There has been much research on the connection between vitamin deficiencies and many childhood disorders such as Autism. So many children are being diagnosed today with autism, ADD, ADHD that there must be some reason. Many professionals are suggesting that the Vitamin D theory on autism be looked at closely. In an article from www.vitamindcouncil.org written recently there is concern due to the epidemic proportion of autism; 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism.
Why has autism increased in the last 20 years?
If it is a genetic disease, how could it have increased?
Why are boys more likely to get it than girls?
Why does Vitamin B12 help?
Why does fish oil help?
Why does Vitamin D help?
Why is there concern related to childhood immunizations?
The individual who believes in the Vitamin D theory is Dr. John Cannell.
Evidence on this theory includes increased prevalence of autism with increasing latitude, excess birth rate for autism in the spring. Low serum Vitamin D levels, increase risk for those with darker skin, increased risk of autism associated with preeclampsia.
This Vitamin D theory proposes that mothers during pregnancy and nursing should keep their Vitamin D levels above 40-50 mg/ml
The upper and lower intestinal tract
Clinical studies have revealed a high prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms including inflammation and dysfunction in children with autism.
Because of the gastrointestinal problems, treatment of the symptoms have showed some promising results. Some of the symptoms include decreased digestive enzyme activities and mild to moderate degree of inflammation.
It seems there is a connection between individuals being advised to stay out of the sun and wear sun screen for the past 20 years. This type of advice may have lowered Vitamin D levels in many people.
Dr. Cannell’s studies have found that autism is more prevalent in areas that receive less sunlight. According to the study, there is increased autism in regions of great cloud cover and rainfall. Another factor seems to be that most children with autism are born in the spring. March is the time of lowest vitamin D levels in northern and mid-latitudes. The areas are further from the sun and get less light.
Other risk factors for autism:
Environmental toxins, including exposure to chemicals and heavy metals
Environmental conditions leading to vitamin D deficiency
Dark skin is a risk factor for autism because dark skin produces less vitamin D from sunlight
Lower maternal vitamin D levels is a risk factor for premature delivery.
The risk of autism increases with each week a baby is born early
Maternal seafood consumption during pregnancy may lower the risk of a baby born with autism
Cold water ocean fish are a good source of vitamin D and Omega -3 fatty acids. Both are important for brain health
In Dr. Cannell’s article: ” One of the hallmarks of autism is oxidative stress. This leads to early cell death. There are many papers in the literature reporting that vitamin D reduces oxidative stress.”
How to Prevent autism?
The risk of autism could be lowered if women took vitamin D supplements before conception, during pregnancy and after birth because research suggests that pregnant and nursing women need 6000 IU ( 150 mcg/day of vitamin D) In the form of Vitamin D3 which is called cholecalciferol.
Remember that this research is not yet confirmed or evaluated by the FDA. For more information Dr. Cannel’s newsletter reports.
Information taken in part from: Vitamin D Council. @ http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/neurological-conditions/autism/
More information on Autism can be found at this link: