Folic Acid and Child Asthma

Folic acid supplements have long been considered as an important part of preparing an expecting mother for childbirth in terms of the baby’s development. But it seems that folic acid may also have a not so encouraging result after all. An Australian study suggests that women taking folic acid supplements during the latter stages of their pregnancy may also be increasing the risk of their babies developing asthma later on.

Folic acid found in its natural form has been recommended by doctors for women who are in their early pregnancy. This nutrient seems to help prevent neural defects during the first weeks of pregnancy. A study done by researchers at the University of Adelaide however suggests that those women who take folic acid supplements during the latter stages of their pregnancy may give birth to babies who are 30 percent more likely to develop asthma.

The study involved 550 women who took folic acid supplements at various stages of their pregnancies. Those who took the supplements before conception and lasting not more than several weeks into their pregnancies showed no increased risk of asthma in their children. But those who took folate supplements until weeks 16 to 30 of their pregnancies increased the risk of a child developing asthma by 30 percent.

The study suggests that early supplementation of folic acid in pregnant women may have no negative effects on the child. But if the folic acid supplementation extends up to the latter stages of the pregnancy may considerably affect the risk of children born and developing asthma later on.