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Folic acid lowers risk of autism

  • Published at 12:03 pm November 21st, 2014
Folic acid lowers risk of autism

Mothers who took folic acid supplements in early pregnancy had a 40% lower risk of having children with autistic disorder compared with mothers who did not take folic acid, a team of European researchers found.

A study showed children born to women who started taking folic acid supplements four to eight weeks before pregnancy appear to be at a lower risk of autism. Pal Suren of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and colleagues looked into the use of folic acid supplements before and during early pregnancy, and any impact on the later risk of various disorders on the autism spectrum.  It is already recommend that folic acid lowers the risk of birth defects, and that women are often advised to take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy. Suren’s research appears to confirm that the advice to take folic acid supplements is well-founded.

About 1 in 88 children, or 1.14%, in the United States have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mothers who took folic acid supplements in early pregnancy had a 40% lower risk of having children with autistic disorder compared with mothers who did not take folic acid, the researchers found.

Folic acid is found in naturally high levels in foods such as dark leafy greens, asparagus and broccoli, as well as citrus fruits. 

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