The Role of Micronutrients in the Prevention and Management of Neurodevelopmental Disorders: A Systematic Review
The prevalence of various neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) in children continue to progress along a world that is increasingly advancing in research, technology and record keeping. The usual long-term nature of these disorders causes many caregivers to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to help improve the lives of affected children or to prevent the condition from occurring. Micronutrients are among the commonly used CAM in many instances. The objective was to review the role that micronutrients play in the prevention and management of NDs. A search for eligible studies published overtime up to January 2023 was conducted on PUBMED, semantic scholar, TandFonline, and World Health Organisation’s International Clinical Trials Registry. The search yielded 2,362 studies, however, 145 reports were included in the review. Serum levels of micronutrients were found to be significantly lower in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) compared to Typically Developing (TD) children. Also, micronutrient usage was associated with perceived improvement in ASD and ADHD symptoms with maternal prenatal intakes and levels of micronutrients lowering the odds of ASD in offspring. Appropriate use of micronutrients in the management of NDs may decrease the severity of these conditions. Additionally, improving maternal serum levels of micronutrients before and during pregnancy may potentially reduce the risk of ASD.