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PLOS ONE  2012 

Periconceptional Maternal Folic Acid Use of 400 μg per Day Is Related to Increased Methylation of the IGF2 Gene in the Very Young Child

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007845

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Abstract:

Countries worldwide recommend women planning pregnancy to use daily 400 μg of synthetic folic acid in the periconceptional period to prevent birth defects in children. The underlying mechanisms of this preventive effect are not clear, however, epigenetic modulation of growth processes by folic acid is hypothesized. Here, we investigated whether periconceptional maternal folic acid use and markers of global DNA methylation potential (S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine blood levels) in mothers and children affect methylation of the insulin-like growth factor 2 gene differentially methylation region (IGF2 DMR) in the child. Moreover, we tested whether the methylation of the IGF2 DMR was independently associated with birth weight.

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