By Dr. Alan Kadish NMD

A Canadian study (3/2018) calls into question the connection between vitamin D and autism.

In the “Prospective cohort study of vitamin D and autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in early childhood” their findings after evaluating 3952 children, over a period of two and one half years failed to see a correlation between vitamin d and autism.

The opposite findings

However before you go with that finding also in 2018 we have a study, “Evaluation of serum 25-Hydroxy vitamin D levels in children with autism Spectrum disorder” albeit in Iran, of 30 ASD students with significant finding where 96.8% of the children had low vitamin D levels compared to their control group.

But of course theres more. Another study, Nutrition and Bone Density in Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder,  also published in 2018, found clear differences, the key here is that they did check for vitamin d levels and found NO difference between the control and ASD patients, however they were also focused on activity level, and nutritional intake. Both of these considerations were much lower in the ASD children.

Not to make the question muddier, when you consider this study, “Vitamin D and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Literature Review” done in 2016 they concluded that, “Until better data are available, health care providers and researchers are advised to consider vitamin D-related factors as potential preventive and disease-modifying measures for ASD”.

What to do and who to believe

Your probably asking yourself what’s true and under what circumstance. Good to be inquisitive as in the case of the many vitamin d studies it’s clear that the key is to check for an adequate level between 30’s and 50’s ng/ml of vitamin d (0-25) and then decide to either supplement or not.

Take Aways:

  1. Supplementing  without Testing is guessing.
  2. Vitamin D is an oil soluble vitamin that can become toxic, in high doses.
  3. Testing is inexpensive and can be done at home with a simple finger stick available from many labs.
  4. ASD patients tend to be complex, with many issues occurring at one time.  Take the time to sort out the puzzle and work slowly and methodically. 
  5. My clinical experience has shown me time and again deficiencies in many/most of the ASD patients. Is it causal or correlative, we don’t know for sure.