The sunshine vitamin D may help alleviate symptoms of autism when taken during pregnancy and when given to children . . .
We know that autism is more frequent when there is a history of autism in the family and in families with certain risk factors and genetic vulnerabilities. It is now becoming clear that environmental factors (exposure to toxins and lack of key nutrients) can also trigger autism in those who present these vulnerabilities.
The study "Core symptoms of autism improved after vitamin D supplementation" found that vitamin D3 (cholecaliferol) seems to play a role in the cause of autism. The study’s authors suggest that vitamin D is important for brain development and that higher levels may reduce the risk of autism. The study reports that a 32-month old boy with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and vitamin D3 deficiency, who, after being given adequate vitamin D3, showed significant improvements in his symptoms.
In yet another study, "Vitamin D in fetal development: findings from a birth cohort study" it was found that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy resulted in neurodevelopmental delays seen at age 10.
Nearly all of us are deficient in vitamin D – few if any of us have optimal levels – mainly because the only way to make enough in the body is to be exposed to a lot of direct sunlight (without sunscreen). If there was one vitamin that I would recommend to almost everyone it would be vitamin D3!
If you are pregnant - you simply MUST take enough vitamin D3 (4000 to 5000 IU daily).
In a previous blog on my Integrative Pediatrics site I've gone more in depth on how much vitamin D you should take to reach the optimum level of 50-80 ng/ml. I recommend that everyone should get their vitamin D level checked (blood test) and if deficient begin supplementation.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and it promotes bone growth. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several maladies like cancer of the breast, colon and prostate, heart disease, weight gain and depression.
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Dr. Paul Thomas
Dr. Paul Thomas is an award-winning Dartmouth-trained pediatrician with nearly 30 years of experience in pediatrics. In addition to being board certified in Pediatrics, he is an expert on addiction and board certified in Addiction Medicine. His practice, Integrative Pediatrics, serves some 11,000 children in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health—from Pregnancy through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine 2016).
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