Can Prenatal Supplements Reduce Autism Risk?
Studies have shown that maternal vitamin and mineral deficiencies during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk for neurological problems in children. Therefore, prenatal dietary supplements are routinely recommended, and women of childbearing age are often advised to take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy to reduce the risk for neural tube defects in their children.
Now, a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry suggests folic acid and multivitamin supplements before and during pregnancy may help reduce the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study, which was conducted in Israel, involved 45,300 children born between 2003 and 2007 and followed until 2015.
According to researchers, maternal use of folic acid and multivitamin supplements before and during pregnancy reduced the risk for autism in children. However, due to study limitations, the study authors cannot definitively determine if the risk reduction is due to other causes.