A new study suggests that Vitamin D has a significant role in preventing autism. The research involved mice, and the scientists are now planning to apply it to humans using vitamin D supplements.
The study was printed in the Molecular Autism. It was led by researchers from Queensland Brain Institute. The researchers discovered that giving vitamin D treatments to pregnant mice could inhibit the development of autism. In the past study, it indicates that pregnant women with low exposure or intake of vitamin D increased the risk of having a child with autistic traits, according to Yahoo.
Darryl Eyles from the University of Queensland in Australia said that their study has utilized the utmost developmental model of autism that involved showing problems in social interaction, basic learning and stereotyped behaviors in mice. They discovered that pregnant females who were exposed and consumed vitamin D in their first trimester of pregnancy had created offspring that did not show these problems, as noted by Science Alert.
The major source of vitamin D is exposure to the Sun. It is also found in some foods such as fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, dairy products, soy milk, cereals, orange juice, beef liver, egg yolks and cheese, among others.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wei Luan, a postdoctoral researcher and one of the researchers, said that recent funding will let them know how much cholecalciferol is required to attain the same levels of active hormonal vitamin D in the bloodstream. Cholecalciferol is a supplement prescribed and safe for pregnant women. He further said that this study will lead to further examination of the right dose and timing of vitamin D supplementation for pregnant women.
The study could also lead to understanding the potential risk factors for this complex condition. For pregnant women, it is advisable that they should consult their doctor in gauging their vitamin D levels. This is to make sure that they have enough vitamin D exposure and intake to make their offspring healthy and safe.