Folate in Early Pregnancy May Boost Wheezing in Baby

By Ashley | February 24, 2010
Folate Risks In Pregnancy

While everybody is aware of the fact that a pregnancy requires an expecting mother to have a lot of physical and emotional strength over the entire duration, a lot of people tend to ignore the fact that showing restraint is another very important part of having the perfect pregnancy. Almost all of us have vices that, when pregnant, could have rather significant long term effects. As a result, most expecting mothers would, almost instantly need to give up a number of addictions, whether they be food, alcohol, smoking or even narcotics.

What most people forget to look out for is the kind of food we consume. For example, it is common knowledge that leafy green vegetables make for the most nutritious foods. However, as with almost anything in this world, too much of it is not recommended when you are pregnant. Foods like leafy green vegetables, peas and dried beans are huge sources of vitamin B9. When the folate is added to a number of commonly used processed foods like breakfast cereal and bread, it is known as folic acid and is an important part of the diet required during a pregnancy. The substance plays a significant role in the production of cells as well as rapid cell division. Folate and folic acid also help in guarding the body against medical conditions such as cancer and anemia while it also helps reduce the likelihood of birth defects when consumed by pregnant women.

However, a recent in depth study on the effects of an overdose of folic acid in pregnant women shows that there is an increased risk of the infant suffering from some kind of respiratory illness. More details show that infants whose mothers had taken folate supplements during the first three months of their pregnancies were more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses than other infants. The children are also likely to suffer from the effects of the substance up to the age of 18 months. Moreover, the affected children were also about 24% ore likely to require hospitalization for the treatment of the condition. Further research also shows that folate and other chemical substances within the body combine to affect another biochemical process known as methylation – which is known to significantly alter genetic activity. The studies show that the process of methylation plays a prominent role in the development of the T cells in the immune system and influences the development of airway inflammation during the early phases of childhood

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