Overview Autism and vitamin D

Did you know?
  • Autism has seen huge increases around the world in the past few decades
  • There are many proposed reasons for the increase; including
      low Vitamin D, antibiotics, and Roundup
  • There are 27 reasons to associate Autism with low vitamin D
  • Children of women who had higher levels of vitamin D have lower risk of autism
          (More Autism info below)

Learn how Vitamin D is essential for good health
  Watch a 5 minute video "Does Less Sun Mean more Disease?"
  Browse for other Health Problems and D in left column
  Click About Vitamin D in menu above

  • FACT: Studies have shown many associations of autism to low Vitamin D
  • FACT: Clinical trial has prevented Autism with Vitamin D during pregnancy
  • FACT: Clinical trial has treated autism in children
  • RECOMMENDATION: Take extra vitamin D when pregnant
    There is a tiny risk in taking vitamin D during pregnancy, but a major risk in not doing so if you already have an autistic child

US explosion of Autism

updated from http://autisminnb.blogspot.com/2011/01/autism-speaks-cdc-autism-prevalence.html
chart is adapted from from http://autisminnb.blogspot.com/2011/01/autism-speaks-cdc-autism-prevalence.html
Autism cases in U.S. jump to 1 in 45 Nov 2015 - based on 2014 data
In 2014, it was 75 % boys, 25 % girls.
CDC update: 1 in 88 as of 2008 Reported March 2012
This is a 78 % increase in (2003-2008) for ALL children
110% increase for Hispanics, and 91% increase for black children (2003-2008) (dark skin strongly points to vitamin D)
CDC PDF of 2008 study which was finally published in 2012 is attached to the bottom of this page

1 child in 68 CDC March 2014
An increase of about 30% from 2008 to 2010, which is also an 120% increase in decade since 2000/2002

Autism prevalence


Recent Autism items by Dr. Cannell of the Vitamin D Council

  1. Both have strong inheritance features – Vitamin D about 60%
  2. Both have gotten substantially worse in last 30 years
  3. Vitamin D is known to be involved in brain development
  4. All autistic children are VitD deficient, but not all children who are deficient are autistic: genes are involved
  5. When giving vitamin D to cure children of rickets “mental dullness” decreases as well
  6. Children with genes which give them too much (Williams Syndrome) have to reverse of autism – too sociable
  7. Mothers having lots of fish (and thus more vitamin D) give birth to kids with less autistic symptoms
  8. Both associated with weak bones
  9. Both worse around the age of weaning
  10. Autism is more common in rich families – more likely to apply sun screen and stay indoors
  11. Autism increases with drugs which lower levels of vitamin D
  12. Seizures are common with Autism - Vitamin D has been shown to reduce seizures
  13. Fewer autistic symptoms (such as sleep problems) during summer: when child gets more vitamin D from the sun
  14. Both worse with latitude
  15. Both vary with Ultraviolet light
  16. Both vary with time of year (more birth of autistics in March in Northern hemisphere)
  17. 2X more urban autism – less UVB in urban environments
  18. Both worse with pollution
  19. Both worse with increased clouds and rain
  20. Both worse with closely spaced pregnancies
  21. Autistics have abnormal immune response – similar to that of vitamin D deficiency
  22. Low levels of vitamin D in mother animals reduces brain function in offspring
  23. Vitamin deficient rat pups have similar brain abnormalities to that of human autistic children
  24. Autistic children get less vitamin D in their blood for the same amount of sun exposure
  25. The 4 males/1 female ratio - Note estrogen increases vitamin D in the brain (testosterone does not)
  26. Both worse in African Americans (A-A 2-3 increased autism rate)
  27. Both worse in Dark-skinned immigrants in Europe
  • Study out of China finds correlation between vitamin D status and autism severity Vitamin D Council Oct 2013
    Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in Chinese children with autism spectrum disorders. - Oct 2013
  • Autism and Vitamin D - by John Cannell, MD Life Extension Jan 2014
  • Autism Causes, Prevention and Treatment: Vitamin D Deficiency etc. – Book April 2015
  • Image

