Folic acid may reduce risk of premature birth

May 12, 2009 2:47:55 PM PDT
Supplements with folic acid are known to help prevent birth defects. Now researchers say, if taken at least a year before conception, the supplement can help reduce the chance of premature birth.

The study in the journal PLoS Medicine shows that women who took folate supplements for 12 months were 50 percent less likely to give birth between weeks 28 and 32.

Other research has linked folic acid in the mother with a shorter length of pregnancy.

Premature babies can have breathing issues, learning or developmental disabilities and are lees likely to survive compared to babies born closer to term.