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Vitamin D Theory of Autism

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In addition to the current epidemic of vitamin D deficiency, say another epidemic—an epidemic of autism—was upon our children? What if the autism epidemic began at the same time the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency began? What if both epidemics had worsened in unison? What if one theory explained all the unexplained facts about autism?

What if both epidemics had the same root cause: sun avoidance? What if both were iatrogenic, that is, medical advice to avoid the sun had caused both epidemics? Be warned, what follows is not light reading—autism is not a light disease.

Does The Vitamin D Theory Best Explain Autism?

The theory that vitamin D deficiency, during pregnancy or childhood, causes autism is just a theory. However, the theory has a plausible mechanism of action, explains all the unexplained facts about autism, subsumes several other theories, implies simple prevention, and is easily disprovable—all components of a useful theory. A genetic lesion (abnormality) in some component of the vitamin D system—a lesion vitamin D's unique pharmacology could overcome—would explain why monozygotic (identical) twins are highly affected while fraternal twins are not. Varying brain levels of activated vitamin D during later life would explain why some identical twins get severe disease while others are barely affected. Falling vitamin D levels over the last 20 years due to sun-avoidance explain autism's rapid increase in incidence during that same time. The very different effects estrogen and testosterone have on vitamin D metabolism may explain why boys are much more likely to get it than girls are. Lower vitamin D levels in blacks may explain their higher rates of autism. The vitamin D theory has tenable explanations for all the epidemiological features of autism.


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EmpowHER Guest

My son is autistic and we have been using nutrition to heal him. In addition to being currently on the gfcf diet, he also takes probiotics, and vitamins. He has made remarkable leaps and bounds, but he was still having bad days. I decided to keep a log of everything he consumed and when. I also kept track of his moods, vitamin intake, and bowel movements. I was certain there was something I was missing, but I just couldn't see it. I went back to the drawing board and started researching again. That's when I found the information about vitamin D. We started taking my son out every day for 20 minutes without sunscreen. Within two days, we saw a HUGE leap in his communication and social skills! It was amazing! I realized that what made the difference between his good and bad days, was the sun! I'm not saying that this is scientific proof that these children are deficient in vitamin D, but there's definitely something there. And for the other parents out there looking desperately for answers: You've tried everything else, why not try this?

August 26, 2009 - 7:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

Neuroscientist Norman Geschwind in Cerebral Lateralization discussed the possible effects of light on the pineal gland controlling testosterone production in way that season of birth effects suggest the etiology of conditions having to do with light. Vitamin D theories take a similar stand but seem to miss the connection of autism to maturational delay, which is influenced by testosterone levels in the womb (see Baron-Cohen's work)

What I just said was so condensed it makes little sense. See http://www.neoteny.org/?p=236 or http://www.neoteny.org/?cat=37 for more detail.


March 24, 2009 - 4:34am
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