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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Autism and Vitamin D

•, By John Cannell, MD
  It explains so much of myself to me, especially my tendency to get obsessed with things. For the last 11 years, I have been obsessed with vitamin D and for the last four years, I have been obsessed with vitamin D and autism.

I first became interested in vitamin D when I learned it is not a vitamin. Instead, it is the only known substrate of a seco-steroid neurohormone that functions, like all steroids, by turning genes “on” and “off”. That means it has as many different mechanisms of action as it does genes it regulates. Moreover, vitamin D regulates hundreds, if not thousands, of the 21,000 identified coding genes of the human genome.1-3 

Over the past few years, evidence has been mounting that vitamin D is involved in the autism epidemic.

In 2008, I first published4 and later extended5 epidemiological and animal data connecting vitamin D deficiency with autism. My second article is open access, discusses some of the autism/vitamin D evidence, and can be fully accessed at:

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