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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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SandraB

Vitamin D

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SandraB   

There's a relatively new theory that a lack of Vitamin D in pregnancy may be important in causing autism. It's explained at length on the Vitamin D Council website (just Google those words), which is American - there's been a lot of research there in the last decade on the importance of D, which goes way beyond helping to make strong bones.

There is also a respectable recent US study which found that ASD children have bones of the same length as non ASD children, but 10 per cent thinner, (Google autism and thin bones and it comes up). It suggests that a lack of calcium and Vitamin D in the diet could be the cause. This is in the US, where milk is fortified with Vit D, so you would expect the problem to be worse in the UK, where v few foods are fortified by D3.

The UK is on the same latitude as Canada and for six months of the year we can't make Vit D from sun on our skin. And of course ASD children, even in summer, are often inside in front of the computer a lot. It's very hard to get enough of it from diet, unless you eat tons of fish.

Anyway, I've been supplementing my 11 year old son (thin, pale, v restricted diet, milk addicted) with 2,000 units of D3 a day (you can get 1,000 pills from some Holland & Barrets and Planet Organics, or the internet - look at the Vit D Council for guidance on safety of dosage, they give lots of references so you can make your own mind up.) And I think I am really seeing big improvements in mood, concentration, pink cheeks, warm hands, anxiety has gone right down. I see one or two reports on websites like this of other parents finding the same. Anyone else on this forum tried it?

 

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chris54   

A lack of any of the vitamins and minerals is detrimental to health.

But taking more that you need will not do you any good and in some cases will do you harm.

 

There are two point here .

First to establish what is the right amount .

Second do you have a defiance.(With out blood tests how do you know?)

 

Food supplements is not a road I am willing to rush down unless there is an identifiable need.

 

Just for the record, its a job to keep my son indoors, he loves playing in the garden and we walk miles every day.

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SandraB   
A lack of any of the vitamins and minerals is detrimental to health.

But taking more that you need will not do you any good and in some cases will do you harm.

 

There are two point here .

First to establish what is the right amount .

Second do you have a defiance.(With out blood tests how do you know?)

 

Food supplements is not a road I am willing to rush down unless there is an identifiable need.

 

Just for the record, its a job to keep my son indoors, he loves playing in the garden and we walk miles every day.

Perfectly reasonable objections. I'd love to do a blood test on him, but he has hypersensitivity to touch and pain and it took many hours to calm him down after his last blood take. It would be too traumatic for him to do at present. The NHS has been unable so far to provide a specialist dietician to help us on his diet.

So how am I so sure that he has a deficiency (you wrote "defiance" but I think you mean deficiency?). Well I know that in the same way that I know without supplementing him he is deficient in B vitamins - because he has almost none in his very restricted diet.

It is almost impossible to get enough D without eating large quantities of fish: he's vegetarian. The best way for him to get D would be from sun, but in Britain we are quite a high latitude, the same as Canada. You need strong summer midday sunlight in Britain (it's just the UVB rays that produce D in the skin, not any sunlight) without cloud cover or pollution to top up your D. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (E Hypponen 2007) found that in winter up to 60 per cent Brits had D levels that were sub optimal, and in apring up to 50 per cent.

My son dislikes the sun: there can be no doubt that he is not getting sufficient D either from diet or sun exposure. His very low, almost emaciated weight, poor teeth etc all back that up. And I took no D3 supplements during my pregnancy, and I also didn't know breast milk was normally low in D3 so I didn't supplement him with D then, as the government now advises.

It's great that your child loves the outdoors, but a high number of ASD children do prefer computers. And your child and mine will not have been getting any D from the sun during the winter however much he played outside for t he reasons explained above.

