Folate requirements during pregnancy

Dietary reference intakes (DRIs) are recommendations for nutrient intakes used to plan and assess the adequacy of diets for healthy people [7]. The DRIs include a number of reference values including Estimated Average Requirement, Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), Adequate Intake, and Tolerable Upper Intake Level. For the purposes of planning and assessing a diet for a healthy individual, clinicians should generally utilize the RDA [7]. The RDA for folate for pregnant women is the average daily dietary folate intake that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy pregnant women (97-98%) [8]. New units (Dietary Folate Equivalents, DFEs) were derived to express the folate RDA that account for the higher bioavail-ability of folic acid compared to naturally occurring food folate [7]. When expressed as DFEs, folic acid intake is converted to an amount that is equivalent to food folate. It was estimated that folic acid in fortified foods is ~85% bioavailable and food folate is ~50% bioavailable, which means that folic acid in food is 1.7 times more bioavailable than is folate occurring naturally in food. If a mixture of synthetic folic acid plus food folate is consumed, then the DFE is calculated as follows: DFE = food folate + (1.7 x synthetic folic acid). For example, a meal that contains 100 micrograms (mcg) of folate from orange juice and 100 mcg of folic acid from fortified cereal would contain a total of 270 mcg DFE (100 mcg from orange juice + [100 mcg folic acid x 1.7]).

The current folate DRIs for pregnant women were based on data from a controlled metabolic study and a series of population-based studies in which dietary folate intake was reported [7].

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

Looking To Lose Weight But Not Starve Yourself? Revealed! The Secret To Long Life And Good Health Is In The Foods We Eat. Download today To Discover The Reason Why The Mediterranean Diet Will Help You Have Great Health, Enjoy Life And Live Longer.

Get My Free Ebook


  • peter
    What is Folate/DFE mcg nutrition pregnancy?
    8 years ago

Post a comment