Washington, D.C., May 13, 2016—In response to a conference paper1 titled “Maternal Plasma Folate, Vitamin B12 Levels and Multivitamin Supplement during Pregnancy and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Boston Birth Cohort,” presented today at the 2016 International Meeting for Autism Research, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:
Statement by Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:
“The benefits of supplemental folic acid for women of child-bearing age in preventing birth defects such as spina bifida are well-established and the accompanying public health recommendations for these women to take a daily supplement containing 400 mcg of folic acid is undisputed. The observations from this paper may be worthy of further research, but the paper has neither gone through a peer review process nor been published in a scientific journal. Further as the study is an observational study, at best the results may provide some correlative considerations, but certainly not causative. As the authors themselves have stated in the press release publicizing their paper, ‘Adequate supplementation is protective: That’s still the story with folic acid.’ The authors also noted that there is no cause to change current public health recommendations, advising ‘We are not suggesting anyone stop supplementation.’”
1. Raghavan R et al. Maternal Plasma Folate, Vitamin B12 Levels and Multivitamin Supplement during Pregnancy and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Boston Birth Cohort. Study presented at: 2016 International Meeting for Autism Research; May 2016; Baltimore, MD.