A recent study revealed that depleted levels of Vitamin D at the 20th week of pregnancy are an indication of a higher risk of the presence of autistic traits in the baby.
The study was conducted at the Queensland Brain Institute, at the University of Queensland, and it attempted to investigate the links between a Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and increased risk of autistic traits.
The research was led by Professor John McGrath, and it revealed that pregnant women who tend to have a vitamin D deficiency during the 20 weeks gestation are at a higher risk of giving birth to a child who will begin to exhibit autistic traits upon reaching the age of 6.
The research provides ample evidence to validate the claim that a Vitamin D deficiency is strongly linked with the presence or birth of neurodevelopmental disorders. It further claims that prenatal Vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of autism in the offspring just the way consuming folate during pregnancy can reduce the risk of spina bifida.
Prior to this research, medical science had established that Vitamin D is necessary for the nourishment and health of bones, but now, there is ample evidence to validate the claim that it is also vital for the growth and development of the brain.
Vitamin D is mostly consumed by exposing to the heat of the sun, however, it can also be consumed through certain foods and supplements. However, the study does not recommend excessive exposure to the heat of the sun due to an increased risk of skin cancer in certain countries, such as Australia. Instead, the researchers recommend the use of certain affordable and easily accessible Vitamin D supplements as a safer and much more effective preventive measure to reduce the presence of this risk factor.
The study studied and analyzed the results accumulated from around 4200 blood samples obtained from pregnant women and their children. All the participants were closely examined as members of the “Generation R” study conducted in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
The findings of this groundbreaking study are likely to bring about some extremely important preventive care implications for public health, and psychological ailments involving the brain.
Autism or the autism spectrum disorder refers to a lifelong developmental dysfunction, such as an inability to interact in a social setting, understand the mechanisms of the world, or even, being able to hold a coherent conversation with others.