Vitamin D deficiency and Autism link has been on the minds of the vitamin D researchers for years.
Scientific Study that Links Vitamin D Deficiency to Autism
Finally a breakthrough study from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California.1
The researchers showed that vitamin D stimulates the gene that is responsible for the production of serotonin (a chemical) in the brain. This gene is called tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2). At the same time, vitamin D represses the gene that controls the production of serotonin in the rest of the body. This gene is called tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1).
Now consider this: Patients with autism have low serotonin in the brain but high in the rest of the body. Vitamin D deficiency may be one of the reasons why autistic patients have low levels of serotonin in the brain and high levels in the rest of the body. As a result of low serotonin in the brain, these patients have emotional and cognitive problems. On the other hand, high levels of serotonin in the rest of the body may explain some of the physical symptoms especially stomach and intestinal issues.
Incidence of Vitamin D Deficiency and Autism
It is interesting to note that the dramatic rise in the incidence of autism coincides with the rapid rise in the incidence of vitamin D deficiency in the last three decades. It is quite likely that Vitamin D deficiency and autism are linked. Therefore, it is extremely important to check vitamin D level in every autistic patient. Vitamin D supplementation must be provided to those with low vitamin D level. The normal range of vitamin D is 30-100 ng/ml.
It is also important that vitamin D level should be checked in every pregnant woman. Because low vitamin D during pregnancy may adversely affect the brains of the newborn babies. And vitamin D supplementation must be provided to those with low vitamin D level.
To learn more about vitamin D, please refer to my book, “Power of Vitamin D”