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Technical brief


1. Insufficient folic acid supplementation is an important factor leading to spontaneous abortion and birth defects

Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin that is called folic acid because it is originally extracted from spinach leaves. Folic acid is an essential element for the synthesis of nucleic acids, a substance necessary for cell growth and tissue repair, and an essential nutrient for embryonic development. A large number of studies in recent years have confirmed that folic acid insufficiency is the main cause of birth defects. In addition to preventing fetal neural tube defects, the clinical function of folic acid can reduce the incidence of pregnancy-induced hypertension, spontaneous abortion and intrauterine growth retardation, preterm birth and low birth weight.


2. Various Side Effects Caused by Excessive Folic Acid Supplementation:

Although folic acid is important, excessive supplementation is also very dangerous! The figure below shows the side effects caused by excessive folic acid.


3. Appropriate amount of folate—dependent on the gene and varying from person to person

There are two reasons for the lack of folic acid in the body: first, insufficient intake of folic acid, and second, due to heredity (gene) mutations, the body’s ability to utilize folic acid is poor. For the former, by eating more foods rich in folic acid or appropriate amount of folic acid supplements can meet the needs of the body; however, for people who carry mutations in related genes cannot satisfy the body’s metabolism even if they supplement folic acid by normal quantity. The difference in folic acid metabolism genes determines the difference in folic acidutilization ability. Therefore, the dose of folic acid supplementation should vary from person to person.

The two most important genes involved in folic acid metabolism are the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) and the methionine synthase reductase gene (MTRR). The study found that the activity of MTHFR is related to the C677T and A1298C loci; the activity of MTRR is related to the A66G locus. When the gene loci are mutated, the activity of MTHFR and MTRR is decreased, leading to insufficient utilization of folic acid and increases the risk of birth defects. There is a certain proportion of risk-type genes in the Chinese population - 78% of Chinese people have mutations in folic acidutilizing abilityrelated genes, which leads to different people’s ability to utilize folic acid, so folic acid supplementation needs to be personalized.



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Testing process


For people

Applicable People

Women preparing for pregnancy or during pregnancy

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