A recent study investigated the role of chemical exposure & low folate during pregnancy, on the incidence of autism in children. It was found that women with regular exposure to household chemicals like flea or tick products for pets, and ant, fly or cockroach extermination products in the house, or agricultural sprays, and taking less than 800mcg folate in the 3 months before conception and during pregnancy, had 2 ½ times greater risk of having a child on the autism spectrum. Professor Rebecca Schmidt from the study, is assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California. She says "Folate plays a critical role in DNA methylation (a process by which genes are turned on & off), as well as in DNA synthesis. These are really important during periods of rapid growth when there are lots of cells dividing, as in a developing foetus.” The study was called “Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment”(CHARGE) study, and shows us how important adequate folate and avoidance of chemical exposure is in pregnancy. If you are contemplating pregnancy speak with Sunshine Coast Nutritionist Karen Emans on 0408 748 532.
Karen Emans is a Clinical Nutritionist, Homeopath and Kinesiologist with over 20 years experience.