Maternal Diet – Fat Intake – A Cautious Interpretation

Maternal Dietary Fat Intake in Association With Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Our goal in this study was to determine whether maternal fat intake before or during pregnancy was associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the offspring. Our primary analysis included 317 mothers who reported a child with ASD and 17,728 comparison mothers from the Nurses’ Health Study II (index births in 1991-2007).

Dietary information was collected prospectively through a validated food frequency questionnaire. Binomial regression was used to estimate crude and adjusted risk ratios.

Maternal intake of linoleic acid was significantly inversely associated with ASD risk in offspring, corresponding to a 34% reduction in risk in the highest versus lowest quartiles of intake.

Mothers in the lowest 5% of ω-3 fatty acid intake had a significant increase in offspring ASD risk as compared with the remaining distribution (risk ratio = 1.53, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 2.32); this association was also seen in the subgroup of women (86 cases and 5,798 noncases) for whom dietary information during pregnancy was available (risk ratio = 2.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.19, 4.91).

Thus, variations in intake of polyunsaturated fats within the range commonly observed among US women could affect fetal brain development and ASD risk. Because the number of women with diet assessed during pregnancy was small, however, these results should be interpreted cautiously.


Linoleic Acid

ω-3 fatty acid

This entry was posted in Autism, Environment, Genetics, Immune System, Inflammation, Physiology, Treatment. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Maternal Diet – Fat Intake – A Cautious Interpretation

  1. Great stuff and consistent w/the maternal CRP study w/1M+ biomarker samples taken during pregnancy that shows increased risk. It is the death knell of the static rate of autism argument. Thanks for posting.

  2. As you would have surmised pD there are major themes running through this blog that have begun to consolidate into a clearer picture of the dynamics between gene and environment.
    There is now a major set of questions that have moved on from – What Gene ?

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