From Cleveland, Ohio, USA:
I understand the relationship between diabetes and neural tube defects, but why are women with pre-existing diabetes asked to take such high doses of folic acid during the pre-conceptional and early pregnancy periods? Do type 1 diabetics absorb less folic acid than non-diabetics?
For details, I would suggest that you go to Google and enter "folic acid" and "spina bifida." In summary, there is a good deal of research showing a relationship between folic acid (folate) supplementation and a reduction in spina bifida. Much of this work comes from the U.K., which has a higher incidence of this disorder. Similar studies have been done in the U.S. also showing a reduction in spina bifida. Diabetes is a separate risk factor for spina bifida, therefore, it is recommended that women with diabetes take extra folate to reduce the risk of this condition.
Original posting 27 Feb 2007
Posted to Pregnancy
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