Effect of folic acid supplementation and/or its absence on body weight of wistar rats in pregnancy and in their offspring

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Introduction: Foetal birth weight is the best predictor of pregnancy outcome as the growth restriction has been associated with high morbidity and mortality. The need of Folic Acid (FA) supplementation is essential during the period of pregnancy to prevent untoward effects on pregnancy related complication in mother and to prevent birth defects in foetus. Aim: To compare the effects of FA supplementation and FA absent diets during the pregnancy on maternal and their offspring body weight. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study comprising of 18 Wistar albino rats procured from the Animal house, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka, India, after the institutional ethical committee clearance. Rats were randomly divided into three groups and given different diets: Control group with normal diet, group with FA supplementation diet, and group with FA absent diet (with added succinyl sulfathiazole) for five weeks. Later the female adult Wistar rats could mate with male rats of their own strain and allowed the female to complete their pregnancy. After the delivery, delivered pups were counted for each rat and gross malformation in each pup were noted. Immediately after the delivery, all the pups born to each rat were weighed individually in digital weighing machine. Results: Among the pregnant dams the body weight gain was observed more in control group with an average weight of 40.56 gm, followed by diet with absent FA (32 gm) and least in rats fed with FA supplementation diets (31 gm). Average number of pups born to pregnant dams fed with FA supplementation, FA absent diet, and in normal diet was found to be 8, 8, and 9 respectively. Regarding the birth weight of pups born to pregnant dams fed with FA supplementation the average weight was found to be 6.01-5.09 gm, with normal diet it was 5.51-5.08 gm, and least weight was observed in pups born with FA absent diet (4.74-3.31 gm). Conclusion: The present study concluded that the FA status in pregnancy is inversely proportional to the prenatal death in pups but in offspring’s born to mothers fed with FA supplementation, average body weight was more than those born to mothers fed with FA absent diet and with control groups. However, this needs further confirmation as the tests were done on limited samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)AC05-AC08
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-03-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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