Does low iron intake during pregnancy increase risk of autism?

A new study from the University of California has identified low iron intake before and during pregnancy as a risk

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A new study from the University of California has identified low iron intake before and during pregnancy as a risk factor for giving birth to a baby with autism. The risk is five times greater, reports GlobalNews.ca, especially if the mother is 35 or older at the time or birth, or dealing with obesity, hypertension or diabetes.

Iron is crucial to early brain development, contributing to neurotransmitter production, myelination and immune function. All three of these pathways have been associated with autism, study co-author Rebecca J. Schmidt said in a press release.

However, don’t start drastically increasing your iron intake just yet. The researchers say more larger scale studies are needed before any recommendations can be made. And, of course, speak to your doctor about what’s best for you and the health of your baby.

-Melissa Greer, Content Producer

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