Prenatal Vitamins Linked to Decreased Autism

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Thinking of becoming pregnant? Well, don’t wait until the two pink lines show up on your home pregnancy test to start preparing. It’s important for a woman to start taking a good quality prenatal that contains 800 mg of folic acid as well as iron, calcium and vitamin D3, as soon as she starts trying to conceive (and ideally 3 months before conceiving).

Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated vitamins that help support a woman’s body during pregnancy. The most important reason in the past to take a prenatal was for the increased amount of folic acid. Folic acid combined with a B group vitamin, not only before pregnancy, but during, significantly reduces the possibility of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. This condition can develop in an embryo very early in pregnancy, perhaps even before a woman knows she is carrying a fetus.

However, a recent study has given even more importance to prenatal vitamins. The study in the journal Epidemiology has found the there is a seven times greater risk that a child will develop autism if the mother doesn’t take prenatal vitamins immediately before and during the first month of pregnancy, and if she carries high-risk genes. Even without high-risk genes, the risk doubled. The B vitamins, particularly folic acid, seem to protect against defects in early fetal brain development.

So, if you are considering taking that big step into motherhood, start by choosing a good quality prenatal like Pathway Prenatal Plus Multi. It also contains ginger, to help with nausea.

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December 2011
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