(ABC) -- In a newly released study, researchers found that moms-to-be who took folic acid from four weeks prior to eight weeks after pregnancy had lower risk of their child developing autism.
Researchers examined the records of over 85,000 Norwegian children and the maternal use of folic acid and fish oil supplementation. 0.10 percent of children whose mothers took folic acid developed autism, while 0.21 percent of children whose mothers did not take folic acid did.
Mothers in the study who took folic acid were also more likely to be educated, non-smokers, and have planned their pregnancy - any of which could be contributing factors. Mothers who took fish oil had these same characteristics, but no decrease in autistic disorder incidence.
Timing, however, is important - moms who began taking folic acid mid-pregnancy did not have a lowered risk of having a child with autistic disorder.
Researchers say although the study outcome is strong, it’s not conclusive and requires more investigation.