High dose of maternal folic acid supplementation is associated to infant asthma

Food Chem Toxicol. 2015 Jan;75:88-93. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2014.11.006. Epub 2014 Nov 13.


Maternal folic acid supplementation had a positive effect on preventing neural tube defects (NTDs), but its effects in infant asthma remained unclear. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted with outpatients between March 2010 and March 2011 including 150 onset infant asthma cases and 212 controls, together with a meta-analysis involving 14,438 participants, was performed. The association between maternal folic acid supplementation and the risk of infant asthma was not significant either in the meta-analysis (OR = 1.06, 95% CI =0.99-1.14) or in the case-control study (OR = 0.72, 95% CI =0.37-1.39). However, quantitative analysis of the supplementation dose demonstrated that the risk of infant asthma significantly increased for the infants whose mother were with high-dose supplementation (>72,000 µg•d; OR = 3.16, 95% CI =1.15-8.71) after adjusting for confounding factors in the case-control study. Meanwhile, the risk of infant asthma significantly decreased for the infants whose mother were with low-dose supplementation (<36,000 µg•d; OR = 0.36, 95% CI =0.17-0.77). A high dose of folic acid supplementation for mother during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of infant asthma, whereas supplementation with a relatively low-dose was associated with a decreased risk of infant asthma. These findings should be further investigated in a large population.

Keywords: Case–control study; Folic acid supplementation; Infant asthma; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / blood*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Folic Acid / adverse effects*
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Neural Tube Defects / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors


  • Folic Acid