Vitamin D3 News
Sept 2015  
In This Issue
Vitamin D supplementation shows significant effects in children with Autism

Vitamin D deficiency correlates with severity of Autism and shows improvement with supplementation
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by pervasive deficits in social interaction, impairment in verbal and non-verbal communication, and stereotyped patterns of interests and activities. Vitamin D deficiency has been previously reported in autistic children. However, the
data on the relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and the severity of autism are limited. 

In this study the researchers performed a case-controlled cross-sectional analysis on 122 ASD children, to assess their Vitamin D status compared to controls and the relationship between the degree of Vitamin D deficiency and the severity of autism.

They then conducted an open trial of Vitamin D supplementation in ASD children.
Fifty-seven percent of the patients in the study had Vitamin D deficiency, and 30% had Vitamin D insufficiency. The Vitamin D levels in patients with severe autism were significantly lower than those in patients with mild/moderate autism. Vitamin D levels had significant negative correlations with Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores. 

106 patients with low serum Vitamin D levels (<30 ng/ml) then participated in an open label trial of Vitamin D supplementation. Patients were given 300 IU/
kg/day (not to exceed 5000 IU/day) for 3 months. Eighty-three subjects completed 3 months of daily vitamin D treatment. 

80.72% (67/83) of subjects who received Vitamin D3 treatment had significantly improved outcome, which was mainly in the sections of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale and aberrant behavior checklist subscales that measure behavior, stereotypye, eye contact, and attention span. Of the 16 parameters measured, 10 showed highly statistically significant improvements (see table below)
Parameter P Value (* highly statistically significant)
Relating to people<0.001*
Emotional Response<0.001*
Body use0.01*
Object use0.01*
Adaption to change0.004*
Listening response0.01*
Taste, smell, touch0.1
Visual response0.003*
Verbal communication 0.3
Activity level0.32
Non-verbal communication0.2
Intellectual response0.1
General impression<0.001*
Total CARS score<.001*

The authors concluded that as Vitamin D is inexpensive, readily available and safe. It may have beneficial effects in ASD subjects, especially when the final serum level is more than 40 ng/ml. 

It should be noted that these results were achieved after only three months of Vitamin D supplementation. In a condition that is often present at birth and lasts a lifetime, this is a highly significant finding and should be should be fully explored immediately. 
Nutr Neurosci. 2015 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Vitamin D status in autism spectrum disorders and the efficacy of vitamin Dsupplementation in autistic children.

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