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Prenatal vitamins prior to conception may prevent autism


There is some supporting research which states that prenatal vitamins may reduce the risk of autism, one of the fasting growing diagnoses for children today.

“It appears that women who reported taking prenatal vitamins starting three months prior to conception and through the first month after conception seem to have a reduced chance their child will develop autism,” say researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, professor epidemiology and environmental health at the MIND Institute and Department of Public Health, University of California, Davis. The study is published in Epidemiology.

“For the women who didn’t take prenatal vitamins, there was about a 60% higher risk of having a child with autism.” They studied about 700 children with a variety of spectrum disorders and a third with no diagnosis at all. They considered genetic profiles of the parents in the study.

“Overall, it does look like there are at least a couple of genes here, either the mother’s genotype of the child’s genotype, that show this interaction. . . magnifying the size of the effect from not taking the vitamins,” explained Hertz-Picciotto.

A secondary study will need to be done to see if they can duplicate results. There is some thought that the folates in the vitamins are helping to keep the autism at bay. The key in the study was that the vitamins had to be taken prior to conception.

Source: Epidemiology, WebMD


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