Folic acid and multivitamins have benefits in both.
Folic acid and postpartum depression
Women who took folic acid supplements for more than six months while pregnant were less likely to have postpartum depression. In this study, doctors checked for postpartum depression in 1,592 women six to 12 weeks after giving birth. About half the women had taken a folic acid supplement during pregnancy.
Women who had taken folic acid for more than six months while pregnant were 24 percent less likely to develop postpartum depression compared to women who took folic acid for a shorter time or women who had not taken folic acid while pregnant.
Doctors also compared social, economic, family history, and individual health factors in the women and found that taking folic acid for more than six months while pregnant reduced postpartum depression regardless of any of these other factors.
Folic acid, multivitamins and autism
Women who took folic acid supplements or multivitamins either before or during pregnancy were less likely to give birth to a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This large study included 45,300 children born between 2003 and 2007 that doctors followed until 2015.
Doctors compared the vitamins and supplements in mothers of all 572 children diagnosed with ASD and in mothers of a random sampling of 14,760 children in the group who had not been diagnosed with ASD.
While pregnant, women who took either folic acid supplements or multivitamins were 73 percent less likely to give birth to a child later diagnosed with ASD compared to women whodid not take folic acid or multivitamin supplements during pregnancy. Before pregnancy, women who took folic acid or multivitamin supplements were 61 percent less likely to bear offspring later diagnosed with ASD compared to women who took neither folic acid nor multivitamins.
Reference: Nutrients; 2017, Vol. 9, No. 11, PII: E1206; Published Online
Natural Insights for Well Being April 2018
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