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May 19, 1969

Folic Acid Requirements in Pregnancy-Induced Megaloblastic Anemia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas.

JAMA. 1969;208(7):1163-1167. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160070041010

After delivery of the fetus and placenta, women with pregnancy-induced megaloblastic anemia due to folate deficiency responded to the administration of as little as 50μg of folic acid per day while they were receiving a low folate diet. The presence of a fetus and placenta increased the amount of folic acid necessary to induce a comparable hematological response to 0.5 mg/day or somewhat more. One milligram of folic acid uniformly produced a satisfactory hematological response prior to delivery even when pregnancy requirements were augmented further by twin fetuses or chronic hemolysis. Consequently, daily supplementation with 1 mg of folic acid during pregnancy should protect all pregnant women against folate deficiency including those with multiple fetuses, chronic hemolysis, and repetitive megaloblastic anemia.