Folic acid prevents severe developmental delay in children

It is well established through numerous clinical trials, that folic acid intake lowers the risk of neural tube defects in the offspring. This cohort study examined the longer-term effects of maternal folic acid intake on language development in offspring. A total of 38,954 children were studied at 3 yrs using a 6-point ordinal language grammar scale. Children whose mothers did not take dietary supplements were used as the reference groups. Compared to this group, children born to mothers who took folic acid (either alone or with other supplements) from 4-8 weeks of conception had a lower incidence of severe language delay. Folic acid reduced the risk of severe language delay by 45% alone or in combination with other supplements. However, there was no link between folic acid intake and gross motor skills in the children, suggesting the association was specific and there were no confounders.

Folic acid can be found in PM Procare (Pregnancy & Breastfeeding formula and AB Extra bone-care + (comprehensive calcium supplement).

Roth, C., et al., Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and severe language delay in children. JAMA, 2011. 306(14): p. 1566-73.