Supplements During Pregnancy May Reduce Autism Risk

Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are believed to affect 1 in 68 children in the United States, and their prevalence may be on the rise.

Despite this, the exact causes and risk factors involved are still shrouded in mystery. No one knows why ASDs occur and how they can be prevented.

Because relationships between multivitamin and folic acid supplementation and ASDs have been inconsistent, a study published this week in JAMA reopens the question.

This current study also marks the first time that links that go back further in time have been found: supplement use 2 years before pregnancy reduced ASD risk. That said, the authors are quick to describe the new experiment’s limitations, which include the lack of a sibling control analysis.

Additionally, information regarding supplement use came from prescription records. It is, therefore, possible that some mothers bought over-the-counter supplements, which would not have been included in the analysis.

The authors write in their conclusion, “Reduced risk of ASD in offspring is a consideration for public health policy that may be realized by extended use of [folic acid] and multivitamin supplements during pregnancy.”

Read the full article at Medical News Today