    • Animal study finds that suggests vitamin D may help prevent and treat autistic symptoms Vitamin D Council Feb 2016
      ". . . "if you want your children to be free of autism, we recommend both mom and dad supplement with 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D for at least 3 months before conception (this dose will also improve both male and female fertility). Then, the pregnant woman should remain on 5,000 IU/day, and perhaps 10,000 IU/day, which is the No Observed Adverse Effects Level (NOAEL) level for vitamin D intake throughout her pregnancy."
      "After the child is born, he or she should supplement with at least 1,000 IU/25 pounds of body weight per day. When the child reaches 125 pounds, he or she should take 5,000 IU/day. If the child shows any signs or symptoms of autism, the dose should be increased to 2,000 IU/per day/per 25 pounds of body weight."

    Vitamin D Council Autism Infographic April 2016

    Scientific American "What If Vitamin D Deficiency Is a Cause of Autism?" April 2009

    tp://www.vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=633|Autism update by vitamin D council - June 2010] response to Scientific American article

    See also in VitaminDwiki


    A testing company's view of nutrients associated with autism


    Is Autism a Vitamin D-Deficiency Disorder?

    by Marc Sorenson EdD (PhD in Education) http://www.vitaminddoc.com/d3autism.html

    As I have pointed out in my book, both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.1
    The cost of autism is about $35 billion annually, and the societal cost for each case is about $3.2 million.2
    The most alarming increase in autism is observed over the past few decades, and its incidence is currently growing at the rate of 10-17% per year.39
    Dr. John Cannell wrote a compelling paper on how autism could be caused, at least in part, by lack of vitamin D during brain development.[3]
    Much of this post discusses his primary arguments.
    Cannell points out that in 1989, about the time autism began its most rapid increase in incidence, the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs first warned of the perceived dangers of sun exposure and advised keeping infants out of the sun as much as possible.[4]
    In 1999, when autism risk began to really skyrocket, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised to keep infants out of direct sunlight and to make sure activities minimized sun exposure.[5]
    In 2002 the Centers for Disease Control reported that the efforts had been quite successful.5 It is quite possible that the result of all of this "protection" has been an increase in autism, since the increase in the incidence of autism has closely paralleled the increase in "sunscare efforts."
    Vitamin D is absolutely essential for brain development[6] [7] and that children are deficient because of sun "protection" measures that lower vitamin D levels.
    My opinion is that this is the major reason for the surge in the rate of autism. Here are more of Dr. Cannell's autism/vitamin D-deficiency links:
    Both autism and vitamin D deficiency are associated with abnormally high inflammation.[8] [9]
    Low consumption of vitamin D-rich seafood in pregnant women correlates to increased risk of their children's low verbal IQ's, poorer social performance, communication and motor skills.[10] [11]
    Dark-skinned people are far more likely to be vitamin D deficient because they require more sun exposure to produce it.
    If the theory is correct, the rate of autism among black children would be higher than that among white children due to maternal vitamin D deficiency and fetal insufficiency that would influence brain development. This is exactly the case; children of mothers who have emigrated from Uganda to Sweden, for example, have an autism rate of 15%, which is 200 times that of the general population.[12]

    Far less sunlight is available in Sweden than Uganda, and the season available for vitamin D production is much shorter in Sweden.
    This puts the Ugandan women at a severe disadvantage in producing enough vitamin D for the developing fetus.
    There is a close correlation between latitude and autism among countries; the higher the latitude, the higher the rate of autism.[13]
    High-latitude countries have higher rates of vitamin D deficiency due to a shorter season in which UVB is available to stimulate its production in the skin.
    The same relationship of latitude to autism exists within the states of the USA, with northern states having higher rates of autism.[14] [15]
    In winter, when vitamin D production is low, birth rates of autistic children peak.[16]

    Rickets and autism show similar urban/rural distribution rates.

