Vitamin D Theory of Autism


Lovin' life~
Mar 2, 2009
The Vitamin D Newsletter
New Harvard Paper on Autism
September 23, 2009

Five Harvard Researchers Accept the Vitamin D Theory of Autism

Last month, Dr. Dennis Kinney and four of his colleagues at Harvard University accepted the Vitamin D theory of autism and then expanded it by adding five usual suspects. While I was thrilled to see the Vitamin D theory accepted, appreciate them crediting the theory to me, and loved seeing their paper in the same journal that published the original theory, Medical Hypotheses, their five additions are all toxins, the usual suspects. The authors imply these toxins are delivered to our genome by air or water pollution, such as mercury contaminated seafood, where these toxins selectively damage the genome of those silly enough to be Vitamin D deficient.

My problem with the paper is the same problem I have with any of the air and water pollution autism theories, why now? Certainly, if a toxin was causing autism, evidence exists that exposure to that toxin has increased part and parcel with the epidemic of autism.

For awhile, that was one of the strongest arguments for the mercury in vaccines theory; administration of more and more mercury-containing vaccines paralleled the increase in autism. The problem with the vaccine theory is that when they took the mercury out of vaccines, the incidence of autism went up, not down.

What about air and water pollution? Any self-respecting environmentalist will tell you pollution in the USA is at record levels today; that is, American air and water has never been dirtier. However, I am older than sixty, so that nonsense won’t work on me. I remember acid lakes, burning eyes and blazing rivers.

As a child, I remember thinking God wanted me to see the air I breathed. That is, I remember the USA before the clean air and clean water acts of the 1960s. If air and water pollution caused the autism epidemic, then that epidemic began in the late 1940s, climbed dramatically in the 1950s, peaked in the 1960s and then decreased in the late 1970s. Just did not happen.

One could accurately say that cleaner American air and water is associated with increasing rates of autism, but with a significant lag time. Perhaps air pollution from Eastern Europe, India and China, which has been increasing in the last 20 years, has engendered the current crop of autism, the “foreigners did it” theory of autism. However, why would foreign coal-burning air pollution of today do what good old American coal-burning air pollution of the 50s and 60s could not?

Take mercury in seafood, terrible right? As mercury is one of the autism-causing toxins he listed, I assume Dr. Kinney predicts mercury-containing seafood consumption during pregnancy would increase risk of autism. However, I predict the opposite, that is, consumption of mercury-containing seafood during pregnancy would improve the offspring’s mentation, the benefits of Vitamin D in fish overwhelming any detriments of mercury.

Consistent with that prediction, the three largest studies found higher maternal consumption of mercury-containing fish was associated with better, not worse, infant cognition with the greatest benefit for infants whose mothers consumed the most mercury-containing fish. Do not misunderstand me; the three studies below show mercury is bad, Vitamin D-rich fish and mercury is better, and Vitamin D-rich fish without mercury is the best.

Oken E, et al. Maternal fish consumption, hair mercury, and infant cognition in a U.S. Cohort. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Oct;113(10):1376-80.

If you think the beneficial effect was from omega-3 fats, you’d be wrong. In another Harvard study, the benefits for the child of mother’s fish consumption again overwhelmed the harm from mercury. Omega-3 fats consumption could not explain the beneficial effects of mercury-containing seafood, that is, neither total maternal intake of omega-3, nor omega-3 content of mother’s red blood cells, was associated with the child’s cognition.

Oken E, et al. Maternal fish intake during pregnancy, blood mercury levels, and child cognition at age 3 years in a US cohort. Am J Epidemiol. 2008 May 15;167(10):1171-81.

In yet a third study, NIH researchers found benefits for mothers who ate mercury-containing seafood during pregnancy. Benefits of fish consumption again overwhelmed the harm of toxins in fish. More importantly, low maternal seafood consumption (and thus low seafood mercury consumption) resulted in children with lower verbal IQs and suboptimal outcomes for pro-social behaviors, fine motor, communication, and social development, that is, autistic symptoms.

