High doses of folic acid during pregnancy negatively influence the neuropsychological development of the child


The doctoral thesis recently defended by Desireé Valera Gran entitled “Negative effects of high doses of folic acid (FA) supplements in pregnancy on neuropsychological development in the child” has revealed for the first time in the literature that the consumption of doses High levels of folic acid (FA) supplements during pregnancy has negative effects on the child\’s subsequent neuropsychological development, so its use should be monitored and avoided.

The thesis was directed from the Nutrition Epidemiology Unit of the Miguel Hernández University, by researchers Eva María Navarrete Muñoz, Manoli García de la Hera and Jesús Vioque, and obtained the highest cum laude qualification with an international, In the publication of three articles published in international journals of the first quartile: BMJ Open, JAMA Pediatrics and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In the first study, more than half of pregnant women consumed AF doses lower than those recommended in the periconceptional period (400 mcg / day), and 25{3effe4377b6f02be2524d084f7d03914ac32a2b62c0a056ca3444e58c1f10d0b} consumed doses above the maximum tolerable level (1000 mcg /day). From this, a second study investigated the possible effect of high doses of AF supplements on the neuropsychological development of the child in the first year of life, and found that the children of the women who consumed the highest doses of AF (> 5000 mcg / day), presented worse scores in psychomotricity of the Bayley scales of child development.

In a third study recently accepted in Amer J Clin Nut, dietary intake and the use of AF supplements during pregnancy were evaluated in 1682 mothers of four de novo cohorts (Asturias, Guipúzcoa, Sabadell and Valencia) and their influence on Neuropsychological development of children at 4-5 years as measured by McCarthy scales of Skills and Psychomotricity. The use of high doses of AF (> 1000 mcg / day) in the periconceptional period was associated with lower scores on several of the McCarthy Scales, in particular in the global verbal and verbal memory, and in cognitive functions of the posterior cortex and posterior cortex left.