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Folate Deficiency Linked to Restless Legs

2 min read

Folate Deficiency Linked to Restless Legs

by Bradley Gillespie, PharmD

Folate supplementation during pregnancy is standard care to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects. In addition, folate supplementation is encouraged in people at increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Folate Deficiencies in Pregnancy

It appears that during pregnancy, when there is a lot of growth occurring, folate is used up more quickly, creating a deficiency of this important nutrient. A number of clinical studies have shown a relationship between these lower levels of folate and the incidence of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) in pregnant women. In these studies, folate supplementation has been shown to be effective in the treatment of the symptoms of RLS.

Folate Deficiencies in Familial Restless Legs

It has also been shown that folate deficiencies are found in patients with an inherited form of the malady called familial RLS. As in cases of pregnancy, it has been demonstrated that if folate can be returned to normal levels through supplementation, patients often experience fewer symptoms of RLS.

In addition to folate's role in supporting general well-being and good health, the relationships described above provide a positive link between deficiencies in folate and the incidence of RLS. Although, in both cases, folate deficiencies had separate causes, both leading to RLS, logic dictates that an important consideration in the management of of the syndrome is maintaining adequate blood levels of folate.

It is important to avoid folate deficiencies, since it has been shown that low folate levels can contribute to the symptoms of RLS. As such, another critical treatment modality for RLS is folate supplementation.

The premium quality folate used in the manufacture of Calm Legs has been found to be helpful in a number of patients suffering from the symptoms of RLS.


Restless Legs sufferer Bradley Gillespie, PharmD, is trained as a clinical pharmacist and has practiced in an industrial setting for the past 20-plus years. Currently, he supports efforts at the National Institutes of Health to develop therapeutics for rare and neglected diseases. He remains a registered pharmacist and operates a medical writing business.