Scientists Say Genetic Analysis Is Worth It

From eNewsletter May 1, 2019

DID YOU KNOW that according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry, maternal prenatal vitamin intake during the first month of pregnancy may reduce autism spectrum disorder (ASD) recurrence in siblings of children with ASD in high-risk families? The prevalence of ASD was 14.1% in children whose mothers took prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy compared with 32.7% in children whose mothers did not. Children in the maternal prenatal vitamin group also had significantly lower autism symptom severity and higher cognitive scores.

Congrats Lauren Schwerzler, RDN, LDN, winner of the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health Bonnie Minsky Scholarship!

Lauren describes herself as a passionate public health professional and Registered Dietitian using data to positively influence the health of women, children, and families. Interested in system-level work with a focus on health equity and social justice. Topics of interest include early childhood, adverse childhood experiences, and food security.


Bonnie & Steve: Someone asked us this week if there was value in getting their genome mapped and have us analyze it.

Aside from wondering if they've read our newsletter lately, it got us to thinking that we could talk about the value of mapping your genome until we're blue in the face. But sometimes it takes a fresh perspective. It just so happens we came across an incredible study published in this month's Cell Metabolism.

The authors confirmed what we have said for almost two decades now. Your genetic mutations won't change. What you inherited is what you will always have. The way your mutations act is the key. This depends upon the information they receive. If the wrong messages bombard your mutations, they may express themselves negatively, leading to chronic or acute disease. Alternatively, if the right messages bombard your mutations, they will stay latent. This messaging process is called epigenetics.

The authors emphasize that like your genes, epigenetic information can be passed down through generations. But unlike your genes, your epigenetics are reversible with the proper individualized lifestyle choices.