Study Finds Link Between Vitamin D and Autism Prevention

7d36ecbb-bf6d-4a9a-90e9-60ad298bde54articleimage.jpg

20 Mar 2017 --- Following a string of recent health claims associated with vitamin D, a new animal study has shown how supplementing mice with the vitamin during pregnancy may prevent autism traits in their offspring. Researchers from University of Queensland say the study provides further evidence of the crucial role vitamin D plays in brain development.

Lead researcher Professor Darryl Eyles, from UQ's Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) said: “Our study used the most widely accepted developmental model of autism in which affected mice behave abnormally and show deficits in social interaction, basic learning and stereotyped behaviors.”

“We found that pregnant females treated with active vitamin D in the equivalent of the first trimester of pregnancy produced offspring that did not develop these deficits.”

In human studies, QBI researchers recently found a link between pregnant women with low Vitamin D levels and the increased likelihood of having a child with autistic traits.

Autism - or autism spectrum disorder - describes lifelong developmental disabilities including difficulty or inability to communicate with others and interact socially.

Sun exposure is the major source of vitamin D - which skin cells manufacture in response to UV rays - but it is also found in some foods, and can be added to foods via fortification.

Dr Wei Luan, a postdoctoral researcher involved in the study, said vitamin D was crucial for maintaining healthy bones, but the active hormonal form of vitamin D cannot be given to pregnant women because it may affect the skeleton of the developing foetus.

“Recent funding will now allow us to determine how much cholecalciferol - the supplement form that is safe for pregnant women - is needed to achieve the same levels of active hormonal vitamin D in the bloodstream,” said Dr Luan.

“This new information will allow us to further investigate the ideal dose and timing of vitamin D supplementation for pregnant women.”

“It was previously thought vitamin D had a protective anti-inflammatory effect during brain development, but the study didn't find this to be the case.”

“New funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council will allow researchers to continue to study how vitamin D protects against autism.”

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Food for Thought: UK Teenagers Losing Learning Time Due to Hunger

27 Jun 2017 --- Teenage pupils in high school can lose around 51 minutes’ worth of vital learning time a day because their concentration levels dip due to hunger. This is according to the results of a survey conducted in the UK by Kellogg’s. The survey results show that 82 percent of teachers in Britain have seen teens arriving at school hungry every day. And nearly four in 10 teachers believed one reason children in their class were hungry was due to their parents being unable to afford food for breakfast.

Business News

Key Interview: Algatech Targets Synergistic Effects to Advance Microalgae Industry

27 Jun 2017 --- Interest in microalgae has surged over the past decade, and as a result, a growing number of companies have sought to develop new products and technologies to harness the myriad health benefits these unicellular species provide. And according to Algatechnologies, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of microalgae’s potential benefits and applications. 

Nutrition & Health News

Heightened Risk in Rice? Toxicity of Thioarsenates for Plants Uncovered

27 Jun 2017 --- Although it is a staple food in many regions of the world, rice sometimes contains levels of arsenic that are hazardous to our health. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Bayreuth has now discovered that there are arsenic compounds which have a toxic effect on plants and yet had not previously been considered in connection with chemical analyses of rice and the estimated health risks for humans. The research concerns thioarsenates, compounds made up of arsenic and sulphur, which may be present in rice fields more often than previously assumed. 

Nutrition & Health News

Nanoparticles as Food Additives due for Risk Reassessment: Researchers

27 Jun 2017 --- The anticaking agent E551 silicon dioxide, or silica, has been used widely in the food industry over the past 50 years, and was long thought to be quite safe. Now, however, researchers working on the National Research Programme “Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials” have discovered that these nanoparticles can affect the immune system of the digestive tract.

Business News

Buhler Awarded Contract to Support Food Fortification Program in Pakistan

26 Jun 2017 --- To support the fortification of staple foods in Pakistan, the UK-based Food Fortification Program has awarded Bühler a multi-million contract to supply more than 1000 micro feeders in 2017 and 2018. The program is funded with US$48 million from the UK’s Department for International Development. By directly supporting local mills and food factories, the program is aiming to have a substantial impact on the well-being of close to 100 million people.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Study-Finds-Link-Between-Vitamin-D-and-Autism-Prevention.html?tracking=Home-Latest%20HeadLines&NewTracking=News