Folic Acid in Pregnancy Shown To Reduce Autism Risk

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A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle especially for pregnant woman. Studies shows that pregnant women need to get more calories, vitamins and minerals like folic acid and iron etc. A poor diet could be really harmful for your child’s growth and that is why, it is important for pregnant women to take a balanced diet. They should exercise daily to remain active and be strong. Having a better diet does not mean that a woman should eat everything that she sees.

During the first trimester, a woman should have 300 calories a day but in the second trimester, she should increase her diet and her calories intake should be 450 calories. She should have a complete check on her weight. If a pregnant woman is underweight, it’s high time that she starting eating more whereas on the other hand, if she is overweight, she should cut down your calories intake. All the minerals and vitamins that pregnant women have in their diet improve the health of the baby.

Folic Acid is a member of Vitamin B family and has become a part of many public health circles. When a child is born, he/she faces various birth defects and it can be effectively prevented by taking folic acid dosage in routine. A pregnant woman should take 400 micrograms of folic acid dosage. This means that a woman should have ample quantity of folic acid in her system during pregnancy so, that it is available when or if misconception occurs.

Taking folic acid after discovering the pregnancy is not a bad idea, but it is not as effective as taking it beforehand. Women who have previously had children with neural tube defects should be taking at least 4 mg folic acid daily. Furthermore, folic acid also prevents colon cancer. Women with the inflammatory bowel condition ulcerative colitis tend to have greater chances of developing a colon cancer. In addition, cervical cancer could also be prevented by taking folic acid supplements. Folic acid can also reduce the risk of other sorts of cancer like esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancer.

It is not necessary to take supplements of folic acid, it is naturally found in many fruits, vegetables, grains and cereal. Folate, the naturally occurring form of folic acid, is found in green leafy vegetables, peas, lentils, beans, eggs, yeast and liver. Grain products, such as cereal, bread and flour, are fortified with folic acid. There are many medications and other items, whose consumption leads to a decrease in the level of folic acid in human body.

The list includes methotrexate, phenytoin, trimethoprim, birth control pills, alcohol and tobacco. This means that pregnant women who smoke should consume 800mcg of folic acid for protection against neural tube defects of the baby. The autism risk is increasing in infants these days. Hence, folic acid also reduces the risk of autism in infants and also aids drugs to treat depression of women.

To highlight the benefits of folic acid to reduce autism in infants, a research was conducted on women who had taken folic acid supplements for four weeks before they became pregnant until eight weeks after the start of their pregnancy. It was found out that folic acid supplements reduced the risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.

Folic Acid is needed for DNA synthesis. It helps prevent neural tube defects, including spina bifida, in the developing fetus. Typically, the neural tube closes 28 days after conception. Conception occurs in the sixth week of gestation. According to the study, the development of basic brain structures occurs 15 to 56 days after conception which is basically during gestational week’s five to ten.

These important findings provide further support for the beneficial role of folic acid intake during pregnancy. Such insights should inform public health strategies for all women. Many types of environmental exposures during pregnancy can increase or decrease the autism risk. Those environmental exposures include maternal nutrition etc.

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