Hibbeln JR, Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study): an observational cohort study. Lancet. 2007 Feb 17;369(9561):578-85.

So I heartily recommend seafood to expectant mothers and give my highest endorsement to vitamin D-rich, mercury-poor fish like small salmon. (By the way, the omega-3 literature is hopelessly confounded by Vitamin D.) However, the essence of Dr. Kinney and colleagues’ addition to the Vitamin D theory is that at least some of the autism generating toxic genetic damage is done to the father’s sperm, not the mother’s egg.

That is, toxins ingested by Vitamin D deficient men causes oxidative damage leading to genetic mutations in sperm. The authors’ suggestion is to give Vitamin D to men, before they go around impregnating women, to prevent genetic damage by toxins and thus prevent autism. While I certainly agree men should take Vitamin D before they impregnate anyone (and I suspect they will be more successful in their mission if they do), I doubt healthy men will take Vitamin D any time soon.

Even if the new Food and Nutrition Board recommends 5,000 IU/day for healthy adults – and they won’t – healthy men will ignore any new FNB recommendation because most men will not take supplements, unless they think it prevents hair loss, increases sexual abilities or improves athletic performance (Vitamin D has no effect on the first two but certainly improves the third).

However, unlike men, pregnant women will take a supplement, and almost always do so, a prenatal vitamin. Currently, that prenatal contains a meaningless 10 micrograms of Vitamin D (400 IU). Say it contained a physiological amount, say 125 micrograms (5,000 IU). If it did, I predict the incidence of congenital autism (obvious in the first few months of life) would dramatically reduce almost immediately and the overall incidence would begin decreasing in several years. However, it would not affect the autism caused by the severe childhood Vitamin D deficiency that occurs when toddlers are weaned from Vitamin D rich formula to my favorite toxin, natural organic fruit juice.

All in all, I liked Dr. Kinney and colleagues’ paper; I hope Dr. Kinney can wake someone up at Autism Speaks, which funds Dr. Kinney. (If Autism Speaks doesn’t hurry and help fund the Vitamin D Council, they won’t be able to get any credit at all for helping discover the cause of autism.) The authors also listed evidence that strengthens the Vitamin D theory of autism, evidence I discussed in the original paper.

That evidence is: 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. The authors forgot to add a fifth fact, the NIH found widespread bony abnormalities in autistic kids, abnormalities that look like the effects of chronic low-grade rickets to me.

Also, if Dr. Kinney and colleagues are correct in their revision of my theory, then Vitamin D should not have a treatment effect in children with autism, unless Vitamin D can repair genetic defects. I predict the opposite: 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.

John Cannell, MD

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New member
May 25, 2009
In an email from Dr Cannell of the Vitamin D Council:
The Vitamin D Newsletter
January 30, 2010.
This is a periodic newsletter from the Vitamin D Council, a non-profit trying to end the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. If you want to unsubscribe, go to the end of this newsletter. If you are not subscribed, you can do so on the Vitamin D Council's website.

This newsletter may be reproduced as long as you properly and prominently attribute its source. Please reproduce it, post it on Internet sites, and forward it to your friends.

This month, I dedicate the entire newsletter to a mother's lengthy case report of her autistic son. Other than name and place of residence, the letter was not edited.

Dear Dr. Cannell:
At age 2.5 years, between December 2007 and January 2008, my son experienced a fairly dramatic onset of symptoms that led to his diagnosis of autism. His symptoms (many of which we did not even know the terminology for at the time they first occurred) included:

--The inability to sleep at night, we would put him to bed at 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. following his normal bedtime routine

--Development of anxiety and refusal to leave the house even to do preferred activities

--Obsessive-repetitive questions and monologuing/run-on speech

--Sensory issues (refusal to wear jeans or any fabrics other than fleece, screaming hysterically at bath time, complaining and covering eyes in sunlight, covering ears for everyday noises that had not bothered him before (toilets flushing, pulling pots and pans from cupboards, etc.)


