Could taking a prenatal vitamin supplement with folic acid before and during pregnancy help reduce the chances of your child being diagnosed with autism later?
According to a new Norwegian study, yes.
Researchers tracked more than 85,000 Norwegian children born between 2002 and 2008. Doctors asked pregnant women to fill out a questionnaire about supplement use, both before and during their pregnancies, and followed the children for an average of six years. Autistic disorder was present in 0.10 percent of children whose mothers took folic acid, compared with 0.21 percent in children whose mothers did not take folic acid.
In this study it indicates that prenatal vitamins, taken 3 months before becoming pregnant, and during pregnancy, may reduce the risk of autism:
The study reports that mothers of children with autism and autism spectrum disorders were significantly less likely than mothers of children without autism to have taken prenatal vitamins three months before conception and in the first month of pregnancy. The finding, published in the Journal Epidemiology and the Journal of the American Medical Association , suggests that taking prenatal vitamins with Folic Acid in this period may help prevent these disorders, reducing the risk by some 40 percent.
In a new study of California moms, women whose children had autism recalled getting less folic acid through food and supplements early in their pregnancies than those whose kids didn’t develop the disorder.
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