A new study has found a link between taking prenatal vitamins in early pregnancy and a possibly lowered risk of autism in children. The results come from a relatively small study but are fascinating nonetheless.
Researchers studied 241 younger siblings of children who already have autism. They were monitored beginning during their time in utero. These children are expected to have a higher genetic predisposal to the common disorder so they're good to research in order to find a cause. In women who took prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy, autism occurred just 14.1% of the time. Autism was found in 32.7% of the children whose mothers didn't take prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy.
Researcher Rebecca J. Schmidt from the University of California said in a statement that prenatal vitamins reduced the occurrence of autism in these siblings by half. That is a significant finding.
USA Today reported this news and the findings that were printed in the JAMA Psychiatry peer-reviewed journal. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women begin taking prenatal vitamins before they plan on conceiving.
Prenatal vitamins include folic acid which can be vital to preventing birth defects like congenital heart problems and neural tubal disorders such as spina bifida. They also provide mothers with extra much-needed nutrients and vitamins while they're body grows their baby. This results in longer, stronger nails and shinier, thicker hair that is prone to less breakage.
According to the AAP, autism affects 1 in 59 children. They even recommend every child be screened between the ages of 18 and 24 months. The numbers seem high but it's likely that autism has been affecting children and people since the beginning of time. We don't have more autistic cases, we just have more knowledge and a large spectrum of autism leading to more cases.
Have you seen any consistencies with the fiding of this study? Do you have an autistic child? If so, did you or did you not begin taking prenatal vitamins in early pregnancy. Please share your stories with us in the comments!