Folic Acid: Autism preventative? - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Folic Acid: Autism preventative?

Posted: Updated:

Doctors advise pregnant women to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.

It's a proven method of reducing babies' risk for serious birth defects, like spina bifida.

Now there's an apparent added benefit.

Researchers in Norway 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.

Experts in the field call this link between nutrition and autism a landmark finding, but it's just one piece of a complicated puzzle of genetic and environmental factors that influence autism development.

"This does not prevent autism. There were women in this study who took prenatal folic acid and went on to have a child affected with autism," points out Dr. Alycia Halladay of Autism Speaks.

Our food supply is fortified with folic acid, but experts say many women may not be getting enough in their diet to make a difference.

They also say there's no downside to taking the supplements.

"To me, this is a no-brainer. It's a win-win proposition," says Dr. Max Wiznitzer. "It's good for the mother, it's good for the fetus, and you can't ask for anything better than that."

In addition to supplements and fortified breads and cereals folic acid is found naturally in dark green, leafy vegetables.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Lightning kills boy swimming in Pennsylvania creek

    Lightning kills boy swimming in Pennsylvania creek

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:09:34 GMT
    Authorities say a lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a central Pennsylvania creek.More >>
    Authorities say a lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a central Pennsylvania creek.More >>
  • Ohio police: Wedding guest tries to steal gifts

    Ohio police: Wedding guest tries to steal gifts

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Police in Dayton say a wedding guest tried to make off with checks and cash for the newlyweds. Officers were called to the wedding reception late Saturday night after workers noticed that a safe had been emptied out. Police say about $6,800 was found in unopened wedding cards inside a tuxedo garment bag belonging to one of the guests. A police report says surveillance video showed a man entering the office and later walking out with the garment bag. The man told police he...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Police in Dayton say a wedding guest tried to make off with checks and cash for the newlyweds. Officers were called to the wedding reception late Saturday night after workers noticed that a safe had been emptied out. Police say about $6,800 was found in unopened wedding cards inside a tuxedo garment bag belonging to one of the guests. A police report says surveillance video showed a man entering the office and later walking out with the garment bag. The man told police he...More >>
  • Flying club remembers 4 killed in Ohio plane crash

    Flying club remembers 4 killed in Ohio plane crash

    CLEVELAND (AP) - Members of a flying club held a candlelight vigil to remember four Ohio college students killed a week ago when a small plane crashed just after taking off near Cleveland. Friends and family members were among the 80 people who gathered Sunday night near the crash site in Willoughby Hills. Federal officials say the pilot of the plane reported he was having trouble climbing just after takeoff and was trying to return to the airport. All four people aboard the plane were stude...More >>
    CLEVELAND (AP) - Members of a flying club held a candlelight vigil to remember four Ohio college students killed a week ago when a small plane crashed just after taking off near Cleveland. Friends and family members were among the 80 people who gathered Sunday night near the crash site in Willoughby Hills. Federal officials say the pilot of the plane reported he was having trouble climbing just after takeoff and was trying to return to the airport. All four people aboard the plane were stude...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms