Smorgasbord Health – Latest research into Vitamin D – Deficiency link to Autism

Smorgasbord Health 2017One of the nutrients that has been receiving increasingly compelling research headlines, is Vitamin D. Regulars to the blog will know that I have written several posts on this vitamin that thinks it is a hormone..

A quick reminder of the reasons that Vitamin D is so essential for our health before a look at the latest research in March 2017 into the link between Vitamin D and autism.

Vitamin D is a fat soluable vitamin that is found in some food sources. We are also designed to make the vitamin in our body after exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. When it is manufactured in the body it takes on a number of different forms, each of which have a different function to perform.

The main function is to maintain the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood and then to ensure that calcium is absorbed efficiently so that new bone is formed and maintained throughout our lifetime.

This link to calcium resulted in the first major nutritional breakthrough nearly 100 years ago when it was identified that children with rickets, usually from poor and industrial areas suffered from Vitamin D deficiency and were supplemented with fish liver oils resulting in a virtual eradication of the disease.

Calcium plays a crucial role in other functions in the body but one of the most important as far as cancer is concerned is its ability to maintain the acid/alkaline balance within all our operating systems.

There is also a strong link between magnesium and calcium in the role of balancing hormones and are used very successfully in the treatment of PMS and menopausal symptoms.

Oestrogen the female hormone has been identified as the fuel that breast cancer cells prefer and this is why during the menopause when levels are likely to be elevated, we are more likely to develop tumours. This can therefore be linked back to a deficiency in Calcium and by definition a lack of vitamin D which enables the mineral to be absorbed and used by the body.

Vitamin D also works to promote healthy cell growth and actively prevent the formation of abnormal growth which strengthens the link between not only breast cancer and a deficiency but other cancers as well. Incidences of breast, prostate and colon cancer in the cloudier, Northern parts of the United States are two to three times higher than in Sunnier states. A link has been established to a deficiency of Vitamin D with all these types of cancer.

Apart from working with other nutrients to provide a healthy balance, Vitamin D is also associated with a number of other chronic diseases including Osteoporosis (calcium) Diabetes, Heart disease, arthritis (immune system) Multiple sclerosis (autoimmune system) Obesity ( lowers the levels of leptin hormone produced by the fat cells which regulates weight) , PMS and infertility, chronic fatigue and depression.

Many people in countries with long wet and dark winters suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Vitamin D which has been activated in the adrenal gland regulates an enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase which is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and epinephrine. Not only do they regulate how we feel but also are linked to some interesting parallel conditions associated with a lack in Vitamin D namely obesity, PMS and menopausal symptoms such as migraines, and chronic pain associated with arthritis etc.

The latest research into the connection between Vitamin D and Austism. Posted in Science Daily with materials supplied by the University of Queensland:

Giving vitamin D supplements to mice during pregnancy prevents autism traits in their offspring, University of Queensland researchers have discovered.

The discovery provides further evidence of the crucial role vitamin D plays in brain development, said lead researcher Professor Darryl Eyles, from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute.

“Our study used the most widely accepted developmental model of autism in which affected mice behave abnormally and show deficits in social interaction, basic learning and stereotyped behaviours,” Professor Eyles said.

“We found that pregnant females treated with active vitamin D in the equivalent of the first trimester of pregnancy produced offspring that did not develop these deficits.”

In human studies, QBI researchers recently found a link between pregnant women with low Vitamin D levels and the increased likelihood of having a child with autistic traits.

Read the rest of the report:

If you ever have questions relating to nutrition or health then please email me and I will do my best to help. Thanks Sally.




37 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health – Latest research into Vitamin D – Deficiency link to Autism

    • It is Adele and increasing. Most deficiencies are going undiagnosed until extreme sickness. It is not helped that children are being restricted at school and home from playing as we did outside.. and also plastering children in suncream over factor 8 which blocks any reaction with the sun. 45 minutes a day in early sunlight on forearms and upper chest will maintain levels and then protect from midday onwards. Obviously there are some skin tones that have to be watched very carefully from burning but it can be done. hugs xx

      Liked by 3 people

      • I know. I’m very lucky, my skin tone doesn’t burn but I remember we always went to the beach when the Summer was here and that was in Orkney. We are going to be a sickly poor human race with no defenses and all the helpers, the bees etc., will have been exterminated by us. xx

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  1. I now have so many overlapping conditions with so many overlapping symptoms, it’s hard for me and my GP to work out what relates to what. Although I’ve been taking calcium with Vitamin D for years, prescribed for osteoporosis purposes, low Vit D levels has meant an increase in D prescribed. I’m now on Iron tablets as well. This has reduced some of the breathlessness but I’m still exhausted and still waiting for the follow-up investigation into my heart. Trying to be positive but for quite a few months now have had a huge, unsightly, gas-filled abdomen and will be having an ultrasound week after next to see if there is something underlying. This last could be related to Scleroderma but if not and the ultrasound reveals nothing, GP doesn’t have any suggestions. Trying to sort out what food and drink might be causing it but am getting more and more depressed by it all. If you have any suggestions for the tum, I’d really appreciate it.

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  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health – Latest research into Vitamin D – Deficiency link to Autism | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  3. Thanks Sally. Interesting that MS, an autoimmune might be related. Super interesting is the pregnancy and autism. Women take pre-natal vitamins so don’t see a correlation but I do know that Americans lather up in sun screen and have avoided the sun like the plague in the last 20 years. All my animals (2) want to lay in the sun almost everyday for short periods minus the sunscreen!

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    • It is definitely going to continue to be a problem.. and not only are the sunscreens blocking the body’s ability to process the necessary sunlight, they also contain active ingredients that when heated in very high temperatures may be doing more harm than good. With the connection to Seasonal Affective Disorder being well documented it is very likely that autism may be just one area of brain health to cause concern.. Certainly, as our skin ages it becomes less able to produce the necessary Vitamin D and with reducing appetite there is going to be a deficiency link to certainly mild forms of dementia. x

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  4. Pingback: April 2017: Mental Health Awareness | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  5. Another good one, Sally – thank you! As a melanoma survivor with probably the world’s palest skin, my dermo gave me the edict NO SUN! (since I was never a sun person to begin with). Only recently have I begun to supplement with D over and above what is in a strong multi-vitamin, and I swear my activation level has improved in response.

    Just added this to the Autism Awareness links on my April Mental Health Awareness calendar, btw., and will “let it ride” next year as well. This is an important post, since *most* of us are D deficient anymore.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Round Up – Divas, dastardly devils, and dedicated wordsmiths | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. I have Multiple Sclerosis and have been very interested in Vitamin D3 for a number of years. In fact I was taking 10,000 units a day and my blood level stayed consistently within the normal range which surprised my Neurologist. He expected my levels to shoot up but that never happened. I think he finally got nervous about how much I was taking after a couple of years and suggested that I knock my dosage back to 5000 units a day a few months ago. I haven’t had my blood level checked since, but will soon. It will be very interesting to see what/where my blood levels are! Thanks for you article, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was great information, thank you for sharing. I have been taking Vitamin D per my doctors orders. I actually started my blog a little over a month ago and it has been a great way to connect with so many people. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Take care!!

    Liked by 1 person

I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

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