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Prenatal folic acid and brain tumor

Children whose moms took folic acid during pregnancy were much less likely to develop a brain tumor than kids whose moms didn’t take folic acid.

In this study, doctors identified 327 children with brain tumors at 10 pediatric oncology centers in Australia, and compared them to 867 healthy children. Researchers asked mothers to describe their diets and supplements before and during pregnancy and found that kids whose moms took folic acid before becoming pregnant were 30 percent less likely to develop a childhood brain tumor. There was also some benefit when moms began to take folic acid after becoming pregnant, but not as beneficial as when starting beforehand.

In discussing their findings, doctors said the growing child quickly depletes mothers’ store of folate in order to fuel the rapid development of baby’s brain cells. 

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