The findings of a medical study conducted by a group of researchers of the Johns Hopkins University suggest that intake of iron and folic acid supplements during pregnancy might help in increasing the baby’s intelligence. The study was conducted on school-aged kids living in the rural territories of Nepal. The mothers of these children took part in a medical study during their pregnancy. During the prior study, a certain percentage of the pregnant women received dosages of iron and folic acid supplements.
Parul Christian, a member of the research team stated that they were given the opportunity of following offerings of the women participating in the randomized trials of certain nutrients like iron and folic acid for assessing their neurocognitive properties and outcomes. Through keen observation, the researchers discovered that kids of the women receiving the two supplements during pregnancy secured higher marks in the tests of motor skills, organization skills and intelligence compared to the kids of women who did not have those supplements.
Christian mentioned that through this study they wanted to show the world that prenatal use of supplements of folic acid and iron can significantly impact the motor skills and intellectual levels of the offspring. According to Christian, prenatal consumption of these two nutritional supplements also helped in enhancing the executive functioning of the offspring. Both folic acid and iron are important nutrients for ensuring proper nerve development of the developing fetus. The researchers feel this feature of the two nutrients contributed to the result of the study.
Supplemental children only secured 2.4 points more than the non-supplemental ones in nonverbal intelligence tests. This difference in scores may appear to be quite small when assumed in perspective of a small group; however, if we consider the entire nation or the world population, the difference is quite significant.