Prevent Autism, Consume Folic Acid Before Pregnancy

Folic acid has always been recommended for pregnant women, especially to prevent abnormalities in the baby such as spina bifida (cleft spine). But according to recent studies, administration of folic acid can actually prevent autism. Especially if given before pregnancy.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is a good news for pregnant women. Mainly because pregnant women in modern times is increasingly concerned with the condition of pregnancy.

"Many women have anxiety and stress during pregnancy. They worry about what they eat, consumption or contact with the environment affects the fetus," said Dr.Jennifer Ashton, senior medical contributor to ABC News.

The study, published in JAMA that uses data Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Mentioned, mothers who take folic acid 4 weeks and 8 weeks before pregnancy had 40 percent lower risk of giving birth a child with autism.

Although still observed association between autism and folic acid, but it is not stated that the consumption of folic acid during pregnancy will reduce the risk of autism.

"We know that folic acid deficiency causes impaired development of the nervous system. Therefore not surprising that it also affects brain development," said dr.Ari Brown, a pediatrician in Texas who was not involved in the research.

The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study followed more than 85,000 babies born between 2002 and 2008 and their parents. About 270 babies are born in the period of the study of autism spectrum developmental disorder.