The link between folic acid and autism risk is especially striking because the supplement is so cheap and easy to get, Lipkin says. “The notion that a very simple, nontoxic food supplement could reduce your risk is profound,” he says.There are caveats, though. To get the full benefit, mothers had to start taking folic acid supplements four weeks before conceiving and keep taking them during the first eight weeks of pregnancy. Risk reduction was also limited to severe autism, not milder forms such as Asperger’s.
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