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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow AUTISM AND VITAMIN D
AUTISM AND VITAMIN D
Recently, the Vitamin D council, http://www.vitamindcouncil.com/, published an article proposing the theory that a cause of autism might be vitamin D deficiency. They propose the idea that, since the increase in the rate of autism correlates in time with the medical advice to avoid the sun, that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy or childhood underlies autism.

Some hitherto unexplained aspects of autism could be explained by this theory. Testosterone and estrogen have very different effects on vitamin D metabolism. This physiologic effect may be why boys are much more likely to have autism than girls. It's a well-known fact that black people have lower vitamin D levels. They also have higher rates of autism.

Vitamin D is unique among the body's steroid hormones. Unlike others, it cannot be created directly from the cholesterol molecule. All of the body's activated vitamin D comes either from what's made in the skin or from what's taken orally. The more vitamin D made in the skin or taken by mouth, the more vitamin D in your blood, and the more vitamin D in your blood, the more activated vitamin D in your brain. Therefore, our behavior-eating foods, taking supplements, going out in the sun (or not), plays a huge part in how much activated vitamin D we have.

Another interesting aspect of autism's presentation may relate to vitamin D. Mercury is a neurotoxic heavy metal that has been linked to autism. Not all children exposed to the mercury-containing preservative Thimerosal, still found in some vaccines, develop autism. Glutathione is part of the liver's detox mechanism to excrete mercury. Vitamin D plays a role in increasing glutathione levels in the body. Children who are deficient in Vitamin D would be more likely to retain Mercury, as they would have less glutathione. Those children with sufficient Vitamin D would have more glutathione and therefore be more able to excrete the Mercury contained in vaccines.

I recommend that you read the rest of the article at the above website. Remember, this is still a theory. It would be very easy and relatively inexpensive to test for Vitamin D levels with a 25 hydroxy vitamin D test. If found at sub-optimum levels supplementation might be necessary. Even if this only prevented a small percentage of autism cases it would be very worthwhile. What do you think?

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