Folic acid does not improve the chances of a pregnancy but scientists said Friday that it could increase the odds of twins when two embryos are transferred during fertility treatment.
Researchers at the Rowett Research Institute and Aberdeen University in Scotland found that women with high levels of folic acid were more likely to have twins following in vitro fertilization (IVF).
"Basically the folic acid is increasing embryo survival, that is what we think is happening," said Dr. Paul Haggarty, lead author of the study published in the Lancet medical journal.
Folic acid is a synthetic compound of folate, a B vitamin found in green leafy vegetables and liver. Women are advised to take supplements before conceiving and during the early months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of having a child with a neural tube disorder.