We already know many of the benefits of folic acid, or Vitamin B-9, including greatly reducing the risk of neural tube defects in pregnancy, and congenital heart disease.
Now, according to a new literature review conducted by researchers from Palermo University and Brunel University in London, expectant mother’s who add folic acid to their daily routine could also be reducing the risk of their child developing childhood leukemia.
According to the review, which appears in Genes & Nutrition, “Overall, folic acid intake during pregnancy seems to provide protection against the risk of leukemia in the offspring.”
Most studies included in the review found that the risk of both acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) decreased with the usage of folic acid.
The review also found that taking folic acid before conception is important.
“Leukemogenesis appears to be a result of genetic and environmental factors, occurring prior and during pregnancy.”
While the findings of this review are purely observational and can’t be confirmed, it is another example of why including folic acid in your daily regimen, whether you’re planning on becoming pregnant or not, can be greatly beneficial.
The recommended daily amount of folic acid during pregnancy is 400 mcg. Women are advised to begin taking vitamin B-9 three to 12 months before conception.