Sunday 21 December 2014

Vitamin D for autism... a double-take?

Yes, I know. Another post on the 'day of rest' but I promise you that this will not become a habit. The reason: the paper by Feiyong Jia and colleagues [1] published in the premier journal Pediatrics. The authors describe a case report of a young child with autism who is observed to have shown improvement in some of the core symptoms of autism following supplementation with the [sunshine] vitamin/hormone of the hour: vitamin D. Further reporting on the paper can be seen here.

Although the paper is interesting - "stressing the importance of clinical assessment of vitamin D3 deficiency and the need for vitamin D3 supplementation in case of deficiency" - and fits in well with my borderline obsession with vitamin D, my interest was piqued because we have actually seen something similar from this research group before [2]. On this and that occasion, 'possibly' reporting on the same "32-month-old boy with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and vitamin D3 deficiency". I've also discussed the previous Jia paper on this blog before (see here).

I'm gonna say little more on this topic aside from reiterating my reiteration(?) on that previous post about Jia et al talking about their description of a single case report and how one has to be very careful about generalising to the very wide and very heterogeneous autism (or autisms). Yes, there may indeed be issues with vitamin D levels / availability when it comes to some people on the autism spectrum [3] (see here for example) but science is still feeling it's way around this topic and where such a finding might link into the grand scheme of things with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in mind.

I'm also minded to bring to your attention two other papers also appearing in the same journal and reporting with vitamin D in mind: Hart and colleagues [4] detailing more results from the Raine study on what maternal vitamin D levels might mean for offspring outcomes, and McNally and colleagues [5] (who has some research history with vitamin D in mind) talking about how to correct any deficiency. That all being said bearing in mind my prime [blogging] directive: no medical or clinical advice given or intended.

Now, about that Sunday lunch...


[1] Jia F. et al. Core Symptoms of Autism Improved After Vitamin D Supplementation. Pediatrics. 2014. December 15.

[2] Jia F. et al. Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Autistic Symptoms in a Child with Autism
Spectrum Disorder. Asian Case Reports in Pediatrics. 2014; 2: 21-24.

[3] Pioggia G. et al. Autism and lack of D3 vitamin: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2014; 8: 1685-1698.

[4] Hart PH. et al. Vitamin D in Fetal Development: Findings From a Birth Cohort Study. Pediatrics. 2014. December 15.

[5] McNally JD. et al. Rapid Normalization of Vitamin D Levels: A Meta-Analysis. Pediatrics. 2014. December 15.

---------- Feiyong Jia, Bing Wang, Ling Shan, Zhida Xu, Wouter G. Staal, & Lin Du (2014). Core Symptoms of Autism Improved After Vitamin D Supplementation Pediatrics : doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2121

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