Naturally Healthy: Prenatal Multivitamins Linked to Lower Autism Risk
According to a study taking a multivitamin during pregnancy may reduce a child’s risk of developing autism.
“Multivitamin use with or without added iron or folic acid was associated with a lower likelihood of child autism with intellectual disability, compared with mothers who did not use supplements ,” said lead researcher Elizabeth DeVilbiss.
According to the study the odds of autism in the multivitamin group were 30 percent lower, added DeVilbiss, a graduate student in epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia.
Thomas Frazier is chief science officer of Autism Speaks, an advocacy group. “The finding of multivitamin use associated with lower risk of autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability is consistent with previous studies,” he said.
But this should not be considered enough evidence to start recommending multivitamins for autism risk, according to DeVilbiss: “From a single study, we can’t make any definitive statement or policy recommendations, because the results of other studies have been inconsistent,” she said.
“pregnant women should take multivitamins,” said Dr. Ruth Milanaik, director of the neonatal neurodevelopmental follow-up program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.
“In addition, women should continue to take their vitamins after pregnancy while they are breast-feeding,” said Milanaik, who wasn’t involved in the study.
The report was published Oct. 4 in the medical journal the BMJ .