Mom’s Folic Acid Supplementation Reduces Risk for Autism
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
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Folic acid, along with vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are required for normal nerve function. A mother’s folic acid status before and during pregnancy has a direct bearing on the nerve development of her child while in the womb. A new study proves that nonoptimal folic acid status of the mother during pregnancy increases the risk for autism, and nonoptimal folic acid status in the three months prior to conception increases the risk for delayed development. Any woman considering pregnancy should be on high quality folic acid supplementation, along with other cofactor B vitamins, ideally for at least three months prior to conception.
The study showed that mothers with adequate folic acid intake (a dose of 600 mcg or more per day) were much more likely to have children with typical healthy development . A dose of less than 600 mcg per day was associated with a 40 percent increased risk for autism, which was especially the case if mothers had a gene related weakness in folic acid metabolism. The researchers also saw a nonstatistically significant trend in delayed development and low folic acid status three months prior to conception.
A lack of folic acid in and of itself is not a cause for autism. Rather, the lack of folic acid results in nerve development that is not what it could be, a type of nerve weakness that now makes a child more susceptible to other insults or stressors that interfere with brain function. We can assume that any mom would like to give her child the healthiest nerves possible. Clearly, folic acid, other B vitamins, DHA Docosahexaenoic acid Essential omega 3 fatty acid integral to the health of all cell membranes, nerve and brain function. Must be gotten through the diet via cold water oceanic fish or some very limited plant sources or taken as a supplement., zinc, iron, iodine and adequate amounts of sulfur-containing protein (like whey protein) are vital for this purpose.
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