Folic Acid During Pregnancy May Lower Autism Risk

February 18, 2013 · Posted in Current Treatments, Peer-Reviewed Published Data 

folic acid during pregnancyA study of 85,000 children in Norway that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women who took folic acid during pregnancy were 40% less likely to have a child who developed autism.

A summary of the research by National Public Radio explained:

Folic acid is the synthetic version of a B vitamin called folate. It’s found naturally in foods such as spinach, black-eyed peas and rice. Public health officials recommend that women who may become pregnant take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day to reduce the chance of having a child with spina bifida.

The folic acid’s effect reduced the most severe cases of autism but did not seem to have an effect on the incidence of more mild forms, such as Asperger syndrome. The benefits were seen in those women who had been taking folic acid for 4 weeks before conception and continued to take the supplement during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.

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