Vitamin/mineral/micronutrient supplement for autism spectrum disorders: a research survey

James B. Adams, Jasmine Kirby, Tapan Audhya, Paul Whiteley, Jaclyn Bain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Vitamin and mineral supplements are widely used by children and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Several studies have reported benefits of such supplements in resolving nutritional deficiencies, treating various metabolic problems and improving symptoms and overall quality of life. Methods: This research survey collected evaluations from 161 people about the effectiveness of ANRC-Essentials Plus (ANRC-EP), a vitamin/mineral/micronutrient supplement designed for children and adults with autism. Although this was an open-label survey, results were compared with a three-month randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of an earlier version of the supplement. Evaluations included the Parent Global Impressions of Autism (PGIA) and the Overall Benefit/Adverse Effect scale of the National Survey on Treatment Effectiveness for Autism (NSTEA). Results: The participants reported substantially higher Average PGIA Scores than the placebo group in a similar previous study, with an estimated effect size of 0.66. Based on the NSTEA questionnaire, 73% of participants rated the Overall Benefit as Moderate, Good, or Great, with scores that were substantially higher than the NSTEA study found for multi-vitamins, the average of 58 nutraceuticals, and the average of 28 psychiatric and seizure medications. The Overall Adverse Effect score was low (0.25/3.0), similar or slightly higher than other nutraceuticals, and much lower than the average of 28 psychiatric and seizure medications (0.9/3.0). Sub-analysis found that the Overall Benefit of ANRC-EP was not significantly affected by gender, age, autism severity, diet quality, self-limited diet, use of psychiatric or seizure medications, dosage, developmental history, intellectual disability, or seizures. This indicates that ANRC-EP may be beneficial for a wide range of children and adults with ASD. A limitation of this study is the retrospective nature of the survey, and that participants who had good benefits were more likely to respond. Conclusions: This study found that ANRC-EP had significant benefits for a wide range of symptoms, and low adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number590
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Micronutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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