The Role of Vitamin D in Autism

A new study, in the April 15, 2015 issue of “Nutritional Neuroscience,” has concluded that “Supplementation of vitamin D3, a safe and cost-effective form of treatment, may significantly improve outcome in some children with ASD, especially in younger children.”  The vitamin D levels of 215 children with ASD and 285 neurotypical controls matched for age and sex were evaluated using autism rating scales.  They found that the vitamin D levels were significantly lower in children with ASD compared with typically developing children.  Inadequate levels were found in 71.2% of the autistic children.

In addition, the children with low vitamin D levels scored poorly on the autism checklists.  After three months of daily treatment with vitamin D supplementation, scores were significantly improved compared to pre-treatment scores.

This study is consistent with previous studies supporting the same findings.  Further, earlier studies have shown that there is a greater likelihood of ASD in children of mothers who are vitamin D-deficient during pregnancy.

The conclusion?  If you are thinking about getting pregnant, or if you already are, get your vitamin D levels tested!!  If you are deficient, then take a supplement.  It’s an inexpensive, safe way to protect both you and your baby.  If you have an autistic child, test their levels too!  And supplement if necessary.

Sources:  Autism Research Review International, Vol 30, No. 1, 2016, Page 2.

“Autism and Vitamin D,” Life Extension Magazine.  p. 33.  January, 2014.

 

 

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