Nutrition during pregnancy and in early life may influence developmental plasticity and alter susceptibility to obesity and adult disease. One mechanism by which this could occur is through epigenetic changes, such as changes in methylation levels, which modify gene expression patterns. Folate intake during pregnancy, as well as maternal methyltetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T genotype, influences the availability of methyl donors for methylation during gestation and therefore may be associated with offspring body composition in childhood. We looked at associations between maternal folic acid supplementation at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, folate intake in the diet (from self-reported FFQ) at 32 weeks of pregnancy and offspring body composition at age 9 years among 5783 children from a population-based birth cohort study in the UK. We also looked at maternal and offspring's MTHFR C677T genotype in relation to offspring body composition. We found no evidence to support the hypothesis that intra-uterine exposure to folate influences childhood body composition.
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