Vitamin D and autism: Does skin colour modify risk?

Eyles, Darryl (2010) Vitamin D and autism: Does skin colour modify risk?. Acta Paediatrica, 99 5: 645-647. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01797.x

Author Eyles, Darryl
Title Vitamin D and autism: Does skin colour modify risk?
Journal name Acta Paediatrica   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0803-5253
Publication date 2010-05
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01797.x
Volume 99
Issue 5
Start page 645
End page 647
Total pages 3
Editor Hugo Lagercrantz
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Low prenatal vitamin D should be of general concern to paediatricians everywhere. Not only is hypovitaminosis D common in the general community, but there is also growing concern about the high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in pregnant women. Low levels of this vitamin have been shown to increase the risk for various disorders that emerge later in childhood or during adulthood. It is well known that low levels of vitamin D are associated with abnormal bone growth, presumably because of impairments in calcium and phosphate homeostasis. Some of these effects are long-lasting, for instance, low prenatal 25 hydroxyvitamin D3, (25OHD3), is associated with reduced bone mass at the age 9. Epidemiological studies have also suggested that low levels of maternal vitamin D at birth may also increase the risk of autoimmune disorders such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis in later life. Low levels of vitamin D during foetal development may even be associated with an increased later risk of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

In conclusion, although no association with autism was established by this study, its findings should leave the reader in no doubt that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is a pressing problem especially in black mothers. The paediatrician is then left to wonder what the appropriate and safe supplementation guidelines especially for dark skinned mothers are. The current recommended amount for adequate vitamin D intake (200 IU⁄day for people aged ±50 years) was established in 1997 and would appear to be clearly inadequate. This situation is made even more confusing for the clinician when leading commentators claim that up to 6000 IU⁄day during pregnancy is safe. So the question remains ‘what is an appropriate vitamin D dose during pregnancy?’. The research community eagerly awaits the outcome of a supplementation trial of up to 4000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day during pregnancy in a multiyear, double-blinded placebo-controlled trial.
©2010 The Author/Journal Compilation ©2010 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica/Acta Pædiatrica 2010
Keyword Autism
Skin pigmentation
Vitamin D
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Invited Commentary on Fernell et al. "Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in mothers of Swedish and Somali origin who have children with and without autism".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Non HERDC
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Created: Wed, 09 Mar 2011, 16:33:45 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute