Pregnant women are advised to take folic acid during her pregnancy. A new study has shown that women who take folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy are less likely to deliver a baby who develops autism. The study involved women who took prenatal vitamins between 2003 and 2007. The children were followed from the time that they were born until January 26, 2015.
The researchers stated that maternal vitamin deficiency is linked to cognitive problems in the offspring. That is why pregnant women are often advised to take prenatal vitamins with folic acid. The purpose of the study was to examine the link between autism and vitamin deficiency.
The researchers found that children born to mothers who took prenatal vitamins were 73 percent less likely to develop autism. They recommend that women start taking prenatal vitamins before they get pregnant in order to get the best results. The study authors did caution that the study has limitations. They also noted that more studies need to be done in order to confirm the results of this study.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton is the chief medical correspondent for ABC. She stated that the study does have interesting findings. However, she also stated that there is not one thing that causes autism. There are environmental and biological factors that cause autism. She cautioned that the results of the study should not be used to make mothers of autism feel bad. There are many mothers who received adequate nutrition during pregnancy and still gave birth to a baby with offspring. She agrees that there needs to be more research done to find out what causes autism.
There were 45,300 children involved in the study. Five-hundred and seventy-two children developed autism. The results of the study were published in “The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry”.