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Lower autism risk with folic acid supplements in pregnancy
Date:2/12/2013

c acid protects the developing brain and spinal cord

The Norwegian Directorate of Health recommends that women who are planning to become pregnant should take folic acid supplements from one month before conception and during the first three months of pregnancy. The recommendation is based on research showing that the use of folic acid supplements in early pregnancy protects the foetus from spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

In recent years, researchers have begun to investigate whether folic acid supplements may also have other beneficial effects on the development of the brain and spinal cord in the foetus. A study from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study showed that mothers who took folic acid supplements early in pregnancy halved the risk of having children with severe language delay at three years-old. A study of autism spectrum disorders from California found a lower risk of autism among children of expectant mothers who had taken multivitamin supplements containing folic acid.

The authors of the article are: Pl Surn, Christine Roth, Michaeline Bresnahan, Margaretha Haugen, Mady Hornig, Deborah Hirtz, Kari Kveim Lie, W. Ian Lipkin, Per Magnus, Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud, Synnve Schjlberg, George Davey Smith, Anne-Siri yen, Ezra Susser and Camilla Stoltenberg.


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Contact: Julie Johansen
julie.johansen@fhi.no
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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