Vitamin D supplementation improves autism in children, according to new study
Furthermore, children who received vitamin D supplementation experienced increased cognitive awareness, social awareness and social cognition compared to those who only received the placebo. Vitamin D supplementation significantly decreased repetitive hand movements, random noises, jumping and restricted interests.
The researchers concluded,
“This study is the first double-blinded RCT proving the efficacy of vitamin D3 in ASD patients…Oral vitamin D supplementation may safely improve signs and symptoms of ASD and could be recommended for children with ASD.”
The study also mentioned that the supplementation regimen was well tolerated among the children. Only five children experienced minor side effects during the four-month study period, such as skin rashes, itching and diarrhea.
Study – Randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in children with autism spectrum disorder.
Supplementation of vitamin D was well tolerated by the ASD children. The daily doses used in the therapy group was 300 IU vitamin D3/kg/day, not to exceed 5,000 IU/day. The autism symptoms of the children improved significantly, following 4-month vitamin D3 supplementation, but not in the placebo group. This study demonstrates the efficacy and tolerability of high doses of vitamin D3 in children with ASD.
This study is the first double-blinded RCT proving the efficacy of vitamin D3 in ASD patients. Depending on the parameters measured in the study, oral vitamin D supplementation may safely improve signs and symptoms of ASD and could be recommended for children with ASD. At this stage, this study is a single RCT with a small number of patients, and a great deal of additional wide-scale studies are needed to critically validate the efficacy of vitamin D in ASD.
Study – Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements in children with autism spectrum disorder: a study protocol for a factorial randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Children with ASD living in New Zealand (n = 168 children) will be randomised to one of four treatments daily: vitamin D (2000 IU), n-3 LCPUFAs (722 mg DHA), vitamin D (2000 IU) + n-3 LCPUFAs (722 mg DHA) or placebo for 12 months. All researchers, participants and their caregivers will be blinded until the data analysis is completed, and randomisation of the active/placebo capsules and allocation will be fully concealed from all mentioned parties. The primary outcome measures are the change in social-communicative functioning, sensory processing issues and problem behaviours between baseline and 12 months. A secondary outcome measure is the effect on gastrointestinal symptoms. Baseline data will be used to assess and correct basic nutritional deficiencies prior to treatment allocation. For safety measures, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D 25(OH)D and calcium will be monitored at baseline, 6 and 12 months, and weekly compliance and gastrointestinal symptom diaries will be completed by caregivers throughout the study period.
To our knowledge there are no randomised controlled trials assessing the effects of both vitamin D and DHA supplementation on core symptoms of ASD. If it is shown that either vitamin D, DHA or both are effective, the trial would reveal a non-invasive approach to managing ASD symptoms.
Study – Vitamin D status in autism spectrum disorders and the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in autistic children
Fifty-seven percent of the patients in the present study had vitamin D deficiency, and 30% had vitamin D insufficiency. The mean 25-OHD levels in patients with severe autism were significantly lower than those in patients with mild/moderate autism. Serum 25-OHD levels had significant negative correlations with Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores. Of the ASD group, 106 patients with low-serum 25-OHD levels (<30 ng/ml) participated in the open label trial. They received vitamin D3 (300 IU/kg/day not to exceed 5000 IU/day) for 3 months. Eighty-three subjects completed 3 months of daily vitamin D treatment. Collectively, 80.72% (67/83) of subjects who received vitamin D3 treatment had significantly improved outcome, which was mainly in the sections of the CARS and aberrant behavior checklist subscales that measure behavior, stereotypy, eye contact, and attention span.
Vitamin D is inexpensive, readily available and safe. It may have beneficial effects in ASD subjects, especially when the final serum level is more than 40 ng/ml.
Study – Clinical improvement following vitamin D3 supplementation in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Objective High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was previously reported in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but little is known about the efficacy of vitamin D3 treatment in ASD, although data from pilot studies seem promising. We hypothesized that serum vitamin D levels are reduced in ASD and correlate with the severity of disease. Also, we hypothesized that vitamin D3 treatment may be beneficial for a considerable portion of children with ASD. Methods In total, 215 children with ASD and 285 healthy control children were recruited in our study. Thirty seven of 215 ASD children received vitamin D3 treatment. The Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) were used to assess autism symptoms. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to assess the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] level. Evaluations of ABC, CARS, and serum 25(OH) D levels were performed before and after 3 months of treatment. Results Serum levels of 25(OH) D were significantly lower in ASD children than typically developing children. Levels of serum 25(OH) D were negatively correlated with ABC total scores and language subscale scores. After vitamin D3 supplementation, symptom scores were significantly reduced on the CARS and ABC. In addition, the data also suggest that treatment effects were more pronounced in younger children with ASD. Conclusion Vitamin D deficiency might contribute to the aetiology of ASD. Supplementation of vitamin D3, which is a safe and cost-effective form of treatment, may significantly improve the outcome of some children with ASD, especially younger children (identifier ChiCTR-CCC-13004498). Clinical Trial Registration The trial ‘Association of Polymorphisms of Vitamin D Metabolism-Related Genes With Autism and the Treatment of Autism with Vitamin D’ has been registered at www.chictr.org/cn/proj/show.aspx ? proj=6135 (identifier ChiCTR-CCC-13004498).