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Vitamin D and Autism

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12/01/2012 - Hello Again! Well, I would like this month to finish this series on vitamin D with some information concerning its benefit in dealing with autism. I found a couple of articles that will give some good information.

In the journal Medical Hypotheses, 2009, "Autism and Vitamin D", the following statements were made:

1) "The apparent increase in the prevalence of autism over the last 20 years corresponds with increasing medical advice to avoid the sun, advice that has probably lowered vitamin D levels and would theoretically greatly lower activated vitamin D levels in developing brain."

2) "Consumption of vitamin D containing fish during pregnancy reduces autistic symptoms in offspring."

3) "Autism is more common in areas of impaired UVB (Ultra violet B waves) penetration such as poleward latitudes, urban areas, areas of high air pollution, and areas of high precipitation." As I have mentioned previously in recent articles, we are a northern latitude state so we are at risk, especially in the winter since we don't get much exposure to the sun due to the cold temperatures.

4) The male to female ratio for autism is 4:1.

5) Hypovitaminosis D is a candidate risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders, because vitamin D

A)) Functions as a neurosteroid

B)) Is a potent up-regulator of nerve growth factor

C)) Is found in a wide variety of brain tissue very early in embryogenesis

D)) Offers neuroprotection, antiepileptic effects, and immunomodulation

6) "90% of human vitamin D stores come from skin production, not oral intake."

7) Higher fish consumption during pregnancy is associated with the greatest effect for infants whose mothers consumed the most fish. Note: This can be kind of frustrating information considering the mercury warnings regarding fish consumption being limited to almost one time a month.

In the journal Acta Paediatricia, August 2010, "On the Aetiology of Autism" the same author I quoted above brought in new information. Here are some highlights:

"The primary environmental trigger for autism is not vaccinations, toxins or infections, but gestational and early childhood vitamin D deficiency."

An article in Scientific American (2009) and two articles in Acta Paediatrica (2010) support the evidence that "vitamin D deficiency either during pregnancy or early childhood may be an environmental trigger for the genetic disease of autism."

The increased incidence of autism in the children of richer college-educated, wealthy parents might be explained by noting that such parents are more likely to "practice sun avoidance and use of sun block."

A 2008 study ( Journal of Autisms and Developmental Disorders) found that boys with autisms have reductions in metacarpal thickness; this is consistent with a deficiency of vitamin D during a stage of development.

Studies published in the Journal Neurology (2008 and 2009) indicate increased autism in the children of mothers who took antiepileptic drugs. "Antiepileptic drugs are one of the few classes of drugs that consistently and significantly interfere with vitamin D metabolism, lowering vitamin D3 levels.

Autism has a genetic contribution. The current epidemic maternal and early childhood deficiency of vitamin D may "allow the genetic tendency for autism to express itself."

Now as you can see, there is importance in maintaining consistent levels of vitamin D in our system for colds, flu's, and cancer prevention. For young expectant mothers, I will close this article with the final quote I will take from this article.Theoretically, prevention and perhaps treatment of autism involves physiological doses of vitamin D3. "Is so simple, safe, so inexpensive, so readily available and so easy, that it defies imagination." Happy Holidays!!

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