--Flapping and self-stimulating behaviors (repeatedly tapping his cheeks and eyes with all ten fingers, continually twisting up his fingers in pretzel-like configurations, holding objects in his peripheral range of vision and straining to see them from the corner of his eyes)

--Development of an unusual pattern of stuttering/vocal tic at the end of words,he would repeat the last sound/syllable,"I don't want to go to the store-or-or-or-or-or-or. It won't be fun-n-n-n-n-n-n-n." He would make sounds even in his sleep "n-n-n-n-n-n" or "s-s-s-s-s-s-s"

--Loss of muscle tone (stopped walking up and down stairs and began crawling/sliding instead, decline in balance and motor skills)

--loss of handedness (began switching left to right hand, after seeming predominantly left-handed)

--Marked increase in hyperactivity

--Frequent spacing out/unresponsive episodes

Our son and his twin sister were born at 36 weeks, 5 days on March 17, 2005 after four months of bed-rest. As early as their 8 week appointment, I mentioned to our pediatrician that we had concerns about our son's eye contact and social responsiveness (in comparison to his sister). I felt that I was having more difficulty bonding with him. We were told "don't worry, but don't wait" and were referred to our state's Early On intervention program. At the end of June a physical therapist and speech pathologist from our intermediate school district came to our home to evaluate our then 3 month old son and told me that he was doing just fine and that I was worrying too much. I agreed that by the time they saw him he had begun smiling and making better eye contact.

We didn't worry again about our son until fall 2006. He had walked just before his first birthday, but by 18 months+ he still seemed clumsy and prone to falling compared to his sister. We took him back to the intermediate school district for evaluation and were told that all of his development seemed to be in the normal range and that we shouldn't worry. We were advised that we could take him to music and gym classes to work on his coordination and told that we could pay for private physical therapy if we elected. We followed all of the recommendations.

For a year, we didn't notice any other changes until the sudden onset of symptoms listed above when he was 2.5 years. With the sudden onset of symptoms above, we took our son to see a number of specialists during the winter of 2008 including a neurologist (who diagnosed him with Asperger Syndrome), a psychologist (who diagnosed with autism), and a second psychologist who specialized in the treatment of autism (who diagnosed him with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not-Otherwise-Specified). All three diagnoses are on the autism spectrum. He also began seeing an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a behavioral specialist, and a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor for dietary interventions. We saw a dramatic improvement by April/May of that year. Nearly all the symptoms on the list above had resolved. We assumed the improvements were due to diet but he started to go into the sun around that time. Our son slept well and spent many peaceful, happy and anxiety-free months during the spring and summer after turning three.

In mid-November 2008, I sent the following e-mail to the DAN doctor who had been helping us with our son.
"You saw our son Jonathan Switzer a few times regarding his autism diagnosis and diet issues, etc. He had a regressive period last winter from about December through April when his autism was diagnosed, then did pretty well all summer. Nursery school started off okay, too, but now he seems to be having another regression.

Main symptoms:

--Great difficulty getting to sleep (fidgets for 2 plus hours most nights while he had been falling asleep easily for several months prior to that)

--Marked increase in anxiety (again refusing to leave the house even to do things he loves, frequently shaking/clenching and telling us "I'm scared)

--Onset of OCD-like behaviors (afraid to get hands dirty, get extremely upset if he gets even tiny drips of water on himself)

--Increase in self-stimulatory behaviors (flapping, fidgeting, noise-making)

--Frequent crying jags and telling us he's just giving up on everything

We have had other parents tell us that their kids on the spectrum have a worsening of symptoms during the winter months and we feel like we are observing this same pattern. We've done some reading about light therapy for depression/anxiety and to help correct disturbed sleep patterns and would like to give it a try for Jonathan.

Wondering if you have ever prescribed a light therapy box for pediatric patients before. Our insurance told us they will cover it with a diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I don't even know if that is something that can be diagnosed in children. Guess we're willing to try anything at this point. Do you know much about this type of therapy?"

Neither the DAN Doctor nor our pediatrician would write a prescription for a therapy light, so we purchased one on our own and found it made no discernible impact on his symptoms.

