Original Source: Autism and Prenatal Vitamins
Dr. Harriet Hall has recently written an article pertaining to a new study that was released recently. The study is entitled "Prenatal Vitamins, One-carbon Metabolism Gene Variants, and Risk for Autism" and was published in Epidemiology on May 23, 2011. As the name implies the study focuses on the usage of prenatal vitamins during the three months before pregnancy or the first month of pregnancy and what impact this may in terms of having an autistic child. The authors of the study also found there were genetic factors that predispose a child to having autism or a condition within the autism spectrum.
As Dr. Hall writes: "They [the authors of the study] found that mothers who didn’t take prenatal vitamins were at greater risk of having an autistic child, and certain genetic markers markedly increased the risk. There was a dose/response relationship: the more prenatal vitamins a woman took, the less likely she would have an autistic child. There was no association with other types of multivitamins, and no association with prenatal vitamin intake during months 2-9 of pregnancy."
The fact is, this study isn't really all that shocking. Numerous studies prior to this one have strongly suggested a genetic factor, and the issue of prenatal vitamins simply ensures the mother and fetus aren't lacking key nutrients which could negatively impact development. The interesting issue here is that significant, measurable differences in the incidence of autism are clearly seen and there is no correlation to vaccines.
So you may be asking yourself, what do the folks over at Age of Autism have to say about this study? Surely they would be interested in any study that focuses upon autism especially if that study covers genetics correct? Well... if that was your thought, you would be wrong because as of this writing, the Age of Autism site doesn't even reference the study. As is typically the case any time a new study comes out which shows a potential risk factor for autism, the biased contributors at Age of Autism refuse to even consider it. Rest assured however if they find an article which even suggests a link between vaccines and autism... it will be posted immediately.
The same scenario applies to Mr. Hubbs as well. He claims he cares about children and claims he wants to find the root cause of autism, yet he blames vaccines at every turn even when there is strong evidence that point to a genetic component. Mr. Hubbs "backs in" to his viewpoint by finding non-scientific data, opinion pieces, biased websites etc which point to vaccines, but he is unable to look at the body of evidence objectively.
This is why anti-vaxxers like Mr. Hubbs will continue to praise people like Andrew Wakefield long after they have been discredited and why they will ignore proven science if it suggests or even proves something other than what they believe. This is not letting the evidence guide the viewpoint, but rather this is mandating that the viewpoint guides the evidence. Unfortunately for Mr. Hubbs and his fellow anti-vaxxers, facts are not open to manipulation nor can they be ignored when they are inconvenient.
The science will continue to speak for itself, and we can look for more and more studies pertaining to the root causes of autism in the future. Rest assured each time a reputable study is published that shows the root cause pertains to anything other than vaccines, the anti-vaxxers will ignore them as they proclaim there is some vast conspiracy to silence the truth.
This does bring up an interesting point however. If a study shows that the usage of prenatal vitamins can help reduce the risk of having an autistic child, and since we know most anti-vaxxers are huge proponents (and distributors / sellers) of nutritional supplements... this sort of puts them in an awkward position. On one hand if they discredit the study they are suggesting that the very nutritional supplements they promote aren't effective. On the other hand if they suggest the study has merit, they are admitting autism has more to do with a genetic component and nothing to do with vaccines.
I guess we know why they choose to remain silent... because they just can't speak about it while holding on to their preconceived and faulty assumptions.