Folate supplementation helps increase ovarian reserve
Higher intake of folate, specifically from supplements, results in a modest increase in ovarian reserve among women, as shown in a study.
The study included 522 women (median age 35.0 years) attending an academic fertility centre. All of them completed a validate food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary intake of folate. Ovarian reserve was evaluated by measuring antral follicle count using transvaginal ultrasonography.
Researchers performed multivariable Poisson regression models with robust standard errors to estimate the association between folate intake and antral follicle count. Factors such as calorie intake, age, body mass index, physical activity, education, smoking status, and intakes of certain vitamins and minerals, among others, were included in the analysis as potential confounders.
Median folate intake of the cohort was 1,005 μg/d. Total and supplemental folate intake showed a significant nonlinear relationship with antral follicle count.
Antral follicle count also had a positive linear association with up to approximately 1,200 μg/d of total folate intake and up to 800 μg/d of supplemental folate intake. There was no additional benefit seen for higher folate intakes.
However, the magnitude of the association was modest. For instance, the predicted adjusted difference in antral follicle count between a woman consuming 400 vs 800 μg/d of supplemental folate was only about 1.5 follicles.