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Doxinate for Doctors/Folic acid in NTD
Folic Acid is a Vitamin & belongs to the B complex group. It plays an essential role in cellular division. It is also called folate or folacin.
Folic Acid being a coenzyme, plays an important role in many metabolisms. The developing unborn child needs it to grow cells, tissue and organs. During that phase, the folic acid requirements are higher than usual. As far back as 1976, scientists noticed that women who gave birth to NTD babies had low serum rates for folates and low vitamin levels in their red cells. In 1980, Professor Smithhells from Leeds (UK) was able to show that an additional intake of 0.4 mgs of Folic Acid before and at the start of a pregnancy significantly reduced NTD rates. This finding was confirmed by many other serious clinical studies using large numbers of women (over 250 000).
The conclusive proof of the preventive effect of Folic Acid, even for women with no NTD history, came when a Hungarian study showed that, of the 2014 women who had taken additional Folic Acid, none developed an NTD, whereas, of the 2052 who had not, 6 cases were detected (Czeizel and Dudas, 1992).
Recent research on NTD pathogenesis suggests that disorders linked to methionine synthase activity could be one of the factors involved. This enzyme transforms homocysteine into methionine.

To do so, it needs a methyl group which is provided by Folic Acid intake. If this transformation fails to take place, be it because of an enzyme anomaly or lack of Folic Acid, homocysteine levels increase. This would appear to prevent the closure of the Neural Tube.
An additional intake of Folic Acid, coupled with an intake of Vitamin B12 can rectify this anomaly which is in part connected with enzymes. Other studies have also shown that further anomalies such as heart malformation and urethra malformations can be prevented by an additional intake of Folic Acid.
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