Tuesday, September 26, 2017 | ePaper

Folic acid in pregnancy may cut kids' autism risk

  • Print


Life Desk :
The findings showed that if the mother was taking folic acid during the window around conception, the risk associated with pesticides seemed to be attenuated.
"Folic acid intake below the median and exposure to pesticides was associated with higher risk of autism than either low intake or exposure alone," said lead author Rebecca J. Schmidt, Assistant Professor at the University of California-Davis.
Folate plays a critical role in DNA methylation - a process by which genes are turned off or on, as well as in DNA repair and synthesis.
"These are all really important during periods of rapid growth when there are lots of cells dividing, as in a developing foetus. Adding folic acid might be helping out in a number of these genomic functions," Schmidt added.
In the study, appearing in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the team looked at 296 children aged between 2 and 5 who had been diagnosed with ASD and 220 who had developed typically.
Mothers who took less than 400 micrograms and encountered household pesticides had a much higher estimated risk of having a child who developed autism than mothers who took 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid and were not exposed to pesticides.
The associated risk increased for women exposed repeatedly. Women with low folic acid intake who were exposed to agricultural pesticides during a window from three months before conception to three months afterward also were at higher estimated risk.
While folic acid did reduce the associated risk of a child developing autism, it did not entirely eliminate it. Thus "it would be better for women to avoid chronic pesticide exposure if they can while pregnant," Schmidt added.

- IANS ,New York

More News For this Category

Even refined sugar invites health risks

Even refined sugar invites health risks

Life Desk :When the rest of the world is turning their face away from refined or processed sugar, consumers in Bangladesh have been tending to the detrimental food item.

Want to rock the 1980s' style?

Want to rock the 1980s' style?

Life Desk  :The 1980s fashion was associated with loud colours, sequins and bold outfits, and such styles are making a comeback on the ramps and in daily wear. From

Spare children from physical punishment

Spare children from physical punishment

Life Desk :The recent video of a little girl struggling to say her numbers and getting slapped elicited horrified reactions across the board, from cricketer Virat Kohli to school

Ruby, a new type of chocolate

Ruby, a new type of chocolate

Life Desk :A Swiss chocolate giant claims to have invented a new chocolate type: 'ruby', adding to the already existing - milk, dark and white - list. Barry Callebaut

If tomorrow comes

If tomorrow comes

Life Desk :Pramila Le Hunte is disturbed by the way things are. "The world is a dark place and the power of love and humanity of the soul is

Types of garden in your home

Types of garden in your home

Life Desk :Herb GardenHerb garden consists of culinary or medicinal herbs, and often has ornamental designs. In fact, herb plants are often underrated as potential design elements in land

Binge drinking may alter brain activity in teenagers

Binge drinking may alter brain activity in teenagers

Life Desk :Is your teenaged son or daughter a binge-drinker? Beware, he or she is more likely to have altered brain activity, which may indicate delayed brain development and

Friends can make your marital conflict less stressful

Friends can make your marital conflict less stressful

Life Desk :Marital conflicts can take a toll on your health, but having even a few close friends and family members to turn to can help reduce the stress

Family mealtime minus TV helps beat obesity

Family mealtime minus TV helps beat obesity

Life Desk  :Adults who reported never watching TV or videos during family meals had significantly lower odds of obesity.  Spending quality time with the family prevents many diseases and

High salt intake linked to diabetes risk : Study

High salt intake linked to diabetes risk : Study

Life Desk :Besides high blood pressure, high intake of salt - main source of sodium - may be associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, researchers have found.