Folic Acid Linked with Asthma in Young Children

Folic acid is often prescribed to pregnant women but studies have shown a link between folic acid intake during pregnancy and asthma in young children.

Folic acid supplements

Researchers say that it may be best to avoid intake of folic acid during latter part of pregnancy.

Is folic acid safe to take during pregnancy?

According to a study done by the University of Adelaide in Australia, folic acid intake at the latter part of pregnancy is linked with asthma in young children. Five hundred pregnant women who took supplemental folic acid during their second and third trimesters were included in the study. Their children were checked for asthma at 3.5 and 5.5 years old. The result showed 11.6% of their children had asthma at age 3.5 while 11.8% were diagnosed with asthma at 5.5 years old.

No evidence was found to show that intake of folic acid during the early part of pregnancy, when doctors prescribe foliate supplements, could cause any adverse effects. The consumption of dietary folic acid from green, leafy vegetables and some fruits was not linked with asthma in young children either.

Pregnant women are therefore advised to only take folic acid supplements prior to and during the first trimester of pregnancy. This maximizes the protection against neural tube birth defects and at the same time avoids the development of asthma in the child. The recommended dose is 400mg daily.

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