New Research Links Vitamin D Deficiencies to Autism

Back in 2009,  Dr. John J. Cannell’s research on Vitamin D Deficiency being related to Autism and other brain dysfunctions was greatly discussed and even challenged.

Nearly 3 years later, there have been many advancements in the Autism field, especially in the area of researching the potential causes. Vitamin D Deficiency isn’t just expected in Autism, but in conditions such as cardiovascular disease and even cancer!

The number of children and adults being diagnosed with Autism is no doubt on the rise. Some like to argue that it is due to physicians being more aggressive in their diagnosis, but most agree that the increase in cases is very real, meaning the issues that are causing this disorder are very real and are still needing to be addressed.

Not long ago, a paper was written that called for an immediate and urgent request for research into Vitamin D Deficiencies role in the Autism epidemic.

So, if one of the many answers to why Autism symptoms are so severe at times could be because of Vitamin D deficiencies, why aren’t parents just administering Vitamin D Supplements or utilizing nature’s natural Vitamin D source; the sun?

The problem arises when pediatricians are consulted regarding the increase of Vitamin D to a child’s system. Many of them argue that the recommended dosage by specialists is too high, and then parents of the child decline to take part in the program. Dr. Cannell says himself that they do not go against Doctor’s orders and want to “work along with pediatricians whenever possible. ”

There have been wonderful results reported from adjusting the vitamin D levels in Autistic children. Parents have reported that it has helped in behavioral issues such as tantrums, and even for sleeping. Shyness, eye contact, and speech have also been reported to have improved utilizing the Vitamin D treatment method.

Parents, have you been recommended to use Vitamin D Therapy? Did you take part in it? What were the results?


Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Autism?

In the past few weeks, there have been a couple of reports about Vitamin D in “Scientific American” magazine which both have bearings on autism.

Vitamin D Deficiency Affects the US

The first report was about how Vitamin D deficiency is soaring in the US, according to a study published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine”. The study claimed that a whopping three quarters of US teens and adults have a deficiency of vitamin D – that’s quite an incredible figure and makes you wonder why.

child in sunglassesThe study’s author, Adit Ginde, from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, puts this vitamin D deficiency down to skin cancer prevention measures such as wearing long sleeves and using sunscreen ( sun protection of just factor 15 can cut the skin’s ability to manufacture vitamin D by 99%) and points out that there are actually very few dietary sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the skin produces vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun. By protecting ourselves from sun exposure, to reduce our risk of melanoma, we are cutting our levels of vitamin D.

Is There a Link between Lack of Sun and Autism?

But what has all this got to do with autism? Doesn’t a vitamin D deficiency lead to bone problems, such as rickets, osteoporosis and arthritis, not autism?

Well, yes, but experts are now wondering if a growth in vitamin D deficiencies has got something to do with the growth in autism. This theory is the result of two preliminary studies in Minnesota and Sweden, and the findings of these studies are discussed in the second article in “Scientific American” magazine.

Both Sweden and Minnesota have large Somali immigrant communities who seem to be overrepresented in the total number of children with autism in each area. In Minnesota, Somali families began arriving in 1993 and the number of children with autism in their community has jumped from 0 out of 1,773 in 1993, to 43 out of 2,029 in 2007. In Sweden, records of Somali children born in Stockholm between 1988 and 1998 have been studied and researchers concluded that Somali children in Stockholm were 3-4 times more likely to suffer with autism than non-Somali children in the city.

The Somali communities in both cities just can’t understand it. In Stockholm, the Somali people call autism “The Swedish Disease” because they had never seen it in Somalia, and Huda Fara, a Somali molecular biologist working in Minnesota, says “We never saw such a disease in Somalia. We do not even have a word for it.”

So why is autism hitting the Somali community so badly?

[Read more…]