This article was originally written as a submission for Alternative Medicine
New research shows that vitamin D supplements may improve symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Researchers have been working to understand the link between vitamin D and autism for years. Autism now affects about one in every 68 children, according to statistics presented by Autism Speaks, which makes autism one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States – and there is no cure. Early studies suggest low vitamin D levels increase the risk of autism in children. Now new research, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, shows that vitamin D supplementation may improve the symptoms of autism.
ASD is a complex neurodevelopmental syndrome, characterized by defects in social interaction, communication impairment, and specific patterns of activities and interests. Symptoms of autism in toddlers include significant language delays. When the child does communicate, his facial expressions, movements, tone of voice and gestures that may not match what the child is saying. Failed communication can lead to the child feeling frustration and exhibiting inappropriate behavior, such as screaming and grabbing. Other symptoms of ASD include repetitive behaviors, intense preoccupations, and obsessions.
Autism typically develops in children before the age of 3 years. A number of environmental and genetic factors can increase the risk of autism. Several older studies show that vitamin D deficiencies may play a role in the development of autism; the newest study suggests vitamin D supplementation may reduce the symptoms....
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