2008 年 82 巻 1 号 p. 19-23
Folate is a water-soluble vitamin, which is one of vitamin B group, and is involved in DNA synthesis cycle and methylamine cycle. It is known that folate deficiency is associated with pernicious anemia. Folate is also an important nutrient for an embryo, because recent many studies reveal an association between maternal folate status and fetal neural tube defects (NTDs). In 2002, Japanese government recommended that all women planning a pregnancy should consume an additional 400μg/day of supplementary folate to reduce risk of NTDs, referring to scientific evidence and recommendations in the other countries. It is also reported that folate is an important nutrient for not only the prevention of NTDs but also health of mother and fetus. As the prevalence of NTDs was low in Japan compared with other countries in the past, folate status in Japanese has not been fully investigated. Folate has been recently added to the Dietary Reference Intake for Japanese and Standard Table of Food Composition in Japan since 2000.