By December, our son's symptoms had worsened further and we decided to put him in a very expensive and intensive autism treatment program through our local hospital. He made slow progress during his participation in the program from January through April. He was also involved in speech and occupational therapy during the winter months. At his IEPC meeting at school in March, we were encouraged to put him in the district's program for children with developmental delays. We instead elected to register him for regular pre-school for the following year.

During that winter, I was crying to some friends about my son and describing his seemingly seasonal pattern of symptoms. We had just seen a second neurologist searching for help, and I was extremely frustrated when, after listening to my son's symptoms and history, he told me bluntly, "There is nothing seasonal about autism," then suggested that we put our son on an anti-depressant. We refused the medication. One of the friends I was crying to is a research librarian and the other is a medical researcher. After our conversation, they located and e-mailed me a few journal articles they thought might help, one of the articles was by Dr. Cannell and discussed his vitamin D theory of autism. Reading the article was one of those "Aha!" moments and I felt hopeful that Dr. Cannell was on to something.

By June our son was released from both speech therapy and occupational therapy and we were told that he no longer showed any delays for his age. When he had begun occupational therapy in January, the OT had been astonished at our son's lack of muscle tone. She recommended that he also receive Physical Therapy services, so we went on a long waiting list. Our initial OT was in a car accident, and in May we were transferred to a new OT. When the new OT first saw our son, she said could not believe he was the same child described in the notes. By May the low muscle tone, hyperactivity and distractibility noted in his file, were no longer evident. His turn came up for physical therapy and we were told he no longer needed it.

Our son has always spent a lot of time outdoors in the summer, without sunblock. He had a happy and relaxing summer. As fall/back-to-school approached, I began to fear the onset of another regression and again read the article by Dr. Cannell my friend had sent. I visited his website and decided we would try a vitamin D supplement. Our pediatrician did not encourage any dose higher than 400 i.u. (that found in a typical multivitamin) but did write a script to have his 25-hydroxy level tested. In August his level was 37, so we started him on 5,000 iu daily and had his level retested on October 21st. By October his level was 96. The pediatrician was concerned that this was too high and told us he should not have more than 400 iu per day.

Knowing that Nov-March are typically his worst months, we reduced the dosage down only to 3,000 iu from October through mid-December. At an appointment in December our son was doing wonderfully (none of his usual fall/winter symptoms yet evident) and the pediatrician told us 3,000 iu was too much and that we should be giving no more than 400 iu. In mid-December we reduced the dose to 1,500 iu. By the beginning of January we noted a marked loss of eye contact. We also noted that our son was again interchanging his right hand for writing and eating (after using his left hand exclusively for 8+ months). We increased his vitamin D level to 4,000 iu daily in early January. On January 11 we had his 25-Hydroxy level checked on January 11 and found that it was 89. By the end of January, we and his grandparents noted improvement in his eye contact.

In January 2010 we attended his preschool conferences. The teacher had marked cards with the following code (1=age appropriate, 2=developing, 3=area of concern). Our son received 1s in all areas with the exception of hopping on one foot and balance beam where he received 2s. We were told that he is on par with or ahead of his peers in all areas (academic, fine motor, etc.), and that his teacher had noted no unusual symptoms or concerns.
During the fall/winter 2009-2010 our son has been free from nearly all of the most troubling symptoms that plagued him the previous two winters. The following example may demonstrate the improvement in his daily life since last winter.

One of our son's low points was a Christmas party we attended in December 2008. Before leaving the house to attend the party our son screamed and yelled about having to take a bath and because we would not let him wear sweatpants to the party. He then begged us not to make him leave the house. During the 40 minute trip to the party our son asked us repetitive questions and talked incessantly. Upon arriving at the party, he immediately walked into an unoccupied room adjacent to the room where the party was occurring, and put his face into the corner. Despite much coaxing by my husband and me, he refused to come out of the corner.

