Boosting foetal brain development and protecting against neural tube defects, folic acid is recommended as the number one supplement for all mums-to-be; now a new study finds that it could also prove important for those expectant mothers at risk for heart disease.
Research recently published in the American Journal of Hypertension has discovered a link between the prenatal consumption of folic acid and prevention of high blood pressure in babies.
Analysing data from 1,300 mother-child pairs, the research team observed that 29 percent of the babies born presented with high systolic blood pressure, but that pregnant candidates for heart disease risk (obese, diabetic, or smoking) exhibited a 40 percent lower chance of having children with high blood pressure provided they took in high levels of folic acid prenatally.
“Our study adds further evidence on the early life origins of high blood pressure,” senior author Xiaobin Wang says. “Our findings raise the possibility that early risk assessment and intervention before conception and during pregnancy may lead to new ways to prevent high blood pressure and its consequences across life spans and generations.”
While the study proves correlation, not direct cause, the evidence for folic acid’s benefits for all pregnant women is undisputed. Pregnancy supplements contain the sufficient amount required, and you can also up your folic acid levels by eating plenty leafy greens, beans, fortified complex carbs and citrus.