A recent study found that the risk of having additional children with autism may be reduced by taking prenatal vitamins during the first trimester, for mothers with children affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD).1 The research was conducted at the University of California.
‘First time maternal use of prenatal vitamins has suggested a reduction in ASD symptom recurrence in siblings’
According to the study’s authors, this may be the first time that maternal use of prenatal vitamins has suggested a reduction in ASD symptom recurrence in siblings of children already diagnosed with ASD in high-risk families. Current estimates of autism prevalence in North America are around 1 in every 60 children between the ages of 5-17. These numbers are lower in Canada, and higher in the United States.
What previous studies have shown
Previous studies have shown an increased risk up to 13 times more than the general public of younger siblings of children with ASD being diagnosed with the condition.
Current research looked at 241 children with older siblings having ASD
The current research looked at 241 children whose older siblings had ASD.
The findings of mothers who took prenatal vitamins during the first month of pregnancy
The study found the prevalence of ASD among children of mothers who took prenatal vitamins during the first month of pregnancy was 14.1%, compared with a prevalence of 32.7% among children whose mothers did not take the vitamins during that time.
It’s generally advisable for pregnant mothers to take a prenatal vitamin for healthy folate levels
It is already generally advisable for pregnant mothers to take a prenatal vitamin to ensure proper folate levels and increased nutritional need during pregnancy. But the correlation with such a lowered risk in autism is added support.
Pediatrics professor Lonnie Zwaigenbaum from the University of Alberta called the findings “remarkable,” adding, “For the growing number of families who have a child with autism and are looking ahead to future pregnancies, they’re really demonstrating that the potential reduction in absolute risk is really quite significant.”
- Schmidt, R., J., et al. 2019. Association of Maternal Prenatal Vitamin Use with Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder Recurrence in Young Siblings. Jama Psychiatry.
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.