The truth is that, right now, there is not enough good research to say if this is really true or false...and until there is a lot of evidence to say either way, we should not drive ourselves crazy over it. There is a lot of information we can find on Google, especially on nutrition, that is very confusing and contradictory. It is very hard to know what to believe these days because everyone who writes an article or blog post treats it like it is gospel and then the whole herd follows that belief and certain vitamins become trendy.....until the next article comes along that says something different. That's why the topic of nutrition is so controversial. For example, here is a scientific review article which talks about how too much folic acid during pregnancy may increase rates of autism in the baby.It's just I read on Google that taking folic acid can lessen the risk of autism in an unborn baby. But not sure if it's just false information. I feel I can't trust what Google says any more.
Is High Folic Acid Intake a Risk Factor for Autism?—A Review
Since there are a lot of different genes associated with autism, there is likely more than one "cause" for it. Folic acid and folate affect the expression of genes, and too much or too little of anything that can affect this can be associated with anything in the body and any condition. Gene replication is affected by a lot of other vitamins as well...so it could be any of them. On top of that you have to throw in the influence of the environmental effects as well...mother's age, health and external environment, stress, etc. There are so many factors involved it is almost impossible to tell which combination of things caused something specific to happen.
It takes years and years of research to show that something actually causes something else to happen.... and it has to be through unbiased studies, on large groups of people, that have been repeated several times and yielded the same results. Just because a few studies have found something, does not make it true. This is especially a problem in nutrition research because food and supplement companies fund a lot of research. Studies can be designed specific ways, and data can be skewed or interpreted in order to find a desired result. I always look to see who did the study and if the people who funded it have a financial interest in the results coming out one way or another. Frequently, it is a problem with the studies that we see or hear about in the news, blogs, ads or on Google, because it is shared by the research funders with the media on purpose to drive sales of a product. They can pay for certain things to come up first in a Google search. So, we don't usually hear about research that does not help promote the sales of some product.
In my work, I see a lot of people who are looking to find a reason for why they have developed certain problems, like gestational diabetes or pre eclampsia. Many of them or their family members are upset and looking for something to blame, like diet or lifestyle. I always tell them that they should not be too hard on themselves or the pregnant mom, because maybe there is nothing she could have done about it. I have seen many cases where the diet and lifestyle are as healthy as possible, and problems still occur. Sometimes it's just genetic or environmental... and casting blame on yourself or someone else is just damaging to everyone involved. It does not solve anything. So I think it is best not to try to find something to blame, and to just put all of that energy into dealing with the situation at hand in a more positive way.