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Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil

On-line version ISSN 1806-9304


BRASIL, Flavia Bittencourt; AMARANTE, Luiz Henrique  and  OLIVEIRA, Marcos Roberto de. Maternal folic acid consumption during gestation and its long-term effects on offspring's liver: a systematic review. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2017, vol.17, n.1, pp.7-15. ISSN 1806-9304.


describing the effects of maternal supplementation with folic acid (FA) exclusively during gestation on offspring's liver at later stages in life. Supplementation with FA during gestation has been recommended by the medical society worldwide. The liver has a central role on the substances of metabolism and homeostasis and some studies have shown that a high intake of FA at other periods in life may cause hepatic damage.


a systematic review through which the following databases were consulted: Medline, through platforms of Pubmed, Lilacs and Scielo. The research was performed by keywords such as: "Folic acid", "Gestation", "Rat", "Offspring" and "Liver". Articles which evaluate the effect of FA consumption during both gestation and lactation were excluded.


FA consumption avoids disorders on expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) and glucocorticoid receptor (GccR), its lack did not change enzyme activity of the male offspring's liver in adulthood. Supplementation with FA during gestation did not change iron hepatic levels or lipid composition, but had an antioxidant effect on it.


supplementation with FA at recommended doses did not cause toxic effects and is very likely to avoid deleterious effects in the liver of the offspring regarding the epigenetic level.

Keywords : Folic acid; Gestation; Liver; Offspring; Rat.

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