Pregnant women, and even those who may become pregnant, are advised to take folic acid to prevent premature delivery and birth defects in their babies.
New evidence indicates babies who get extra folic acid while still in the womb may be protected from developing colorectal cancer later in life.
The research was done in lab rats. Rats whose mothers did not have folic acid supplementation had a nearly three-fold increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, compared with babies that did get the supplements in utero. It's unclear if human babies would be affected the same way.