The autism stats are horrific – more and more families find their bundle of joy, turning into a bundle of terror, as they face the heart ache of raising a little one, that doesn’t really fit into the world.
No one really knows why
Lots of people are looking, but the answer seems to be elusive.
Probably because it is not a simple x causes autism. It takes a combination of genes and environment, not quite working right, to interfere with normal brain development.
You can’t send in for a new set of genes, but it is possible to modify the environment.
But what should you change to decrease the chances of an autism diagnosis in your family ?
Researchers at the University of California examined the birth records of the 7.2 million babies, born in California in the period January 1990 through to December 2002 looking for clues.
In the study, they tracked the Californian babies until they reached the age of 6 years.
The records of 6.6 million children were included in the analysis. 19 000 of the children received a “full syndrome” autism diagnosis.
Analysis of the numbers showed….
Autism is a winter phenomenon
When the baby was made, changed the odds of an autism diagnosis.
Babies conceived during winter had a much higher likelihood of suffering from autism, than their summer counterparts. And, lots of babies get their start on a cold winter night, as bedroom exercises help fight the winter chills.
The most dangerous month to be making a baby in California was March, which corresponds with the end of their winter. But the risk of having a child with autism rose steadily as winter rolled on.
NOTE : If you live in the southern hemisphere, the danger zone will shift to September.
What is happening in winter ?
It is cold.
The researchers speculate that winter is a time of close encounters with “flu bugs”, because they like the cold, and suggest that exposure to seasonal viruses like influenza may contribute.
But the big problem in winter is NO SUN.
Okay, it still rises everyday like clockwork, but it doesn’t pack much of a punch.
Specifically it doesn’t pack much punch in terms of nuking the cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D.
Lack of vitamin D part of the autism conundrum ?
Report after report suggests most of us don’t get enough vitamin D.
Shortages of vitamin D cause
Why not bad brains ?
Autism is partly caused by genes and partly caused by environmental factors, so a shortage of this vital vitamin, coupled with certain genes could cause trouble with brain development.
Baby assembly 101
If you’re contemplating making a baby on a cold winter’s night, make sure that the factory has all the supplies.
Ones to stock up on ……….
- Folic acid
- Omega 3
Bumping up vitamin D levels to optimum levels will improve your health as well as that of your unborn baby.
Month of Conception and Risk of Autism. Epidemiology (2011) In press. Ousseny Zerbo, Ana-Maria Iosif, Lora Delwiche, Cheryl Walker, Irva Hertz-Picciotto.Vitamin D and autism. Medical Hypothesis (2008) 70(4)750-759. JJ. Cannell
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