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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Folic Acid May Protect Against Autism in Pregnancy

By February 13, 2013

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Prenatal Vitamins

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that in mothers who had taken folic acid around the time they conceived and in the first months of pregnancy had a lower risk of having a child who was later diagnosed with Autism. Folic Acid has been recommended for many years as a simple and effective way to prevent neural tube defects like Spina Bifida and anencephaly. The minimum dose is 400 micrograms.  You can take this alone or as a part of a regular prenatal vitamin.

The important thing to remember is that the optimal timing for this protection is four weeks before conception until eight weeks into a pregnancy. This is very early in pregnancy and not all mothers will know that entire time that they are pregnant, it is nearly impossible to do so.  This means that it is critical that you take folic acid as a part of your daily routine when you are not only trying to conceive, but when you are in your child bearing years. (Keep in mind that only 50% of pregnancies are planned.)

This study of 85,000 plus women did not show any changes in the rates of diagnosis for more minor diagnoses of Aspberger's or pervasive developmental delay with no specified origin (PDD-NOS).

When did you start taking your prenatal vitamins?

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Surén P, Roth C, Bresnahan M, et al. Association Between Maternal Use of Folic Acid Supplements and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children. JAMA. 2013;309(6):570-577. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.155925.

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Comments
February 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm
(1) Abena says:

Is it always that you conceive during ovulation or apart from ovulation you can conceive.

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