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Overview Autism and vitamin D

FACT: Studies have shown an association of autism with many factors

ALL of these autism factors are also associated with low vitamin D

  1. latitude
    Theory that Autism is a function of latitude
  2. darkness of skin,
    The Color of Autism
    Autism Black
    Autism more frequent from mothers who are dark skinned or veiled
  3. rainfall in the region (lack of UV)
    Science Blogs 2008
  4. season
    Season and autism - 36 pages 2008 has many graphs
    Many articles in PubMed on Autism and Season
    Season of birth and autism April 2010

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  • FACT: There are some clinical trials underway testing for the decrease in autism resulting from a pregnant mother taking enough vitamin D.
  • UNCERTAIN: Vitamin D help prevent autism before and after birth
  • OPINION: Vitamin D will be proved to both PREVENT and TREAT Autism
  • RECOMMENDATION: Take extra vitamin D when pregnant
    !There is a tiny risk in taking vitamin D, but a major risk in not doing so if you already have an autistic child

There are many indications that having higher level of vitamin D will prevent autism

There are no indications that vitamin D can treat autism
However, vitamin D does treat a handful of other diseases, provided the people take >10,000 IU daily

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
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

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 vitamin D deficient, but not all children who are deficient are autistic: since genes are involved as well
  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/1female autism ratio can be explain by the observation that 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

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

See also in VitaminDwiki

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5 other vitamin D websites have articles on autism - many hits are from Vitamin D Council website

CLICK HERE


Lack of vitamin D is just one or the many SUSPECTED CAUSES of Autism

WikiPedia Possible causes of Autism

3 Prenatal environment
   3.1 Parental age; 3.2 Maternal infection; 3.3 Gestational diabetes; 3.4 Teratogens; 3.5 Pesticides; 3.6 Thyroid problems; 3.7 Folic acid; 3.8 Stress; 3.9 Fetal testosterone; 3.10 Ultrasound
4 Perinatal environment
5 Postnatal environment
* 5.1 Mercury
* 5.2 Vaccines, o 5.2.1 Thiomersal, o 5.2.2 MMR vaccine
* 5.3 Autoimmune disease
* 5.4 Viral infection
* 5.5 Excessive hygiene
* 5.6 Oxidative stress
* 5.7 Amygdala neurons
* 5.8 Locus coeruleus–noradrenergic system
* 5.9 Lack of Vitamin D
* 5.10 Lead
* 5.11 Leaky gut syndrome
* 5.12 Paracetamol
* 5.13 Rain
* 5.14 Refrigerator mother
* 5.15 Other psychogenic theories

A testing company's view of nutrients associated with autism

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Is Autism a Vitamin D-Deficiency Disorder?

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

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

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Autism is one of many health problems that has increased by 2X or more in a decade

Criteria to associate a disease with the lack of vitamin D

First criteria is the large increase in recent decades - due to large decrease in vitamin D in recent decades

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Same inflammation in brain in half of the autistics, but different causes – May 2011

- - - - - - -

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

Denmark

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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

WikiPedia Epidemiology of autism

Out of Africa 2008

Autism happening in elite families in Africa (those which can afford air conditioning)
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
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Autism and air pollution (no mention of Vitamin D) June 2013

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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

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
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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
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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.

Short url = http://is.gd/DAutism


Page last modified on 21 August, 2014


List of attached files
ID Name desc uploaded Size Downloads Actions
4304 pdf Autism - lack of pruning.pdf PDF 2014 21 Aug., 2014 by admin 3.05 Mb 7 View Download  
4303 jpg Lack of pruning of splines with autism.jpg 21 Aug., 2014 by admin 19.48 Kb 42 View Download  
4171 jpg Genetic aspect of Autism - 200 to 400 genes.jpg 23 July, 2014 by admin 80.74 Kb 240 View Download  
2623 jpg Autism and air polution.jpg 23 June, 2013 by admin 46.34 Kb 2657 View Download  
2622 pdf Autism and air polution.pdf PDF 2013 23 June, 2013 by admin 705.64 Kb 284 View Download  
2438 jpg Autism Spectracell.jpg 01 May, 2013 by admin 109.30 Kb 3721 View Download  
2327 png Autism-infographic.png 09 Apr., 2013 by admin 806.96 Kb 3223 View Download  
1270 pdf CDC Autism 2012- reporting on 2008.pdf PDF CDC 25 Apr., 2012 by admin 637.09 Kb 614 View Download  
1249 jpg Autism Denmark.jpg 17 Apr., 2012 by admin 12.23 Kb 6158 View Download  
1248 jpg ASD CDC 2008.jpg 17 Apr., 2012 by admin 29.52 Kb 4847 View Download  
518 jpg Autism increase with time.jpg 30 Mar., 2011 by admin 106.10 Kb 6577 View Download  
117 gif season and autism.gif season chart 16 July, 2010 by admin 15.42 Kb 7044 View Download  
116 gif Marc.gif Marc Sorenson 16 July, 2010 by admin 16.40 Kb 6255 View Download  
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Health Problems and D

  # of studies as of 7/21/14