Home  > Clinical services  >  Gene Testing For Folic Acid Utilization Ability  > Introduction


1. Insufficient supplement of folate is an important factor causing spontaneous abortion of fetus and birth defect

As a water-soluble B vitamin, folate is called “folate” because it is originally extracted from spinach leaves. Folate is an element necessary for nucleic acid synthesis, a substance required for cell growth and tissue repair, and an indispensible nutrient for embryonic development. Plenty of studies in recent years have proven that lack of folate is the primary cause of birth defect. In addition to preventing neural tube defects for fetuses, clinical functions of folate include lowering risks of pregnancy-induced hypertension, spontaneous abortion, intrauterine growth retardation of fetuses, premature delivery, and low birth weight of newborns.



2. Excessive supplement of folate leads to multiple side effects

Although folate is important, blind supplement of folate causes risks. The figure below shows the side effects brought by excessive folate:


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

There are two reasons for lack of folate in the organism: 1. Inadequate intake of folate; 2. Low capacity of the organism in utilizing folate because of genetic mutation. In the former case, the individuals can take more food rich in folate or supplement foliamin properly. For individuals carrying relevant gene mutation, constant supplement of folate is not enough to meet metabolic needs of the body. The difference of folate metabolism genes determine the difference of folate utilization capacity. Therefore, the amount of folate to be supplemented varies with each individual.

The most important two genes involved in folate metabolism are Methylene Tetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) and Memory Type Range Register (MTRR). Studies indicate that the activity of MTHFR is related to the loci of C677T and A1298C genes; and that the activity of MTRR concerns the locus of A66G gene. When genetic loci mutate, the activity of MTHFR and MTRR decreases, leading to insufficient capacity of utilizing folate and higher risk of birth defect for the baby.

There is certain proportion of risk-type genes among Chinese population----78% Chinese people have gene mutation related to folate utilization capacity. As a result, different people have different capacities of utilizing folate. Therefore, the supplement of folate must be individualized.



All rights reserved Annoroad Gene Technology 京ICP备12029022号-1