According to the CDC, approximately 7 million children have asthma, which is equal to 1 in 11….and the number is growing.
According to a new study, the maternal intake of dietary methyl donors during the first trimester of pregnancy modulates the risk of developing childhood asthma at age seven.
In this study of more than a one thousand mother-child pairs, researchers found that the maternal intake of folate, choline, betaine, along with vitamins B2, B6, and B12 had protective effects on the risk of developing childhood asthma.
Methyl donors are nutrients involved in biochemical process called methylation, which is involved in many important functions of the body. Dietary intake of methyl donors has been shown to affect the risk of developing a number of diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
The results of the study demonstrated that intake of vitamin B12 and choline in the first trimester was associated with a lower asthma risk at age seven. In addition, researchers suggest that the addition of folate and other methyl donors during pregnancy may decrease the risk of the child developing asthma.
The form of vitamins selected for supplementation is a very significant factor here. B vitamins are preferred in their coenzymated forms so the body does not have to phosphorylate them. It is also important to use a prenatal supplement with naturally occurring folates, as opposed to synthetic folic acid.
For more information on methylation, please listen to our Clinical Rounds call from March 27, 2013, Methylation Basic Do's and Don'ts: Getting Started with Methylation Support , with Benjamin Lynch, ND.
Source: 2014. American Thoracic Society International Conference Abstracts, BEST OF PEDIATRICS. May 1, 2014, A5118-A5118. Intake of dietary prenatal folate and other methyl donors in first trimester of pregnancy affects asthma risk in children at age 7.