November 01, 2014
Folic Acid and Autism
Wellness Tip

Folic Acid and Autism

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

Women who take folic acid supplements before and after becoming pregnant have a reduced risk of having a child with autism, according to a large recent observational study from Norway in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Folic acid is the form of the B vitamin folate used in supplements and fortified foods. The researchers found that women who took the supplements (any dose) during the crucial window from four weeks before to eight weeks after conception were 40 percent less likely to have children with autism than non-takers.

To prevent neural tube birth defects, women who may become pregnant have long been advised to consume 400 micrograms of folic acid a day (the amount in most multivitamins), and if they become pregnant, 600 to 800 micrograms (the amount in prenatal vitamins) a day.