A new study out of Norway has shown a significant link between women who took folic acid before pregnancy and a reduced rate of autism in their children.
This study looked at more than 85,000 Norwegian mothers and their kids, and was run by Ian Lipkin of Columbia University. Folic acid is a synthetic version of the B vitamin folate, and it's easily bought off any drugstore shelf. It's also found in leafy green vegetables and pre-natal vitamins.
What Mr. Lipkin found was a 40% reduction in the incidence of autism for those women who were taking folic acid around the time of their pregnancy - a truly significant rate.
The study also shows that brain disorders are often linked to events that take place soon after conception. Similar studies done on a smaller scale have found the link between folic acid and reduced neurologic or physical impairment in children, as well as an increased risk for children of women who are obese or diabetic.
I guess it just goes to show you that being a healthy woman helps you have a healthy baby. You need to maintain a healthy weight, get some exercise, and eat your greens!
This won't eliminate autism, of course, but it could reduce it's occurrence. Every bite of broccoli could mean neurotypically functioning brain cells for your baby. No matter how much you hate your veggies, it's worth it.