Long-term use of the oral contraceptive pill (>5 years) has historically been associated with a progressive decrease in serum folate levels, of up to 40%, which could feasibly Folate 471
result in changes to cognition and mood, increased risk of macrocytic anaemia and
increased risk of NTD in newborns once use has ceased. Results from recent studies suggest this last concern may be unfounded (Lussanaa et al 2003, Sutterlin et al 2003).
There are a number of proposed mechanisms for folate depletion with OCP use, including concurrent depletion of B12, which is involved in the regeneration pathway of THF (Bielenberg 1991), and impaired folate resorption (Sutterlin et al 2003).
Was this article helpful?