How Important Is It to Take Folic Acid Supplements in Pregnancy?

Research shows that women who take folic acid supplements at the beginning of pregnancy just about halved the potential risk of giving birth to a baby with autism. Starting to use folic acid supplements at a later time during pregnancy didn’t lower the risk.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.155925

Women that used folic acid supplements from 4 weeks prior to conception to 8 weeks into pregnancy experienced a 40 % reduced chance of having a baby with autism. Using folic acid supplements halfway through pregnancy had no effect.

The results only relate to a lower chance of childhood autism, the most severe kind of autism. The outcomes reveal no reducing of the chance of unspecific or atypical autism. The research also examined the incidence of Asperger syndrome, however the amount of tested children had been too low to provide a reliable result.

Food as well as other nutritional supplements didn’t lower risk. The study observed no link relating to childhood autism and consumption of other nutritional supplements while pregnant. The study also revealed no connection with maternal consumption of folate by way of food.

It seems that the decreased chance of childhood autism just relates to folic acid supplements, and not any other nutritional supplements or food, also the important time period is from 4 weeks prior to conceiving to 8 weeks into pregnancy.

The results show a connection relating to the using of folic acid supplements by the mother while pregnant and a lower chance of childhood autism.

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