Does folic acid really prevent pre-eclampsia?

Author(s): Julie Cullen

By Julie Cullen, Managing Editor, American Nurse Today

The answer to that question, it turns out, is no. A recent randomized trial found that high-dose folic acid does not prevent pre-eclampsia. The study, published in BMJ, included a group of 2,464 women who had at least one risk factor for pre-eclampsia. Half received 4.0 mg of folic acid a day and half got a placebo and 1.1 mg of folic acid. The result was no difference in the incidence of pre-eclampsia or any other negative outcome the researchers tracked.

Some people might say, why not just go ahead and take the high dose. But I like what the senior author, Dr. Mark C. Walker, said in response to that question: “There are so many times in medicine where things go from panacea to prescription to poison. I’m advising people to take a regular multivitamin, and that’s it.”

Sources: The New York Times

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