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Folic Acid Supplements During Pre-Conceptional and Prenatal Periods May Decrease Autism Risk in Offspring

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Continuous maternal folic acid supplementation during the pre-conceptional and prenatal periods may decrease the risk of autism in offspring, according to new research from China.

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It is well known that folic acid deficiency during pregnancy leads to serious neural tube defects in the fetus and may result in miscarriage. As a neural tube defect can occur before a woman is even aware that she is pregnant, every woman of childbearing age should take at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

In this latest study, researchers from China looked at whether mothers taking folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy affected the chances of their children having autism spectrum disorder. They studied over 6,000 toddlers and found that children whose mothers didn’t take folic acid during pregnancy had a higher risk of autism spectrum disorder than those whose mothers did. Mothers who took folic acid consistently from before pregnancy until during pregnancy were found to have the lowest risk of their children having the disorder. The researchers therefore concluded that taking folic acid during pregnancy could help lower the risk of autism spectrum disorder in children.

To learn more about natural approaches to preventing and controlling autism spectrum disorder, see this page on our website.

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