Reprrinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.
October 6 2017. On October 4, 2017 the BMJ published the outcome of a study conducted by Brian K. Lee, PhD of Drexel University and colleagues, which uncovered an association between multivitamin supplement use by pregnant women and a lower risk of their children developing autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability.
“A potential link between supplement use during pregnancy and autism is intriguing because it suggests a possible avenue for risk reduction,” stated Dr Lee, who is an associate professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health and a fellow at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.
The study included 273,107 mother-child pairs identified through population registers. Multivitamin, folic acid and iron supplement use was reported during prenatal visits.
The children, who were born between 1996 and 2007, were followed through the end of 2011. During that period, 0.26% of children born to multivitamin supplement users developed autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability compared to 0.48% of the children born to women who did not use supplements. Mothers’ multivitamin use with or without iron or folic acid or both was associated with a 31% lower risk of their children developing autism with intellectual disability compared to the risk experienced by children of mothers who consumed none of these supplements.
“There have been more studies in recent years about varied aspects of diet during pregnancy and autism risk involving multivitamins, iron, folic acid, vitamin D and more, but the evidence is still inconclusive,” noted lead author Elizabeth DeVilbiss, PhD, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. “If there is a causal relationship, we also need to understand whether there is a critical window for exposure, and what specific nutrients and amounts may be required for protection.”