The year 2018 has started with one of the most hotly debated questions of late. Researchers have started to conduct multiple studies in order to understand whether supplemental intake during or before child-expectancy can help reduce autism risk.
The autism condition is said to affect people worldwide with millions of people being diagnosed with the condition globally. In the USA alone, 1 in 68 children is said to be diagnosed with the condition.
Despite the condition increasing at a rapid pace year after year, the risk factors and the exact underlying conditions remain relatively unknown. No one knows the exact reasons behind the occurrence of the disorder and techniques to help keep the disorders at bay.
Several studies have been conducted in the past to understand the link between an expectant mother’s nutritional intake status and cognitive abilities of the child. Although the findings remain inconclusive, scientists believe the art of questioning will eventually lead to finding the right solution to the autism problem.
For example, earlier research and studies have shown an underlying relationship between low maternity vitamin intake and autism. Further, in line with the studies, neural tube defects, relatively known as the existing defects of the brain at the time of birth that occur during earlier stages of pregnancy, can be accurately prevented by increasing the intake of folic acids in tandem with the physician’s prescription.
This is seen to be one of the major reasons behind doctors’ recommendations to every expectant mother to take folic acids and multivitamins as a standard procedure.
However, a study reopens the age-old question because the results prove the relationship between autism disorder, folic acids, and multivitamins supplementation has many inconsistencies.
Autism and Supplements Reinvestigated
To understand the underlying answers in depth, a research team was led by Stephen Z. Levine from the University of Haifa, based out of Israel. 45,300 children of Israel origin born during the time period of 2003 to 2007 were analyzed and followed up until late 2015.
Scientists gathered every ounce of information available about the children from the prescriptions their mothers were advised to the supplements they had taken during the course of their pregnancies.
Out of these many children, 572 were observed to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) condition.
The study’s authors confirmed the age-old belief of having a reduced autism risk among offspring whose mothers took timely multivitamin supplements and folic acids as had been advised by their medical practitioners.
In brief, supplements have been believed to play a large role in reducing the risk of autism in the offspring.
The positive effects of the study were seen to remain largely significant after understanding and accounting for multiple underlying variables. Further, the authors noted after measuring the protective effects among males and female offspring, that the lower diagnoses among females questions the credibility of the study, making the conclusions less firm.
The authors note that the study is only observational, which means an existing causal relationship cannot be proven at this stage of the study.
The authors highlight the importance of further studies to understand whether or not these effects hold any ground.
Further, the authors note all advice given by the medical practitioners will remain unchanged and timely supplements and multivitamins should always be given high priority.