Association Between Assisted Reproductive Technology Conception and Autism & How to Prevent Autism

researchThe article, “Association Between Assisted Reproductive Technology Conception and Autism in California, 1997–2007,” just published in the American Journal of Public Health (which you can read here… ) shares some important data.  We know from the CDC 2013 report that autism rates have reached 1/50. (Read more here… )

They looked at a huge database, the California Birth Master Files for 1997-2007 that showed almost 6 million births in those 10 years (5,926,251).  This included almost 50,000 (48,865) assisted reproductive technology (ART) pregnancies.  They then looked at the California Department of Developmental Services autism caseload for 1997-2011, and compared rates of autism between ART pregnancies and “normal” pregnancies.

The autism rate for this time period from this study was 1 in 180 children.  Those born by ART were twice as likely to be autistic.  Some of this was attributed to increased risks from multiple birth pregnancies and other perinatal and prenatal issues. There was no increase risk for moms who gave birth to one baby (singleton pregnancies) even when ART was used.

This study simply could not be ignored due to the huge sample size and 10 year time-frame of analysis. What we desperately need are studies that compare different variables of possible causation and outcomes.  It is high time we start helping parents with helpful information so they can do everything in their power to reduce the chances of their child becoming autistic.

Associations with autism that you can do something about that need further study are:

  1. Folate intake by moms while pregnant. All prenatal vitamins should include at least methy-folate and we likely should continue supplementing infants. Read more…
  2. Supporting your methylation cycle (mom and infant/child) with methyl-B12, methyl-folate, B2, B3, B6, Mg, Zn, etc., might have a profound impact reducing autism rates. Read more…
  3. Reducing mom’s stress during pregnancy can have a positive effect on methylation and reduce autism risk. Families should spoil our pregnant moms! Read more…
  4. Reducing inflammation (for both mom and child) may reduce autism. Association of inflammation and autism is well known and more information regarding this can be found here… For conditions that are associated with increased inflammation I refer you to a previous blog.
  5. Giving the MMR before age 3 has been associated with increased autism (with, of course, the ever ongoing controversy around this). Read more about this here and here.
  6. Taking probiotics, avoiding antibiotics, and naturally building a strong gut microbe world (fermented foods, vaginal delivery) may reduce autism You can read more on this here.
  7. Do NOT give your newborn the Hepatitis B series if they don’t need it (only needed if birth mom has Hepatitis B) as it increases autism risk. Read more…
  8. Moms, if you are on a SSRI for depression or anxiety, and you can safely get off it before pregnancy or when you learn you are pregnant, that may help. Read more…
  9. Everyone needs more vitamin D. I recommend 5000 IU for adults and for pregnancy. Low vitamin D has been associated with increased autism. Read more here…
  10. Avoid air pollution as it has been shown to be linked to autism for some people. Read more
  11. Avoid lead, thallium, tungsten, mercury, and aluminum (heavy metals in general) which have been linked to autism. Read more about this here and here.
  12. Don’t get vaccines while pregnant.  Immune activation while pregnant associated with increased autism. No safety studies have been done on this either.  Read more...
  13. Vaccinate selectively. At Integrative Pediatrics, we have had a similar experience of significantly reduced autism similar to Dr Mumper’s published experience that you can find here…

 

From the data in the study initially presented here, if I needed to use ART, I might ask that they only implant one embryo.  I realize there is great expense and sometimes the procedure doesn’t work and it would be more cost-effective to implant more than one, however, this study clearly shows risk in that.  The body has a natural mechanism to abort pregnancies that have issues, and it may be that this natural process is compromised when more than one fertilized egg is implanted using ART.

 

Dr. Paul

 

 

 

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