After approximately 45 minutes of standing in the corner we managed to get him out through the promise of some food rewards. He proceeded to walk around and around the perimeter of the living room where all of the other kids were playing. He rubbed himself along the walls and covered his ears as he walked. He finally settled into playing alone in a corner of the room. All of the kids at the party participated in a book exchange. Our son refused to come to the area where the other kids were gathered. We coaxed him over only to have him throw the book he received and refuse to thank the parent who had purchased it for him. He spent much of the evening in time-outs for that and other inappropriate behavior.

In June of 2008, after playing in the sun for several months, we met for a picnic with the same group of friends at a local park. Our son ran up to the other children and joined right in playing bulldozers in the sand with them. He behaved and interacted in a completely appropriate and typical way during the picnic which lasted several hours.

This year (2009) we attended the same Christmas party at the same house. Our son got ready and left for the party without anxiety or incident. He chatted normally during the drive to the party. He walked into the house, said, "Hey, check out my new train," to some of the kids already playing and settled in to playing happily with the other kids. During the book exchange, he received a book, smiled and gave a big hug to the person who gave it to him.
In December of 2008, I took a leave from my job so I could get my son to the intensive behavioral treatment program he was in and to all of his other therapy appointments. I dedicated 40-60 hours per week to my son's various appointments and home therapy program.

This winter (January 2010), a former colleague asked me what Jonathan's current therapy program consists of. I told her I spend about 30 seconds each day opening the jar of vitamins and giving him his chewable vitamin D. In my opinion, the 3 minutes or so I spend each week giving him his vitamin D have been much more effective, and much less expensive, than any other treatment we have pursued.

Thank you.
Jeannette, Wisconsin
Dear Jeanette:
You're welcome. Several things need comment. First, the symptoms are typical of autism. Second, the seasonality of symptoms suggest a vitamin D deficient disease. Third, the treatment in the spring of 2008 seemed effective but, in hindsight, it was simply due to spring sun exposure. Fourth, as you may now know, light boxes for seasonal affective disorder make no vitamin D. Fifth, your pediatrician knows little about Vitamin D other than what committees tell him; your decision to ignore his advice probably saved your son's brain from further injury, as autism is a progressive inflammatory destruction of brain tissue. Sixth, the fact that you needed bed rest and gave birth prematurely suggests you were Vitamin D deficient during your pregnancy.

Seventh, his twin sister has never had autism, despite the same intrauterine environment. This is consistent with my theory, that autism is caused from a quantitative, not qualitative, variation is one of the enzymes that metabolize Vitamin D. That is, there are no structural differences in these enzymes in autism, only a genetically determined difference in the amount present. These enzymes are responsive to estrogen; estrogen protects the brain from being damaged by low Vitamin D, probably by increasing the amount of activated Vitamin D present, explaining why boys are four times more likely to have the disease.

The report that your son deteriorated when his dose was reduced from 3,000 to 1,500 IU suggests autistic children need adult doses of Vitamin D. When you reduced the dose from 3,000 to 1,500 IU/day he worsened although his level on 1,500 IU/day was probably still greater than 50 ng/ml. This makes me think that dosage needs to be stable and suggests that Professor Reinhold Vieth's theory of a detrimental seasonal resetting of the intercellular metabolism of Vitamin D may even be true at levels above 50 ng/ml, where the body is storing the parent compound, cholecalciferol, in muscle and fat.
His current dose of 4,000 IU per day is perfectly safe and will give him a level of 80-100 ng/ml, inside the reference ranges of American laboratories. Toxicity (asymptomatic high blood calcium) begins somewhere above 200 ng/ml. Generally speaking, autistic children should take 2,000 IU per every 25 pounds of body weight for six weeks, then have a 25(OH)D blood test and adjust the dosage to get into the high end of the reference range, 80-100 ng/ml.

Although I first published the Vitamin D theory of autism theory 3 years ago, few autistic children are currently treated for their Vitamin D deficiency. This is due to several reasons. One, those who think, correctly, that autism is a genetic disease, stop thinking after that, reasoning that genetic diseases are untreatable. Such thinkers do not understand epigenetics (upon the genome). Vitamin D is probably the heart of epigenetics, as nothing works upon the genome like vitamin D.

