A recent review in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that a pregnant woman’s folate status in early pregnancy may alter the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in her child. Recognizing that ASD is “complex, heterogeneous, and multi-causal,” researchers wanted to look at environmental aspects to find possible causes of ASD. They found that low folate intake in a pregnant woman could affect her baby’s neurodevelopment and gene expression, which could lead to ASD. By boosting pregnant women’s folate status, there is the potential to decrease the incidence of ASD.
Power Me A2Z is the folic acid education and distribution program that launched in 2013. ADHS has distributed multivitamins with folic acid since 2002, but Power Me A2Z is a newer, more innovative way to reach women in their childbearing years to encourage them to power their health by taking a daily multivitamin with folic acid, along with eating a healthy diet, being active, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding drugs and alcohol. The interactive website www.powermea2z.org features great health information for women in Arizona ages 18-45; on the website, they can sign up to receive a free PowerPack, which includes a 90-day supply of multivitamins with folic acid and a health magazine, all in a great backpack.