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Nutrient Intake Values for Folate during Pregnancy and Lactation Vary Widely around the World
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2013; in revised form: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 3 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
Abstract: Folate is a B-vitamin with particular importance during reproduction due to its role in the synthesis and maintenance of DNA. Folate is well known for its role in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs) during the periconceptional period. There is also an increased need for folate throughout pregnancy to support optimal growth and development of the fetus and blood volume expansion and tissue growth of the mother. During lactation, women are at risk of folate deficiency due to increased demands to accommodate milk folate levels. Nutrient Intake Values (NIVs) for folate have been calculated to take into account additional needs during pregnancy and lactation. However, these values vary widely between countries. For example, the folate requirement that is set to meet the needs of almost all healthy women during pregnancy varies from 300 µg/day in the United Kingdom to 750 µg/day in Mexico. Currently, there is no accepted standardized terminology or framework for establishing NIVs. This article reviews country-specific NIVs for folate during pregnancy and lactation and the basis for setting these reference values.
Keywords: folate requirements; Nutrient Intake Values; pregnancy; lactation
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Stamm, R.A.; Houghton, L.A. Nutrient Intake Values for Folate during Pregnancy and Lactation Vary Widely around the World. Nutrients 2013, 5, 3920-3947.
Stamm RA, Houghton LA. Nutrient Intake Values for Folate during Pregnancy and Lactation Vary Widely around the World. Nutrients. 2013; 5(10):3920-3947.
Stamm, Rosemary A.; Houghton, Lisa A. 2013. "Nutrient Intake Values for Folate during Pregnancy and Lactation Vary Widely around the World." Nutrients 5, no. 10: 3920-3947.