Saturday, March 9, 2013

Norwegian study links folic acid to decreased autism risk

Chemical structure of folic acid.
Chemical structure of folic acid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A study out of Norway that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month links the consumption of folic acid to a lowered risk of autism. While it has been known for years that consuming folic acid before and during pregnancy lowered the risk of some birth defects, this is the first study to examine the effects of it on autistic spectrum disorders.

The study sample consisted of over 85,000 children. Roughly 61,000 of them had mothers who took folic acid supplements and only 64 (.1%) of them have been diagnosed with an autistic disorder. Approximately 24,000 of them were born to mothers who did not take folic acid supplements and 50 (.21%) have an autistic disorder. Researchers concluded that their findings do not establish a cause and effect relationship, there is enough evidence to support the addition of folic acid supplements to the diet of women wanting to become pregnant or already are.

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