New study suggests women who take folic acid limit their babies’ chances of severe language delays.
Health professionals worldwide already advise us to take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy to lower the risk of various birth defects, such as spina bifida. Now it appears that this super supplement, which influences how proteins are produced by different genes, can alter how many words a child has learned by the age of 3. A Norwegian study, led by Dr Ezra Susser, analysed 40,000 pregnant women, monitoring tablets they had taken both before and up until 8 weeks of pregnancy. When the children were 3 years old, Dr Ezra returned to evaluate their language development. His study revealed that only four out of 1,000 kids born to mums who had taken folic acid supplements before and during their pregnancy had severe language delays. This figure rose to nine out of 1,000 amongst mothers who hadn’t taken the supplements. While the evidence isn’t conclusive, Ezra notes that it adds weight to current recommendations to start taking the supplements during the early stages of pregnancy. Read more…
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