Can autism risk for newborns be reduced by continual use of multivitamins by expectant mothers? A recent study has shed a positive light on the subject.
Brian Lee, co-author of the study from the Dornsife School in Philadelphia, along with colleagues, highlights that the study being carried out by the team is observational.
However, the author comments that the prenatal vitamins that are used for prevention of autism should be given higher priority and deeper investigation.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, commonly referred to as ASD, is a condition that is seen to affect the development capability of an individual, resulting in communicative complexities of the individual, while leading to other disabilities affecting behavioral and social skills.
Further, autistic individuals might also have problems with their learning curves and thinking skills.
In the United States alone, one in every 68 children is thought to be autistic, going as per the data available in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Various studies have been carried out suggesting that an expectant mother’s diet plays a crucial role in the offspring being born autistic.
For instance, a study carried out during early 2013 suggested women who have increased intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to have autistic offspring.
The present study helps to support this theory. The findings suggest multivitamin usage by expectant mothers can have greater benefits in reducing the risk of autistic offspring.
Autism Risk and Multivitamins
273,107 mother-children pair data were included in the study. The data was obtained from population registers in Sweden.
The young infants were born between the years 1996 and 2007. The researchers followed the data up until 2011. Thus, in the year 2011, the young children had surpassed the age between 4 and 15.
The supplemental use of the mothers was analyzed from the available data and the pairs were allocated to different groups. The groups were divided into the below supplemental groups:
- Folic Acids
- Iron Supplements
- Folic Acids and Iron Supplements
- Multivitamins with Iron/Folic Acids
Further, researchers highlighted those expectant mothers who have high-level fevers and are at risk of having autistic offspring.
Additionally, the group of researchers also found young mothers who had multivitamin dosages during the pregnancy period were not likely to have offspring with autism compared to those mothers who did not consume any multivitamin.
The team further notes that there have been no consistent links between use of iron supplements or folic acids during pregnancy and children being born autistic.
Researchers further say that due to the observational nature of the study, the group has not been able to arrive at a cause and effect between usage of multivitamins in expectant mothers, which warrants the reduced risk of children being born autistic.
The team is hopeful for the results, warranting further investigations and signs off commenting, “Maternal multivitamins and supplementation during the time of pregnancy is inversely associated with autism and intellectual disability in the offspring. The role of autism and maternal nutrition should be further investigated.”