Pregnancy: iron deficiency increases risk for mental retardation

Women have in the first two-thirds of the pregnancy, too little iron in the blood, which is a risk for the unborn Baby. Researchers from Sweden have found that children are more likely to develop autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a mental disability.

During pregnancy, the iron is doubled demand. Not a few women slip into a deficiency and develop a so-called iron-deficiency anemia. The cells of the body receive too little oxygen, and no longer work properly. This not only affects the health of the mother-to-be: According to a new study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the risk for neurological disorders will be increased in their offspring.

The researchers analyzed data from nearly 300,000 mothers who had her children born between 1987 and 2010. It was registered, mainly, whether and when the women had developed during the pregnancy anemia. The risk for autism was in children of women who, before 31. Week of pregnancy anaemia, had 40 percent higher than in children of healthy mothers. Also, the risk that the children developed ADHD, has increased. The biggest risk – namely, a doubling – stock for intellectual disability. The authors of the study point out the importance of regular blood tests during the pregnancy in order to detect iron deficiency early and for him to counter.

The vital mineral must be absorbed through the diet and is mainly found in meat and offal, such as liver. Also vegetable foods such as cereals, legumes and green leafy vegetables contain iron that can exploit the body, but worse than iron from animal foods.