take folic acid for at least three months prior to conception. However, those women who are at risk for pre-eclampsia, there is no benefit to being on a high dose of folic acid.

Pre-eclampsia is a high concern for doctors that are pressured to deliver the baby in the earlier stages of life to keep the mothers alive. The condition is caused by the high blood pressure and annually claims 78,000 lives.



How Scientists Reached Such Conclusion?


Ottawa researchers questioned for the first the role of folic acid. They decided then to give a group of pregnant women a pill containing folic acid and the other group a placebo pill.

Surprisingly, there was no measurable effect amongst the 2,300 pregnant women. They concluded that women exposed to a risk of pre-eclampsia showed no improvement. The study lasted five years, and both groups of women displayed at the end of the research an approximative risk of 14 percent.

The results were made public on Wednesday in the BMJ, in order to reshape the perspective upon the disease. Dr. Linda Szymanski said that she never prescribed it for this because she noticed during her carrier that it leads to no effects. She is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic.

The secondary purpose of Ottawa researchers is to determine whether the mothers’ intake of the extra folic acid has any consequences on the children development until the age of 6.

The thirst for facts keeps the researchers motivated for the next six years on studying this topic and they “have no rest” until the final results show up.


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