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Autism is associated with low vitamin D – meta-analysis Oct 2015

Serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis

European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, pp 1-10, online: 29 October 2015 doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2015.1123847
Tiantian Wang, Ling Shan, Lin Du, Junyan Feng, Zhida Xu, Wouter G. Staal, Feiyong Jia erkekangfujia at 163.com

Vitamin D may play an important role in the etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Vitamin D is regarded as a neuroactive steroid affecting brain development and function.
It plays an essential role in myelination, which is important for connectivity in the brain.
Studies have shown that

  • decreased vitamin D levels in patients,
  • decreased maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy, and
  • decreased exposure to solar UVB

might increase the risk for ASD.
In addition, autism symptoms and global functioning may improve after vitamin D supplementation.
Here, we sought to aggregate information from previous publications on vitamin D levels and ASD, in order to achieve a higher statistical power and thereby to determine the validity of vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for ASD. For this meta-analysis, 11 studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, accounting for a total of 870 ASD patients and 782 healthy controls.
Levels of serum 25(OH) D in participants with ASD were significantly lower than controls, suggesting that lower vitamin D level might be a risk factor for ASD.

Summary table from the PDF

Note that all of the trials which had controls with inadequate level of vitamin D had poor results
Imagine how much better the results would have been if the trials with inadequate vitamin D were ignored


  1. Both have strong inheritance features – Vitamin D about 60%
  2. Both have gotten substantially worse in last 30 years
  3. Vitamin D is known to be involved in brain development
  4. All autistic children are VitD deficient, but not all children who are deficient are autistic: genes are involved
  5. When giving vitamin D to cure children of rickets “mental dullness” decreases as well
  6. Children with genes which give them too much (Williams Syndrome) have to reverse of autism – too sociable
  7. Mothers having lots of fish (and thus more vitamin D) give birth to kids with less autistic symptoms
  8. Both associated with weak bones
  9. Both worse around the age of weaning
  10. Autism is more common in rich families – more likely to apply sun screen and stay indoors
  11. Autism increases with drugs which lower levels of vitamin D
  12. Seizures are common with Autism - Vitamin D has been shown to reduce seizures
  13. Fewer autistic symptoms (such as sleep problems) during summer: when child gets more vitamin D from the sun
  14. Both worse with latitude
  15. Both vary with Ultraviolet light
  16. Both vary with time of year (more birth of autistics in March in Northern hemisphere)
  17. 2X more urban autism – less UVB in urban environments
  18. Both worse with pollution
  19. Both worse with increased clouds and rain
  20. Both worse with closely spaced pregnancies
  21. Autistics have abnormal immune response – similar to that of vitamin D deficiency
  22. Low levels of vitamin D in mother animals reduces brain function in offspring
  23. Vitamin deficient rat pups have similar brain abnormalities to that of human autistic children
  24. Autistic children get less vitamin D in their blood for the same amount of sun exposure
  25. The 4 males/1 female ratio - Note estrogen increases vitamin D in the brain (testosterone does not)
  26. Both worse in African Americans (A-A 2-3 increased autism rate)
  27. Both worse in Dark-skinned immigrants in Europe

The TOP articles in Autism and Vitamin D are listed here:

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