There's a new reason for women to take folic acid. For some time, doctors have advised women of child bearing age to take folic acid every day because efforts through the March of Dimes have proven that folic acid can reduce the risk of serious birth defects, like spina bifida. But now, it appears there's another huge benefit.
Dr. Max Wiznitzer said, "If you're on folic acid, you may reduce the chance of having a child with autism. To me, this is a no-brainer. It's a win-win proposition. It's good for the mother, it's good for the fetus, and you can't ask for anything better than that."
The report in the journal of the American Medical Association tells of a study in Norway, in which researchers followed 85,000 children for six years. They found women who took folic acid supplements before they got pregnant and during the first trimester…lowered their babies' risk of developing autism by 40-percent. But it shows that a critical time for women to take folic acid is a month before conception. Some are calling this link between nutrition and autism a landmark finding, but others insist it is still just a piece of a puzzle of genetic and environmental factors that influence autism. By the way, you can get folic acid in a supplement. But it is also in our food supply, and it is found naturally in dark green, leafy vegetables.
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