Pregnant after a Loss

Folic acid and risk of autism

Hello ladies!

I was wondering if this has already been discussed here:
https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2016/too-much-folate-in-pregnant-women-increases-risk-for-autism-study-suggests.html
And if anyone had a chance to talk about this with her OB. 

A little about me. I had two healthy pregnancies, but in my third pregnancy we discovered that there was no heartbeat at 15 weeks. Apparently the fetus had what's called Encephalocele, which is a neural tube defect. I had a D&C and since we wanted to start again right away, the doctor recommended to start taking 4mg of folic acid (instead of the recommended 400mcg), which I understand is a common practice for women who had a history of neural tube defects. I started doing that, but this recent study got me worried, since I am basically taking 10 times more than the normal amount. I asked my doctor about this and basically he said that he doesn't know enough about this to recommend one way or the other and referred me to a high risk doctor, who I plan on seeing soon. 
I was wondering if anyone on this board has had a history of neural tube defects and are taking the increased dosage and whether they have discussed this with their OBs.

Thanks!
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Re: Folic acid and risk of autism

  • I think this information is so new that you'll just have to ask your doctor and see what they say.  I doubt there are any specific recommendations out there already because of this - both because it's so new and because it's only one study done in only one part of the country.  Let us know what you find out.
  • Folic acid is a water-soluble b-vitamin. Most people will excrete excess B-9 in their urine pretty quickly. 

    Some people have genetic variations that cause them not to make enough of the enzymes that make folate useful. You get less folate in your red blood cells and serum. Those are (generally) the same genetic variations that are linked to neural tube defects without extra folate consumption. 

    The article you linked seems (to me) to be talking about the reverse effect. People who for whatever reason have too much folate in their red blood cells and serum. Maybe they don't concentrate it in their urine properly, or they absorb more than is average. 

    Check with your doctor. You might ask for a folate blood test - to make sure your levels are in normal range, but I wouldn't worry about it too much between now and when you can talk to the MFM about it. 

    (You might like https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/folate if you like to read that kind of thing) 

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