A first of its kind study has shown taking a daily Vitamin D3 supplement may improve autism symptoms of children.
109 children, ages 3 thru 10 years of age participated in this double-blind, randomized clinical trial. The study lasted four months. The daily doses of D3 given to the participants worked out to be 300 IU per kg of the child’s body weight. However the dose never exceeded 5,000 IU daily. Researchers pointed out that the relatively high levels of Vitamin D were “well tolerated by the children participants and side effects like itching, diarrhea, and skin rashes were only seen in 5 of the children.
The severity of the autism in the participants and their social maturity were assessed using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). Symptoms like inappropriate speech, social withdrawal, hyperactivity and irritability were tracked using these assessments.
76.4% of the children given Vitamin D saw a 4-10 point drop in CARS Scores and 18.2% had a 1-3 point drop. Only 5.4% of the children receiving the Vitamin D saw no improvements at all.
Researchers warned that this was one single study with a limited number of participants and more, larger scale studies were needed to validate the role Vitamin D might play in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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