This ‘Healthy’ Pregnancy Habit Might Raise Your Baby’s Risk For Autism
Starting a folic acid supplement is one of the things that is usually recommended by your doctor as a regimen during your pregnancy. Doctors say that a daily prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement, beginning a few months before conception, has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. This is true, but what happens when it isn’t done right? If the vitamin is taken in high dosages, it could actually raise a child’s risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.
According to a longitudal research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, moms that were recruited at the time of their child’s birth between 1998 and 2013, if a new mom had high levels of folate right after giving birth, the risk that her child will develop autism spectrum disorder doubled.
This study was taken from 1,391 pairs of moms and kids, throughout all those years. (Continued Below)
High B-12 levels in new moms also boost this risk. Having extremely high levels of both could cause the risk to increase by 17.6 times!
A majority of the women in the study took multivitamins that included include folic acid and vitamin B12 throughout their pregnancies. That still wouldn’t explain the high levels in their blood. Researchers attributed the excess acid to women eating too many folic acid-fortified foods while at the same time taking too many supplements. Being genetically predisposed to absorbing greater quantities of folate or metabolizing it slower can also be an explenation.
“Adequate supplementation is protective: That’s still the story with folic acid. We have long known that a folate deficiency in pregnant mothers is detrimental to her child’s development. But what this tells us is that excessive amounts may also cause harm. We must aim for optimal levels of this important nutrient.” – says one of the study’s senior authors M. Daniele Fallin, PhD, director of the Bloomberg School’s Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
In order to determine a safe amount of supplementing with folic acid , more study needs to take placce. Women who are trying to conceive or pregnant are highly encouraged to talk to their health care provider about what’s best for them.