Secondly, the "all autism is caused from vaccinations" crowd cannot accept the Vitamin D possibility as it threatens their core beliefs. They simply cannot change their minds.

Finally, as you now know, organized medicine would say you should stop the vitamin D and watch your son deteriorate, which is why slavery to evidence based medicine is fine for scientists and unethical for practitioners.
John Cannell, MD
Executive Director
Vitamin D Council
This newsletter may be reproduced as long as you properly and prominently attribute it source. Please reproduce it, post it on Internet sites, and forward it to your friends.
Remember, we are a non-profit and rely on your donations to publish our newsletter, maintain our website, and pursue our objectives. Send your tax-deductible contributions to:
The Vitamin D Council
1241 Johnson Ave., #134
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


New member
May 25, 2009
Another article on similar story
Is Scientific American Right About Autism?

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., June 23 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Scientific American article asks, "What if Vitamin D Deficiency is a Cause of Autism?" (1) How could vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy cause autism, a genetic disease? Indeed, five researchers at Harvard, led by Dr. Dennis Kinney, recently endorsed and then modified the vitamin D theory of autism.(2)
Very recently, Dr. Darryl Eyles, of the University of Queensland, added his name to growing list of scientists who agree that vitamin D deficiency plays an important role in autism. (3) Writing in Acta Paediatrica, arguably the most read pediatric journal in the world, Dr. Eyles praised the vitamin D theory of autism as being "parsimonious," with the animal studies he has conducted over the last decade.
For the last 15 years, geneticists have tried and failed to find a common structural genetic abnormality in autism. What they have found is evidence of genetic damage; the genetic code is not properly regulated in autism, with multiple genes not being expressed, probably due to an environmental injury. As Dr. Kinney reports, vitamin D's mechanism of action is protection of the genome with direct regulation more than 1,000 human genes.
If the gestational and early childhood vitamin D deficiency theory of autism is true, the tragedy is more poignant in that physicians could prevent the disease with adequate daily doses of vitamin D during pregnancy and early childhood. Just as important, vitamin D's mechanism of action implies a treatment effect in autistic children.
This month, Acta Paediatrica, published yet another article on vitamin D and autism. This paper is open access; the pdf is free to download.(4) In the paper, Dr. Cannell reviews the evidence of vitamin D's involvement in autism, including evidence published after his original 2007 paper.(5)
If you are interested in the detail here is a detailed reply by Dr Cannell of the Vitamin D Council. Worth a read if you've time.
On the aetiology of autism John J Cannell
The article ends
Finally, if true, a darker side of the theory emerges. To some real but unknown extent, autism is an iatrogenic disease, caused by governments, organizations, committees, newspapers and physicians who promulgated the current warnings about sun-exposure for pregnant women and young children without any understanding of the tragedy they engendered.


New member
Jul 18, 2008
Out of sight
One reason autism has risen is due to the increase in parents age before having children, Women and men over 35 start to have mutations in sperm cells and ovary eggs which not only appears to cause increased odds of autistic children but also Downs syndrome and Schizophrenia.

Autism Research: Older Parents More Likely to Have Autistic Children

Thursday April 5, 2007
A while back, an Israeli study seemed to suggest that older fathers were more likely to have children with autism. That study was significantly flawed, and while it raised media attention it didn't appear to represent a major finding. Now, that research has been supported by a larger, broader study by Kaiser Permanente:
Men and women who wait to have babies later in life may increase their children's risk for autism, according to a Kaiser Permanente study featured in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The study investigated 132,844 children born at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in its Northern California region over a five-year period (1995-1999) and identified 593 children who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Study results show that a mother's and father's risk of delivering a child with autism steadily increases as they get older.

