Mothers’ folic acid supplements may reduce Autism in children
Children born to mothers who took folic acid were less than half as likely to develop ASD
by Newsletter Editor
After studies found women taking folic acid around the time of conception reduced chances for birth defects, the U.S. and several other countries began requiring manufacturers to add folic acid to foods.
Doctors in this study probed for a link between mothers’ folic acid supplements and chances for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their children.
Doctors followed 85,176 children for an average of 6.4 years, with 270 eventually diagnosed with ASD. Compared to children of women who did not take folic acid, children born to mothers who took folic acid supplements, from four weeks before through eight weeks after becoming pregnant, were less than half as likely to develop ASD. Doctors also found that mothers who took folic acid had healthier lifestyles: they tended not to smoke, to have healthy weight, to have planned their first pregnancy, and to be college graduates.
Reference: Journal of the American Medical Association; 2013, Vol. 309, No. 6, 570-7