Supplement use and dietary sources of folate, vitamin D, and n-3 fatty acids during preconception: The GLIMP2 study

Moniek Looman*, Claudia van den Berg, Anouk Geelen, Rahul A.K. Samlal, Rik Heijligenberg, Jacqueline M.T. Klein Gunnewiek, Michiel G.J. Balvers, Caroline L. Leendertz-Eggen, Lia D.E. Wijnberger, Edith J.M. Feskens, Elske M. Brouwer-Brolsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


An adequate nutritional status during the preconception period is important, particularly for folate, vitamin D, and n-3 fatty acids (i.e., EPA+DHA). We aimed to determine supplement intake and the main dietary sources of folate, vitamin D, and EPA+DHA using the data of 66 Dutch women aged 18–40 years who wished to become pregnant. Additionally, associations of these intakes with their blood levels were examined. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire, and supplement use with a structured questionnaire. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were determined in serum and folate and phospholipid EPA+DHA levels in plasma. Partial Spearman’s correlations, restricted cubic splines and trend analyses over tertiles of nutrient intakes were performed to examine intake-status associations. A large proportion of women did not meet the Dutch recommended intakes of folate (50%), vitamin D (67%), and EPA+DHA (52%). Vegetables were the main contributor to dietary folate intake (25%), oils and fats to dietary vitamin D intake (39%), and fish to dietary EPA+DHA intake (69%). Fourteen percent of the women had an inadequate folate status and 23% an inadequate vitamin D status. Supplemental folate intake, supplemental and dietary vitamin D intake and dietary EPA+DHA intake were significantly associated with their blood levels. In conclusion, even in our highly educated population, a large proportion did not achieve recommended folate, vitamin D and n-3 fatty acid intakes. Promotion of folate and vitamin D supplement use and fish consumption is needed to improve intakes and blood levels of these nutrients in women who wish to become pregnant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number962
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018


  • Diet
  • Folate
  • N-3 fatty acids
  • Preconception
  • Supplements
  • Vitamin D


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