    Rickets is an accepted vitamin D-deficiency disease, and urban children have significantly higher rates of both diseases.[17]
    Pregnant rural women and their children tend to be outside in the sunshine more their urban counterparts, and in urban settings, more air pollution blocks out UVB light, the wave length that stimulates vitamin D production; poor air quality is directly correlated with autism[18] and with profoundly lower serum levels of vitamin D.[19]
    It is also interesting to note that the Amish of Pennsylvania mostly rural farmers have extremely low rates of autism.[20]
    According to Dr. Heng Wang, who treats Amish people in rural Ohio, their rate of autism is 1 in 1,500, compared to 1 in 166 nationally.[21]

    Finally, where precipitation rates are high, rates of autism are also high,[22] [23] suggesting a link with sunlight deprivation.
    Cloudy, rainy weather blocks the UVB light necessary to produce vitamin D.
    The argument that autism is a vitamin D-deficiency disorder is compelling, but until the theory is proven, it would certainly be prudent to assure that pregnant women and young children maintain optimal levels of vitamin D.
    There is no downside, and the potential to halt an unnecessary disease that is devastating to youngsters, their parents and society.

    {foot note area}
    [3] Cannell, J. Autism and vitamin D. Med hypothesis Oct 24, 2007. Epub ahead of print
    [4] JAMA 1989;262:380-84. No authors listed
    [5] Cannell, J. Vitamin D newsletter, May 2007.
    [6] Eyles, D. et al. Vitamin D3 and brain development. Neuroscience 2003;118:641-53.
    [7] McGrath, J. et al. Vitamin D3-implications for brain development J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2004;89-90:557-60.
    [8] Ashwood, P. et al. The immune response in autism: a new frontier for autism research. J Leukoc Biol 2006;80:1-15.
    [9] Cantorna, M. . Vitamin D status, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, and the immune system. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80:1717S-20S.
    [10] Cantorna, M. . Vitamin D status, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, and the immune system. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80:1717S-20S.
    [11] Hibbeln, J. et al. Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study): an observational cohort study. Lancet. 2007 Feb 17;369(9561):578-85.
    [12] Gillberg, C. Et al. Autism in immigrants: children born in Sweden to mothers born in Uganda. J Intellect Disabil Res. 1995;39:141-4.
    [13] Grant, W. Epidemiological evidence for supporting the role of maternal vitamin D deficiency as a significant risk factor for the development of infantile autism in those born prior to 1985. Unpublished manuscript.
    [14] McNally, R. et al. An infectious aetiology for childhood brain tumors? Evidence from space-time clustering and seasonality analyses. Br J Cancer 2002;86:1070-77.
    [15] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders-autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 14 sites, United States, 2002. MMWR Surveill Summ 2007;56:12-28.
    [16] Stevens, M. Season of birth effects in autism. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2000;22:399-407.
    [17] Williams, J. et al. Systematic review of prevalence studies of autism spectrum disorders. Arch Dis Child 2006;91:8-15.
    [18] Windham, M. et al. Autism spectrum disorders in relation to hazardous air pollutants in the San Francisco Bay area. Environ Health Perspect 2006;114:1438-44.
    [19] Agarwal, K. et al. The impact of atmospheric pollution on vitamin D status of infants and toddlers in Delhi, India. Arch Dis Child. 2002;87:111-13.
    [20] Waldman M, et al. Does television cause autism? National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 12632, 2006.
      http://www.econ.cudenver.edu/mocan/data%20for%20courses/Autism%5B1%5D.w12632.pdf (accessed Feb 2, 2008.).
    [21]Wang, H. Quoted by Dan Olmsted in The Age of Autism: One in 15,000 Amish. UPI June 8, 2005.
      Available online at http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/news/2005/06/18948.php.
    [22] Waldman M, et al. Does television cause autism? National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 12632, 2006.
      http://www.econ.cudenver.edu/mocan/data%20for%20courses/Autism%5B1%5D.w12632.pdf (accessed Feb 2, 2008.).
    [23] Waldman,M. Autism prevalence and precipitation rates in California, Oregon, and Washington counties. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008 Nov;162(11):1026-34

