New Research Show Folic Acid May Help Fight Down Syndrome

Wednesday, September 29th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Research shows that a vitamin supplement proven to help fight some birth defects may also prevent another kind of condition. The results from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study shows folic acid may help women who are at high risk of having a Down syndrome baby.

Toma Montgomery has two young children and another on the way. She's learning more every day about the way folic acid prevents birth defects. "It's exciting,” said Montgomery. “I will try to eat a lot of foods with folic acid in it.”

Women who have trouble metabolizing folic acid are at a higher risk of having a child with Down’s syndrome. The study claims there's a possibility that if these women take in more folic acid supplements, it could prevent Down’s syndrome in their children. "It's the first time that it's been shown that folic was associated with any other birth defect other than spina bifida, said maternal - fetal medicine specialist Dr. James Beeson. Dr. Beeson says it's exciting news but still very premature. He says it could be five years before the theory is proven. Bottom line, Beeson says, don't wait for the proof. Take additional folic acid before and during pregnancy to help ensure your baby will be healthy.

Women can get folic acid by taking vitamins or eating leafy green vegetables, beans, tuna, eggs, cereal and pasta.