Researchers from universities and hospitals in Stockholm, Bristol and Philadelphia recently conducted a study published in the British Medical Journal, which found that consuming vitamin supplements during pregnancy lowered the risk of infant autism by over 50%. The researchers analysed the data of over 273000 mothers and children in Stockholm, Sweden, recording the mother’s use of iron, folic acid and multivitamin supplements during their antenatal visits. The researchers identified the cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the children, born between 1996 and 2007.
The results of the study showed that women who didn’t take any iron, folic acid and multivitamin supplements during their pregnancy had an increased risk of their infant developing autism compared to those who did take vitamin supplements. Interestingly, the findings were inconsistent when the researchers examined the connection between the consumption of iron and folic acid alone and the risk of autism.
Autism or ASD usually becomes noticeable between the ages of two or three and is characterised by repetitive behaviour, reduced social skills and decreased communication capacity in a spectrum ranging from mild to severe. Recent statistics have found that one in every 110 children in South Africa is born with autism.
In another study published in the US National Library of Medicine entitled Effect of a vitamin/mineral supplement on children and adults with autism, it was interesting to note that the research concluded:
Oral vitamin/mineral supplementation is beneficial in improving the nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism, including improvements in methylation, glutathione, oxidative stress, sulfation, ATP, NADH, and NADPH. The supplement group had significantly greater improvements than did the placebo group on the PGI-R Average Change. This suggests that a vitamin/mineral supplement is a reasonable adjunct therapy to consider for most children and adults with autism.
Take Vitamin Supplements to Reduce Infant Autism
The takeaway from this is that pregnant and nursing mothers should take vitamin supplements to reduce infant autism.