Folic acid is essential for the proper development of the fetus. According to a study by the University of Adelaide, however, taking too much in the last stages of gestation would increase the risk of allergies. This effect would be particularly marked in the smaller fetuses.
Folic acid in pregnancy serves to prevent malformations of the neural tube. The Australian guidelines recommend taking supplements a month before conception and three months after conception. After this period, it would be good to stop taking supplements, unless the doctor gives different indications. According to Dr. Gatford, in fact, too much folic acid in the last stages of gestation increases the risk of allergies to the fetus.
Other research had shown that intrauterine growth restriction decreases the risk of allergies. The team of Dr. Gatford then analyzed the effects of supplements in normal pregnancies and those subject to this complication. The sheep tests showed that too much folic acid in the last quarter increases the risk of allergies in both groups.
According to the study, too much folic acid at the end of pregnancy cancels the protective effect given by intrauterine growth restriction. To test whether this is true for humans, further studies will be needed. In general, the recommendation remains the same: follow the instructions of the doctor and avoid self-medication.