Does folic acid improve egg quality?

During your journey towards parenthood, you’ll find that many people and even pregnancy resources will advise you to take folic acid to improve egg quality . You may find yourself wondering if it’s necessary and true. The answer is yes.

What is folic acid?

Folic acid, also known in its natural form as folate acid (both of which refer to Vitamin B9), is a nutrient essential for cell and DNA formation in the body[1].

How does folic acid aid fertility?

Expectant mothers have long been advised to take folic acid to aid with fetal development and this may make you wonder if there is any truth to it. In a nutshell, folic acid can help improve the egg quality. Research has suggested that some nutrients, particularly folic/folate, may improve fertility[2].


Folic acid aids your fertility journey by:

  • Regulating ovarian function, thus decreasing the risk of infertility due to ovulation issues up to 59%[3].
  • Aiding in the production of healthy new cells with the production of DNA, which is especially important for egg maturation before ovulation, embryo development, and pregnancy establishment[4].
  • Increasing the chances of pregnancy. In a clinical study, folate intake was associated with higher rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth in women undergoing IVF[5].


However, it is important to note that while folic acid is extremely beneficial, it is not a miracle nutrient. In order to create optimum conditions for conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term, it is important that you consume a healthy and well-rounded diet with a sufficient supply of other nutrients including zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and beta-carotene.

Where can you find folic acid?

The natural form of folic acid is known as folate. “Folate” is derived from the Latin word “folium”, meaning leaf. As the name suggests, dark, leafy vegetables such as spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus are excellent natural sources of folate.


Alternatively, you’ll find that folic acid is available to you in several forms. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires folic acid fortification in certain foods due to Vitamin B9’s proven ability to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects by 62%[6]. Enriched grain products like bread, pasta, rice and cereal[7] contains folic acid so you can incorporate folic acid into your diet by consuming such items.


Folic acid supplements are another great way to ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of folic acid. Research has found that supplemental folic acid is more beneficial for reproductive benefits compared to food folate[8]. This is likely due to supplements providing the necessary amount of nutrient more reliably, as well as the fact that natural folates are highly susceptible to oxygen exposure and will significantly degrade during the storage and shipping processes[9].

How much folate/folic acid should you consume?

As an adult, it is recommended that you consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folate or folic acid daily, but you are likely to be advised to consume more (it is best to consult your doctor) before and during pregnancy[10].


Nutrition is essential for  you to get pregnant and become parents. Understanding and listening to your body is the most important step in getting pregnant. For more information regarding your fertility questions or concerns, consult your personal care provider (there are several fertility specialists and fertility clinics in Malaysia and Singapore), or start by assessing your fertility status !


[1]  Office of Dietary Supplements – Folate. (2021, March 29). Office of Dietary Supplements | National Institutes of Health.

[2]  Steegers-Theunissen, R. P., Twigt, J., Pestinger, V., & Sinclair, K. D. (2013). The periconceptional period, reproduction and long-term health of offspring: the importance of one-carbon metabolism. Human reproduction update, 19(6), 640-655.

[3] Chavarro, J. E., Rich-Edwards, J. W., Rosner, B. A., & Willett, W. C. (2008). Use of multivitamins, intake of B vitamins, and risk of ovulatory infertility. Fertility and sterility, 89(3), 668-676.

[4] Gaskins, A. J., Mumford, S. L., Chavarro, J. E., Zhang, C., Pollack, A. Z., Wactawski-Wende, J., Perkins, N. J., & Schisterman, E. F. (2012). The Impact of Dietary Folate Intake on Reproductive Function in Premenopausal Women: A Prospective Cohort Study. PLoS ONE, 7(9), e46276.

Boxmeer, J. C., Macklon, N. S., Lindemans, J., Beckers, N. G., Eijkemans, M. J., Laven, J. S., … & Steegers-Theunissen, R. P. (2009). IVF outcomes are associated with biomarkers of the homocysteine pathway in monofollicular fluid. Human Reproduction, 24(5), 1059-1066.

[5] Gaskins, A. J., Afeiche, M., Wright, D. L., Toth, T. L., Williams, P. L., Gillman, M. W., … & Chavarro, J. E. (2014). Dietary folate and reproductive success among women undergoing assisted reproduction. Obstetrics and gynecology, 124(4), 801.

[6] Blencowe, H., Cousens, S., Modell, B., & Lawn, J. (2010). Folic acid to reduce neonatal mortality from neural tube disorders. International journal of epidemiology, 39(suppl_1), i110-i121.

[7] Key Findings: Folic acid fortification continues to prevent neural. . . (2018, October 22). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,This%20is%20called%20fortification.

[8] Gaskins, A. J., Afeiche, M., Wright, D. L., Toth, T. L., Williams, P. L., Gillman, M. W., … & Chavarro, J. E. (2014). Dietary folate and reproductive success among women undergoing assisted reproduction. Obstetrics and gynecology, 124(4), 801.

[9] Fekete, K., Berti, C., Cetin, I., Hermoso, M., Koletzko, B. V., & Decsi, T. (2010). Perinatal folate supply: relevance in health outcome parameters. Maternal & child nutrition, 6, 23-38.

[10] Folate (folic acid). (2021, February 23). Mayo Clinic.,of%20folic%20acid%20a%20day.


SG-NONF-00258 | 12 June 2023 

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