Intended for healthcare professionals


Folic acid, autism, . . . and other stories

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 08 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1993

Autism spectrum disorder

Folic acid supplements taken before conception or early in pregnancy reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring. It looks as if they might reduce rates of autism spectrum disorder too. A Californian study investigated 300 families in which one child had already received a diagnosis of autism (JAMA Psych doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.3901). Among children born subsequently, those whose mothers had taken vitamin supplements during the first month of pregnancy were half as likely to have autism.

Diet and colorectal cancer

During six years’ follow-up of the half million participants …

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