Folic acid in pregnancy lowers autism risk in baby

Folic acid supplements early in pregnancy may reduce child’s risk of autism by 40 percent — Large study in Norway finds early timing of folic acid supplements is critical – Prenatal folic acid supplements appear to reduce the risk for autistic spectrum disorders. It is estimated that about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. have been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Fetal surgery better in treating children with spina bifida

Fetal surgery, pioneered at UCSF, is more effective than operating after birth – Thirty years ago, the first human fetal surgery was performed at the University of California, San Francisco. Now, a randomized controlled trial has proven definitively that fetal surgery can help certain patients before birth.

Taking folic acid before pregnancy reduces preterm birth risk

Taking folic acid for a year before pregnancy may reduce risk of preterm birth. Findings reinforce March of Dimes message: Start taking a vitamin with folic acid before pregnancy. – Women who take folic acid supplements for at least one year before they become pregnant may cut their risk of having a premature baby by half, according to research published this week in the online journal, PLoS Medicine.

Low vitamin B12 in pregnancy raises neural tube defect risk in newborn

Low levels of vitamin B12 may increase risk for neural tube defects; Vegans, vegetarians may be at risk. – Children born to women who have low blood levels of vitamin B12 shortly before and after conception may have an increased risk of a neural tube defect, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, Trinity College Dublin, and the Health Research Board of Ireland.

Obesity during pregnancy increases birth defects risk

Maternal obesity is associated with an increased risk of a range of structural anomalies, although the absolute increase is likely to be small. – For women who are obese during pregnancy there is an associated increased risk of certain birth defects, such as spina bifida and neural tube defects, although the absolute increase in risk is likely to be small.

Hairspray use during pregnancy may cause birth defect in newborn

Hairspray is linked to common genital birth defect, says study. Hairspray during pregnancy double the risk of genital birth defect hypospadias. – Women who are exposed to hairspray in the workplace during pregnancy have more than double the risk of having a son with the genital birth defect hypospadias, according to a new study published today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Less folate in diet cause abnormal sperm

Healthy men who report lower levels of the nutrient folate in their diets have higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm. – Healthy men who report lower levels of the nutrient folate in their diets have higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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