One More Reason to Take Your Prenatal Vitamins -- Lower Autism Risk Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump
Early pregnancy is a crucial time in baby’s brain development. You’ve probably heard that taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid can help prevent birth defects in early pregnancy, but a new study suggests something in those prenatals may help prevent autism too. In the study, researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute gathered data on about 700 northern California families -- some of the kids were diagnosed with autism, and some weren’t. Their moms were asked whether they took prenatal vitamins and when they started taking them. The moms of kids with autism were 4.5 times more likely to say they weren’t taking prenatal vitamins around the time of conception than the moms of kids without autism were. Researchers admit the findings aren’t ironclad, since the moms were self-reporting their behavior years after the fact, and say follow-up studies should take place. They also don’t know which vitamins and minerals are responsible for the lowered risk, but theorize it’s likely the folic acid, B9 or other B vitamins that protect baby’s brain in the early weeks of pregnancy. So start those prenatals early if you can!
When did you start taking prenatal vitamins?
Plus, more from The Bump:
How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamin
Prenatal Vitamins: What You Need to Know Now
Read About A New Study On Autism
See More: Fertility Expert
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