A new study suggests that low vitamin D levels in moms during pregnancy and breastfeeding may boost the risk of their children of developing autism later in life. The findings have been backed by earlier studies.
The latest study results, which appeared in the Journal of Endocrinology, show a clear link between vitamin D deficiency in new moms and high risk of autism in their children. Past mouse studies unveiled a very similar link.
Two separate research papers found that low vitamin D levels in the first trimester may lead to an increased risk of autism in offspring. The latest study involved rodents.
Researchers tracked the changes in brain chemistry and function along with social behavior in rodents born to female rats which had vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy.
In adulthood, those rats had abnormal behavior, troubles with learning and short-term memory, and changes in brain chemistry. All the symptoms pinpointed to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Vitamin D Critical for Brain Development
Lead author Caitlin Wyrwoll underlined that vitamin D levels have a say in how the brain is developing and functioning later in life. The latest findings “may point” to a risk factor for conditions like autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, according to researchers.
- The latest study confirms past research which found that early life environment can dramatically influence the health outcomes in adulthood.
- Nevertheless, the newest study needs to be confirmed by further research that involves humans.
Study authors are confident that the newly found association between vitamin D levels in mothers and the risk of ASD in children has credence.
In 2007, a meta-analysis from Tulane University revealed that vitamin D during pregnancy and early childhood are critical for a normal brain development and functioning.
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