Women ages 40 and older showed a 30 percent increase in risk for having a child with autism (1 in 123), when compared to moms between the ages of 25 and 29 (1 in 156). Men ages 40 and older had up to a 50 percent increased risk of having a child with autism (1 in 116), when compared to their 25- to 29-year-old peers (1 in 176).
Advanced age of mothers has been associated with risk of autism in several, but not all earlier studies, according to study author Lisa A. Croen, PhD, an epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. The role of a father's age in autism has been less frequently studied, although advanced paternal age has been associated with other adverse reproductive outcomes, including miscarriage, childhood cancers, autoimmune disorders, schizophrenia and other neuro-psychiatric disorders.
This study seems to be supported by a recent announcement that some cases of autism may be caused by spontaneous mutations in hundreds of different genes:
"As men age, there is an increased frequency of new mutations in the cells that go on to become sperm," said Dr. Croen. "These sporadic mutations could be related to autism risk. It is possible that non-genetic factors that are more common in older parents might also account for our findings."
Could older parents really be a contributing cause to the rise in autism? If so, it seems to be the case only for a portion of the cases being diagnosed. Even so, it's cause for concern - especially for older parents who already have one child on the autism spectrum.


New member
May 25, 2009
One reason autism has risen is due to the increase in parents age before having children, Women and men over 35 start to have mutations in sperm cells and ovary eggs which not only appears to cause increased odds of autistic children but also Downs syndrome and Schizophrenia.
|This only adds to the theory that low vitamin D status of parents is the root cause.

Vitamin D is made from cholesterol in skin.
Once we pass 30 this declines year on year.
It's also likely people younger than 30 spend more time sunbathing (and are willing to expose more skin), than those over 30.
Vitamin D status affects sperm and sperm motility and androgen status in men. Seasonality in human reproduction explains how female fertility improves with higher vitamin D levels.

Mechanisms of Neuroprotective Action of Vitamin D3 provides a detailed explanation role and mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effect of vitamin D3.

The person who has done most research with Vitamin D status during pregnancy and lactation is Dr Bruce Hollis.
"I'm telling every pregnant mother I see to to take 4000 IUs and every nursing mother to take 6,400 IUs of Vitamin D.

I think it is medical malpractice for obstetricians not to know what the Vitamin D level of their patients is. This study will put them on notice."

-Dr. Bruce W. Hollis, Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of Pediatric Nutritional Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC-

Bear in mind those suggestions come from his work at latitude 32.
At latitude 52 with less uvb in sunlight available for fewer days over the year those recommendations may need adjusting in the light of 25(OH)D TESTING
Only around 60ng/ml 150nmol/l does human breast milk flow replete with D3.
The amounts of vitamin D required to keep 25(OH)D around 60ng/ml are about half human skin naturally makes if you lay near naked in midday sun WITHOUT BURNING.


New member
Jul 18, 2008
Out of sight
The actress Gwyneth Paltrow has just been diagnosed at 37 years old with osteoporosis. Her doctor is reported as saying" She has the lowest vitamin D level he has ever seen."

Most young women think osteoporis is something they get at 70 or 80 years old. Maybe the fact that a world famous young actress has it will encourage more younger people to get their vitamin D levels checked.


New member
Jun 29, 2010
Fresno, Ca
I am not a doctor, but these are things I have heard and am always trying to learn more about.
Children with autism have a 85% higher Oxidative Stress level then most kids. I have two friends with kids with autism. My daughters have not been tested but I think they have a slight autism case (if that is possible).
I am checking into the Protandim for my friends and my kids, and myself.
I hope there is a cure


Standing at the Portal
Oct 16, 2007
All this research and theory has not accounted for why autism is more prevelent in boys over girls.


New member
May 25, 2009
All this research and theory has not accounted for why autism is more prevelent in boys over girls.
The vitamin D/Autism theory suggests that as Estrogen and testosterone have very different effects on calcitriol's metabolism, differences that may explain the striking male/female sex ratios in autism.

this article from last year is a reasonable summary of the case

The point really is that until it's proved correct or not the cost of ensuring an adequate D3 status is minimal, there is no risk or other downside so it's best to be on the safe side. There are other benefits to be had from optimum 25(OH)D levels so irrespective of whether or not the Autism/ Vitamin D link is proved beyond doubt you will still have benefited from the lower infection rates and improved muscle function.