Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eating Healthy Fats During Pregnancy May Reduce Baby's Autism Risk

A new study indicates that women who consumed high levels of certain types of omega 6 fatty acids during pregnancy may reduce their risk of having a child with autism by 34% when compared to women who consumed low levels of the same fatty acids.

Even more shocking was the same study  found that women who consumed very low levels omega 3s were 53% more likely to have an autistic child than women who consumed average amounts of these same fatty acids.

Of course as the article points out, more research is required and this is not meant to prove or indicate a cause and effect link.  This is not what we would call a smoking gun, nor is it suggesting they have found a root cause for autism.  What this does is offer us another piece of evidence - another piece of the puzzle - to help explain the types of risk factors that may be associated with autism in children.

Whether it be research that helps identify genetic markers associated with autism, research that suggests the age of the father may contribute to genetic mutations which increase the risk of autism, or research that indicates a link between obesity in mothers and an increased risk of autism one thing is clear - and that is we continue to see numerous studies which identify various risk factors that may contribute to autism, and the collective body of evidence suggests autism is not caused by any one factor, but perhaps a variety of difference risk factors which all culminate in a child suffering from autism.

Yet the odd thing about these studies is that even after decades of research and dozens upon dozens of published, independent studies... we still haven't seen a single study which has been able to show vaccines themselves are a risk factor for a child becoming autistic.  Not a single study that has linked vaccines to autism.  Not a single study that has shown even so much as a casual link.

Yet antivaccinationists continue to purposefully distort fact and confuse the public by suggesting that not only do vaccines cause autism, but that there is a veritable mountain of evidence to support this claim.  The only problem is - they aren't being honest, and they will even go so far as to continue to cite Andrew Wakefield as an expert on the subject even though he has been fully discredited, had his original 'study' retracted, was stripped of his medical license due to fraud, and is (for all intents and purposes) the laughing stock of the medical community.

So perhaps the question is... when with antivaxxers start allowing the evidence to lead them to the answers they seek rather than ignoring the endless stream of science which continues to offer insight as to the root causes of autism?


  1. I see many studies about risk factors and it appears we learn more each day but why do anti-vaccination groups and autism groups refuse to speak about this research? What are they scared of?

    It seems we don't really know what causes autism and even though we know what some of the risk factors are we may never fully understand it, but if anti-vaccination groups are convinced that vaccines are one of the risk factors why haven't they been able to document this via the same types of studies that have been able to document links to obesity, consumption of fatty acids, or age of the father?

    Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

    1. They have tried. However, they are debunked and called quacks, pseudoscientists, etc. The key issue here (and I think that if you think about scientists/researchers such as Albert Einstein, Tesla, etc.), they were brilliant minds. They didn't always agree with how things should be. But they left their writings, didn't push so far as to be discredited (although Tesla's ideas weren't embraced economically. However, they left their ideas and thoughts and were probably never "listened to" until after they are gone. Most likely those who have and are working on research that would prove the links will work quietly (or should, unlike Wakefield who became public). Then, when some "whistleblower" is at their deathbed, they will speak the truth, the tide will turn, and then we will have new ideas. But only when people's credibility isn't in question.

    2. The point is "anonymous", that if the anti-vaccine groups had facts they could simply publish them. If they had science proving their claims they could easily have it peer-reviewed and available to the masses. They don't bother to do this, and instead they blame the 'system' or 'corrupt governments' or 'big pharma' for somehow suppressing them. Yet even on their very own websites and blogs they are still unable to publish any peer-reviewed science or any research to support their claims.

      They are really good at writing opinion and editorial pieces though... but that is far fro sound science.

      Your analogy of Einstein and Telsa holds no merit, because the ideas of Einstein and Tesla were reproducible. Einsteins calculations could be verified, Tesla's concepts could be built (and were since he is the father of AC power and the modern electric motor). It wasn't as if Tesla ran round saying he believed in something which he was unwilling to prove or that he had a new product but he refused to allow anyone else to examine it.

      Let's not pretend for a second that people like Wakefield are visionaries or that they are "speaking the truth". Far from it. Wakefield's data was shown to be fabricated, the man shown to be a fraud. Nobody could have ever (and has never) replicated his results and at the end of the day it was purely a money grab on his part since he was promoting his own flavor of a vaccine. The fact people still use his name as someone who should be looked up to simply proves they haven't actually bothered to research his actions and his fraud.

      The problem with your theory is it is based upon someone sharing "truth" and sharing "new ideas" that could forever change the healthcare industry. That sounds nice, but the reality is all of that quacks and anti-vaccine groups are in this for pure profit. They prey upon ignorance and bilk millions upon millions of dollars from the scientifically illiterate as they sell them dietary supplements and "brain repair pills". They have no incentive to release some earth shattering breakthroughs near their deaths because there is too much money to be made while they are alive!

      There is no conspiracy here. If someone has data and evidence to support a hypothesis they can simply release it and it will be examined. That doesn't happen not because people are scared, but because they are incapable of producing such research. It is much easier to sit behind a website and tell people how the medical industry is evil while selling newsletters, books, DVDs, or supplements than it is to actually perform a study or draft a paper that could be peer-reviewed and published.

      The story never changes - the only thing that changes are the players who engage in the fraud and the self-proclaims Google educated geniuses who claim they know the truth.

  2. Because in AV LoonyLand, it's always the vaccine. It's never not the vaccine.

  3. I'm wandering if any of you pro-vaccinators have degrees?

    1. I can't speak for everyone who is pro-vaccine, but considering the vast majority of people who recommend vaccines are scientists, researchers, doctors, or other healthcare professionals I'd say it is clear most have degrees.

      I have also found that the more educated a person is, the more likely they are to believe in proven science. This again reaffirms my belief that most people who support vaccination have degrees. In truth, when you look at those with educations which have centered on scientific areas of study you find the vast, vast majority support vaccination.

      On the other hand, if you look at those who deny germ theory, believe vaccinations cause autism, or beleive "big pharma" is pushing vaccines to make the public sick or more reliant upon their products (or any other similar vaccine conspiracy theory) you often find that not only do these people not have degrees in any of the sciences, but most often they don't have any degrees at all. In fact I've run in to more than a few which were college drop outs and a couple that didn't even finish high school.

      You can draw your own conclusions.


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