Prenatal Amino Acid Carnitine Can Reduce Autism Risk

We have heard about plenty of factors during pregnancy that can result in the child having an Autism disorder, such as prenatal stress and Thyroid issues. Studies in how to decrease the chance of possible Autism in offspring are just as important to future mothers. One of the more recent studies determined that the intake of amino acids before and during pregnancy could decrease the chance of the child being diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.

Zhigang Xie is an assistant research scientist at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and he took the lead on a two-year study that concluded a lack in amino acid Carnitine interrupts neutral stem cells and how they contribute to embryonic and fetal brain development. This can lead to an increased possibility of Autism in the woman’s child.

Amino acid Carnitine can be found in red meat, whole milk, or can be taken as a supplement.

Another researcher on the Texas A&M team is Dr. Vytas Bankaitis. Bankaitis believes this study is important because it’s a precaution that all women should be aware of to decrease the chances of their child having Autism.

Dr. Bankaitis said,“This is a natural product that is available, we are not talking about some sort of experimental drug that nobody really knows what the side effects are, people understand Carnitine as a supplement really quite well.”

The study also determined that neural stem cells that don’t produce the Carnitine on their own can still have it taken from an outside source and work correctly.

The researchers advise women to get tested for the mutated Autism risk gene before becoming pregnant. If they are tested positive for the gene, the future can increase her intake of Carnitine to offset the defect for her child.

A clinical trial is the researchers’ next step in the study.

For more information, visit the Chicago Crusader and Big Country.

By: Nicole Caropolo

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