Next, how much to supplement? Again, the best way would be to book a flight to Jamaica, but I can't afford that. "Toddlers and older children who do not go inthe the sun, should take 1000 - 2000 IU day depending on body weight." Cannell and others pub on Informa Health Care, Diagnosis and treatment of Vit D deficiency - sorry these refs aren't in the usual form, I'm doing them in a hurry.) They add "The present upper limit for medically unsupervised intake by adults and children over the age of one, set by the Insitute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board in 1997 is 2,000 IU a day.". That's not a UK board - you will see on http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/27001328/ the standard advice in the UK to prevent a deficiency is to supplement at 400, or possibly 800 if the person doesn't go into the sun. Quite a lot of experts think that's too low, but it will take years to do the studies to see for sure and meanwhile my son is not visibly not forming strong bones and teeth and muscle.

So I'm supplementing at present (but only for eight weeks) at higher than the UK gov recommendation, but I'm doing so having read the literature on it, having considered the contraindications (including kidney stones, lymphoma) and having looked at the special circumstances of my son. And watching for contra-indications very carefully. But the results so far which I seem to see are all encouraging.

My original question was, has anyone else tried it?

 

 

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Enid   

Very interesting. My lad also never goes out unless I insit and is very pale, he used to be underweight, he was very prem, but since he has been on resperidone, he is slighty above! this is something I would definately look into. thanks. Enid

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I have been taking 5,000iu of vitamin D3 every day for around 3 months now. It really had an effect on my general mood and I could feel the difference after a week.

 

Be sure to get the liquid capsules.

 

Well worth a try IMO.

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SandraB   
I have been taking 5,000iu of vitamin D3 every day for around 3 months now. It really had an effect on my general mood and I could feel the difference after a week.

 

Be sure to get the liquid capsules.

 

Well worth a try IMO.

Anyone interested in Vit D autism should look at the April Scientific American article http://www.scientificamerican.com/article....in-d-and-autism

It focuses on the high incidence of autism amongst the Somali population in the US. An earlier study in Bristol found high levels of low Vit D deficiency amongst Somalis in Britain. This population seems to be showing extreme effects of Vit D deprivation because of skin colour filtering D absorption and covered-up dress due to their faith. However low Vit D in pregnancy does not just hit Somalis. There is US research in Pittsburgh, which would be a good deal sunnier than the UK, showing very high levels of Vit D deficiency in white women too. (Sorry, don't have the ref to hand but it would come up on a Google search.) Low intake of Vit D in pregnancy has been linked in the past to decreased birth weight, and there is some good evvidence that low birth weight increases the risk of autism. This low birth weight makes sense because the hormone that Vit. D turns into acts at the instestinne to control intestinal calcium absorption - it is essential to absorb calcium and phosphate. Intestinal absorption of calcium doubles in pregnancy, natch, because we are growing baby bones. It makes total sense that those bones might be lighter if we were low in Vit D, and there is also a reference to poorer tooth enamel as a result. This would all fit with the US research finding that autistic children in the States have thinner bones.

 

Really pleased to hear Vit D is helping, Ultimatus. Where do you order it from? Internet?

 

 

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I should also add that Vitamin D has had a remarkable effect on my immune system. I haven't been ill once since taking them (about 4 months).

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trekster   

I'm about to combine some of my supplements with added D3 in them. Will keep you updated as to what effect they have on me.

 

Alexis

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trekster   
A lack of any of the vitamins and minerals is detrimental to health.

But taking more that you need will not do you any good and in some cases will do you harm.

 

Unless it is vitamin C which cannot cause poisoning. Also autistics tend to have malabsorption problems

with vitamins and minerals so need the extra amounts.

There are two point here .

First to establish what is the right amount .

Second do you have a defiance.(With out blood tests how do you know?)

 

Food supplements is not a road I am willing to rush down unless there is an identifiable need.

 

"Children with starving brains" mentions the food supplements one GP in Canada discovered could help ASD folk.

i base my supplement levels on her research. i couldn't be gluten and dairy free without supplements as im vit b6

mag deficient amongst other things.

 

Alexis

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trekster   

I've been told that I am vitamin D3 deficient but im a bit confused over how much to take.

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