Kids achieve more if moms ‘pump’ iron

Giving pregnant women iron and folic acid supplements was positively associated with children’s general intellectual ability, some aspects of executive function, and fine motor control. (Credit: Laura Seckel)

JOHNS HOPKINS (US) — In developing countries where iron deficiency is a problem, schoolchildren whose mothers took iron and folic acid supplements during pregnancy did better than their peers on intellectual and fine motor skills tests.

Ten years ago, researchers gave pregnant women iron and folic acid in Nepal, a region where women do not get basic vitamins. Lana actually volunteered in the country where this study was conducted, but she did not participate. She was there as part of the Himalayan Rescue Association.

In 2009, researchers checked in on the children born to those mothers. The children of mothers with supplements were smarter and had better fine muscle control compared to children from mothers who did not get supplements.

In this case, about $2 worth of vitamins created lifelong increases in intelligence and nervous system function.

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