    See also on the web


    • Autism on TedTalk March 2014
      good background, nothing about vitamin D, following chart shows the 200-400 genes assocaited with different forms of autism


    HYPOTHESIS Folate ==> reduced miscarriage ==> increased autism

    Has enhanced folate status during pregnancy altered natural selection and possibly Autism prevalence? A closer look at a possible link 2008
    Is excess folic acid supplementation a risk factor for autism? 2011
       small study found 1 mg of Folic Acid was associated with 13% increase in Autism
    Some, but not complete, reassurance on the safety of folic acid fortification 2010 full text on-line
    Vitamin D and Folate fortification of foods

    Around the world



    US House Testimony June 2011

    “ASD transcends geographic, economic and cultural boundaries,”
    Shih said. “Current scientific consensus is that 67 million people, or about 1 % of the world’s population is affected with some form of ASD—a prevalence that is higher than AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined.
    While there is currently no known medical cure for autism, behavioral treatment programs can be quite effective, particularly when the diagnosis is made early and subsequent interventions are begun.”
    Significant in Northern Ireland (low vitamin D), and Africa

    Out of Africa 2008

    Autism happening in elite families in Africa (those which can afford air conditioning, gmo foods, and antibiotics)
    High autism rates in African immigrants: Sweden, Minnesota (where there is much less sunshine)

    Autism Infographic April 2013

    Move your cursor over it to see it
    Too large to display each time that this page is shown

    Autism and air pollution (no mention of Vitamin D) June 2013

    PDF is attached at the bottom of this page

    Clinical Review of Autism and Vitamin D 2012 - excellent

    CLICK HERE if registered (free) for VitaminDWiki

    Roundup and Autism

    Powerful chart of the increase in Autism and increase in GMO food
    from http://www.examiner.com/article/data-show-correlations-between-increase-neurological-diseases-and-gmos

    Roundup May Be Most Important Factor in Development of Autism . . Mercola June 2013

    Seneff Nov 2014 Winston Price Conference

    See also VitaminDWiki

    which has many charts of increases of diseases with Glyphosate - which are HIGHLY LIKELY

    ADHD strongly assocated with Magnesium deficiency

    Minerals imbalances influence learning disorders Natural Health 365
    84% of kids with ADHD had significantly lower levels of iron compared to only 18% of control group

    Autism is associated with lack of pruning in the brain - Aug 2014

    Pruning Process May Go Awry in Brains of Children With Autism NY Times
    the word vitamin does does not occur once in the study which is attached at the bottom of this page

    However, a Oct 2011 study associated Autism with TOO MUCH pruning -full text online
    Underconnected, but how? A survey of functional connectivity MRI studies in autism spectrum disorders.

    Autism associated with low gut flora (due to antibiotics) – Mercola Oct 2014

    Screening Every Child for Autism New York Times Sept 2015

    By professor of pediatrics, nothing about vitamin D
    Issues answered

    1. Is the condition prevalent and severe enough to warrant screening?
    2. Do we have a cost-effective means to screen the general population?
    3. Does early diagnosis make a difference
    4. Will an early diagnosis motivate people to use information gained from screening?

    Poor Funding

    • The cost of caring for and supporting a person with autism without an intellectual disability is $1.4 million
    • Autism costs the American economy about $175 billion a year.
      That’s more than the cost of cancer, strokes and heart disease combined.

    Perhaps many Females are autistic - but they have very different symptoms than males

    • Why It’s So Difficult to Diagnose Autism in Girls Slate Oct 2015
      "Some researchers theorize that girls are better than boys at camouflaging their symptoms, particularly during highly structured interactions such as clinic visits. For instance, a colleague of mine described girls with autism as “caricatures” in social interactions. These girls may be motivated to interact, but their behaviors seem exaggerated."
    • The Invisible Women With Autism Atlantic Mag Oct 2015
      Similar article to Slate - very interesting
      Wonder if the perceived ratio of male/female will decrease in the future
    • Vitamin D and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Literature Review - 2016, 35 pages
       Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

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