Does taking high dose folic acid increase the probably of conceiving twins?
Folic Acid is a critical component of a healthy pregnancy. Folic Acid and folate are forms of the B vitamin. Folate can be naturally found in food. As an example, beets, eggs, and leafy greens. Folic acid is the synthetic form taken by supplementation or consuming fortified foods.
Particularly Folic acid taken in pregnancy helps to prevent miscarriage and neural tube defects. Namely, cleft lip/palate, spina bifida (malformation of the spinal cord ) and anecephaly(incomplete development of the brain). According to the CDC, its advised to take 400mg of folic acid a day. As soon as a month before getting pregnant, and every day while pregnant.
Clinical research seems to support that increased folic acid mhay have some effect on having twins. A report published in the magazine New Scientist and the journal Twin Research – says it is possible the vitamin somehow increases the probability of multiple ovulation or implantation of more than one egg.
Furthermore, clinical research seems to support that increased folic acid may have some effect on the chances of having twins. A report published in the magazine New Scientist and the journal Twin Research says it is possible the vitamin somehow increases the probability of multiple ovulation or implantation of more than one egg.
A higher dose of folic acid may be prescribed by a physician to women who are at high risk of having babies with neural tube defects.
High risk women can include:
- Those with malabsorption disorders
- Certain medication that decreases bio-availability of folic acid Surprising ways you may be folic acid deficient
- Those are on a carbohydrate restricted diet (due to avoidance of fortified carbohydrate food).
These woman may be prescribed 5 mg/d of folic acid for the two months before conception, and during the first trimester.
Medical studies in support of the relation of folic acid and multiples
Case 1 The Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities study (1980-1996)
The Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities study showed that out of a total 38,151 women, 395 women gave birth to twins. The prevalence of twin births in the un-supplemented group was 0.78%. Compared to folic acid supplemented group that had a twin rate of 1.52%.
Additional findings in the study suggest that both pre and post-conception supplementation of a high dose of folic acid and multivitamins correlate with a slight increase of the incidence of twin pregnancies.
Case 2 Swedish Medical Birth Registry
The Swedish Medical Birth Registry listed 2,569 women who told them they had used folic acid supplements. The rate of twin births among these women were 2.8 per cent. Almost twice that in the general population, where 1.5 per cent of births were twins.
This study calculated that, if 30 per cent of 100,000 women in Sweden took folic acid supplements, then there would be 225 extra pairs of twins.
Case 3 Medical Birth Registry of Norway
The Medical Birth Registry of Norway study showed weak associations with twin pregnancies with the use of multivitamins and folate during pregnancy.
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