Prenatal vitamins may reduce autism risk

Families with a history of autism have increased chances for autism in their offspring.

In this study, doctors followed 241 children born to mothers who previously had a child with confirmed autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Six months before pregnancy, and each month during it, doctors measured mothers’ vitamin and supplement usage. When each child was within six months of the third birthday, doctors made a final autism assessment.

Overall, 14.1 percent of children whose mothers had taken prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy were diagnosed with ASD compared to 32.7 percent of kids born to moms who had not taken prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy. In a related finding, mothers who got at least 600 mcg of folic acid per day were less likely to bear a child who later developed attention deficit disorder (ADD).

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