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Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplements and Autism Ranking: Insufficient/Mixed evidence

Future Research

Summary of Existing Research

There is a very limited amount of low quality evidence (three group studies) on the use of multi-vitamin/mineral supplements as an intervention for people on the autism spectrum.  

This research suggests that multi-vitamin/mineral supplements may provide some benefits to some people on the autism spectrum.

However, the quality of this research is insufficient to determine if multi-vitamin/mineral supplements provide any benefits to people on the autism spectrum beyond the benefits they provide to people who are not on the autism spectrum. 

Recommendations for Future Research

There is a need for further research into the use of multi-vitamin/mineral supplements for people on the autism spectrum. Specifically there is a need for studies which

  • Use robust methodology, for example, large-scale, placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind trials 
  • Use the same standardised outcome measures at the start and at the end of the trials and give equal prominence to all of those measures in the reporting of the trials.
  • Identify which individuals, if any, are most likely to benefit from which formulations and dosages.
  • Determine if multi-vitamin/mineral supplements can be used as one of the elements within comprehensive, multi-component, treatment models, for example, alongside special diets.
  • Compare multi-vitamin/mineral supplements with other interventions which are designed to achieve similar results, such as special diets.
  • Identify if multi-vitamin/mineral supplements have any beneficial effects in the medium to long term and in real world settings. 
  • Involve people on the autism spectrum in the design, development and evaluation of those studies. 
Updated
19 Dec 2017
Last Review
01 Nov 2017
Next Review
01 Nov 2020