Date: 19 Mar 2014

Indian Perspective on Clinical Aspects, Usage, and Guidelines of Folic Acid

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Abstract

Folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamic acid) is the stable, fully oxidized form of folate which is used in food fortification and supplements. Keen interest has been generated in folic acid due to its suggested role in prevention of various disorders. Strong evidence from clinical trials indicates preventive effect of folic acid on both occurrence and recurrence of neural tube defects. It also plays a significant role in mitigating the risk of cardiovascular disorders through homocysteine regulation. In addition, the beneficial effect of folic acid in various types of cancers, neurological disorders, conditions affecting pregnancy, and other clinical conditions has been reported in literature. Various guidelines reinforce the need for women to obtain adequate amount of folic acid either through food fortification or supplements. In India, national guidelines on the proper dose of folic acid to pregnant women are not available. Given its significant beneficial effects on health, awareness should be spread among communities on the usage and benefits of folic acid.