Recent research, conducted by Saudi Arabian Neurologists, found that children with autism have significantly lower levels of vitamin D—the sunshine vitamin—than their typically developing counterparts. These findings are another piece in the puzzle of causation and treatment for ASD and all the more reason to have some fun in the sun with your kids this summer! The study compared vitamin D levels of children with autism and typically developing children, finding that typically developing children showed no significant relationship to vitamin D while 40% of the study population with autism was vitamin D deficient. More strikingly, vitamin D deficiency and severity of autism symptoms appeared intrinsically linked—as vitamin D deficiency increased, so did the severity of ASD symptoms. The researchers contextualize these findings in recent literature linking vitamin D with autoimmunity disorders, suggesting further research into the relationship between autism, vitamin D, and the other known complications of vitamin D deficiency.
With safety precautions taken in the last few decades to prevent too much sun exposure and new research as to the importance of the sunshine vitamin, it is easy to get contradicting directions. We suggest meeting with your pediatrician to figure out the right amount of day play for you and your family!
“MNN – Mother Nature Network.” MNN – Mother Nature Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2013. <http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/blogs/is-there-a-link-between-autism-and-vitamin-d>.