1) autism is more common in cloudy and rainy areas;
2) dark-skinned immigrants have much higher rates of autism;
3) there are more cases in the northern US than in the South, and
4) autism is more common in urban than rural areas, just like rickets.
John Cannell, MD
Vitamin D Council
Dr Cannell also noted that the NIH found widespread bony abnormalities in autistic kids, abnormalities that look like the effects of chronic low-grade rickets. It is interesting to note that rickets has been reported affecting immigrant children in South Wellington. Rickets is a disease of vitamin D deficiency.
Also, Dr Cannell predicts that vitamin D will be found to have a treatment effect in autism, as Vitamin D acts quickly to prevent further oxidative brain damage and increases brain glutathione, which promptly dispatches the usual suspects in the causation of autism (mercury and other environmental toxins).
How Much Vitamin D?
The following guidelines are reproduced from the Vitamin D Council. Please go here for a wealth of information about vitamin D and Health.
"If you refuse to see a physician, or can't find a knowledgeable one, purchase the 1000 IU/day vitamin D3 cholecalciferol pills that are available over-the-counter in North America or a 5,000 IU capsule. Take an average of 5,000 IU a day, year-round, if you have some sun exposure. If you have little, or no, sun exposure you will need to take at least 5,000 IU per day. How much more depends on your latitude of residence, skin pigmentation, and body weight. Generally speaking, the further you live away from the equator, the darker your skin, and/or the more you weigh, the more you will have to take to maintain healthy blood levels.
For example, Dr. Cannell lives at latitude 32 degrees, weighs 220 pounds, and has fair skin. In the late fall and winter he takes 5,000 IU per day. In the early fall and spring he takes 2,000 IU per day. In the summer he regularly sunbathes for a few minutes most days and thus takes no vitamin D on those days in the summer. The only way you can know how much you vitamin D you need to take is by repeatedly getting your blood tested—known as a 25(OH)D test—and seeing what you need to do to keep your level around 50 ng/mL.
Infants and Children
Infants and children under the age of one, should obtain a total of 1,000 IU (25 mcg) per day from their formula, sun exposure, or supplements. As most breast milk contains little or no vitamin D, breast-fed babies should take 1,000 IU per day as a supplement unless they are exposed to sunlight. The only exception to this are lactating mothers who either get enough sun exposure or take enough vitamin D (usually 4,000–6,000 IU per day) to produce breast milk that is rich in vitamin D. Formula fed babies should take an extra 600 IU per day until they are weaned and then take 1,000 IU a day, as advised below.
Children over the age of 1 year, and less than 4 years of age, should take 2,000 IU vitamin D per day, depending on body weight, latitude or residence, skin pigmentation, and sun exposure.
Children over the age of 4, and less than 10 years of age, should take 3,000 IU per day, unless they get significant sun exposure. On the days they are outside in the sun, they do not need to take any; in the winter they will need to take 3,000 IU every day.
Children over the age of 10 years old should follow instructions for adults detailed above."
Source: Vitamin D Council
Which vitamin D do I recommend?
I recommend Thompson's Vitamin D in Omega 3 oil. This is a pure natural vitamin D that does not have additives like selenium. It is surprisingly cheap. When taking 5,000iu per day - or less if for children - it may be easy to over-supply the other ingredients that are based around totally outdated official dosages for vitamin D. So, please take the pure natural vitamin D, if taking more than 1-2,000iu per day of vitamin D.
Do you have a question?
Email Gary: gary at myotec.co.nz (Replace the "at" with @ and remove spaces). Please include any relevant background information to your question.