Prenatal Vitamins and Autism
Currently when it comes to autism, it’s still a bit of a mystery regarding what causes it. There are several different known risk factors, and as such, several different theories as to the cause, but still nothing concrete. One branch of risk factors is nutrition, namely the mother’s nutrition. According to at least one study, her nutrition is most important even before conception.
In the July 11 issue of the journal “Epidemiology” was an article entitled “Prenatal Vitamins, One-Carbon Metabolism Gene Variants, and Risk for Autism.” 707 children between the ages of two and five years were evaluated and the researches collected data from the mothers of the children regarding vitamin intake before, during, and after pregnancy. 288 of the children had autism, 141 had autism-spectrum disorder, and the remaining 278 were considered to have normal development. The mothers and children were also checked for 7 genetic markers relating to one-carbon metabolism. What one-carbon metabolism basically is is a metabolic pathway using certain B vitamins to help create some of the components of new DNA. B vitamins are also particularly important in neural development, which is one of the first stages of development in the womb.
In the end, it was found that taking prenatal vitamins for at least the first three months before pregnancy had a decreased likelihood of autism or autism spectrum disorder by 38%. However, during months 2-9 of pregnancy showed no chance in autism risk with vitamins compared to without. So while there’s a vast multitude of concerns in planning for a new baby, make sure to include proper nutrition and some supplements for the mother even before beginning to try having one.
--Joshua J. J. Jorde D.C.
Read the original article here