JAMA Study finds possible link of folic acid to autism prevention

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study today showing a possible linkage of folic acid sufficiency in pregnant women to the prevention of autism. The data, taken from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, tracked over 85,000 babies born over a span of six years. Researchers found a correlation between folic acid supplements taken before pregnancy and a reduced risk of autism, however a direct linkage is not certain.

Folic acid is an extremely beneficial B vitamin. Our bodies use folic acid to create new cells. It is highly recommended everyone take folic acid for their own health, but it is especially recommended for women to take before they plan to become pregnant, as folic acid can prevent major birth defects of a baby’s spine and brain.

Introducing folic acid into a woman’s daily routine is important to their preconception health. Women can show their love for their future baby by making a plan to become healthy now. Setting goals — like taking folic acid everyday — can be a first step on the road to a healthier self and pregnancy.

By downloading this free checklist provided by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, you can keep track of your goals and plan to have a healthier pregnancy.