Daily folic acid supplement may reduce risk of gestational diabetes
NIH study suggests supplement that reduces risk of birth defects may also have maternal health benefit
Taking a folic acid supplement daily before pregnancy may reduce the risk of gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. The findings appear in Diabetes Care.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, or vitamin B9, which is found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, peas, beans and other foods. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all women of reproductive age take a daily supplement containing 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid to reduce the risk of conceiving a child with a neural tube defect, a class of birth defects affecting the brain and spinal cord.
Gestational diabetes results when the level of blood sugar, or glucose, rises too high. It increases a woman’s chances for cesarean delivery and for blood pressure disorders during pregnancy. It also raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes later in life. For infants, gestational diabetes increases the risk of large birth size and of obesity during childhood and adulthood.
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022