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Wheeze warning over folic acid supplements

Folic acid supplements in the first three months of pregnancy are associated with a small increase in the risk of early respiratory infections and wheeze, research suggests.

Data from questionnaires of the mothers of 32,000 babies taken at several points during pregnancy and up to 18 months of age found a 6% increase for risk of wheeze, 9% for lower respiratory tract infections and 24% for risk of hospitalisation in those exposed to folic acid during the first trimester.

The Norwegian researchers speculated that early childhood respiratory health may be affected by possible epigenetic influences of methyl donors in maternal diet during pregnancy.

Archives of Diseases in Childhood 2008, 3 December early online publication

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