Autism: New Studies show Direct Link to Vitamin D Deficiency

Autism: New Studies show Direct Link to Vitamin D Deficiency

by Jeff T Bowles: Bestselling Amazon Science Author


Introduction: Folate is to spina bifida as Vitamin D3 is to autism. Take the one and don’t get the other.

Vitamin D3 is known to play a significant role when it comes to improving the health of pregnant women and their babies. High levels of vitamin D3 help strengthen bone and teeth formation in babies. (Vitamin K2 is also essential for the teeth as well as jawbone formation and is also thought to eliminate the need for braces in children by allowing the jaw bone to grow large enough for all the future teeth. Interestingly, indigenous peoples who live off the land and consume food products from free-roaming, grass-eating animals, amazingly never get cavities, never need braces, and do not have to brush their teeth! The animals need to consume spring and summer grass however to increase their loads of Vitamin K2 and D3. So now you know the secrets of grass-fed beef! You can tell if a cow has consumed spring and summer grass as butter made from its milk will be a much more orange color. Vitamin K2 is a whole topic in itself, so let’s get back to Vitamin D3.

Low vitamin D3 levels have been linked to excessive cavities, allergies, asthma, growing pains, skin conditions, stunted growth, and even schizophrenia risk in children. In expecting mothers, low D3 levels are highly associated with birth complications, premature birth, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and more.

Adequate vitamin D3 levels are very important for pregnant women. A growing body of evidence is showing that there is a link between autism and vitamin D deficiency in the pregnant mother.


A study performed by researchers from Queensland Brain Institute and published in Molecular Psychiatry revealed that pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D3 at 20 weeks of their pregnancy were much more likely to bear children exhibiting symptoms of autism. The scientists found that the link between autism and low levels of vitamin D was strongest during the middle period of gestation and, also during birth.

The researchers suggested that pregnant women should take Vitamin D3 supplements, (not the inferior Vitamin D2 plant derived form of Vitamin D-my note). Vitamin D3 can also be made in your skin by sunbathing without sunblock for maybe ½ hour per day during the sunny months. Now most doctors will warn you about the increased risk of skin cancer caused by sunbathing, but this risk is way overblown. Some studies show that the only skin cancer risk that increases with sun exposure is the least risky basal cell carcinoma- which almost never metastasizes. Interestingly the most fatal form of skin cancer, melanoma, is seen at higher rates in Vitamin D3 deficient individuals, and usually develops on skin that is not exposed to the sun. It is likely that sunbathing actually protects you from the deadliest form of skin cancer!

More interesting facts and studies pointing to a Vitamin D3 deficiency autism link

-Since the 1980’s when researchers warned us all to stay out of the sun and use sun block there has been an explosive rise in autism.


-There is a much higher rate of autistic births amongst recent immigrants to northern climates from equatorial regions. (It takes much more sun to make D3 in darker-complected skin than lighter).

-Children born in the low-sun months of March and November are much more likely to be autistic than those born in the summer months. And, winter births are much more likely to be autistic than summer births, but winter autistic births are still fewer than November and March autistic births. This fact always stumped me until I realized that the winter months of December , January, and February tend to have a lot of white snow on the ground which likely reflects enough UV rays onto the face to increase D3 levels above the critical level. November and March often have little to no snow in many places. If you doubt this idea, go hiking in the sunny snow for a full day and see what kind of facial sunburn and snow-blindness you get.

-A woman who has an autistic baby, is up to 10X more likely to give birth to another autistic baby than the risk for the general population.

-Researchers have proven in a mouse model of autism that supplementing with Vitamin D3 during pregnancy eliminated the risk of autism-like behaviors in new borns. See-Vitamin D treatment during pregnancy prevents autism-related phenotypes in a mouse model of maternal immune activation Molecular Autism Brain, Cognition and Behavior.

-Women who have had an autistic baby are much more likely to also suffer from diabetes, heart disease, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, asthma, allergies, preeclampsia, psoriasis. celiac disease, lupus, MS, Crohn’s disease, IBD, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc., etc., the list goes on. What do all these things have in common? They are mostly autoimmune diseases that are caused by or associated with vitamin D3 deficiency. I have also found from reports from high dose Vitamin D3 experimenters, that these are diseases that can be cured or at least treated with high dose vitamin d3 therapy!


One final fascinating fact I have encountered in my years of Vitamin D3 research is that autistic children tend to have brains that are larger than normal. Given that Vitamin D3 is known as a tissue remodeling hormone, what I believe is happening is that the low levels of Vitamin D3 in the developing babies’ brains prevent the complete sculpting of the brain down to normal size during development. Given that larger head and brain sizes are also associated with higher IQs, the description of autism by some researchers as “an unsuccessful attempt at creating a genius” seems to be pointing in the right direction. What I also find interesting is that many geniuses who are found in large numbers in the science field often exhibit some of the traits associated with autism, just in a milder form.

I find many scientists, like autistic children, tend to be pedantic (enjoy correcting others and displaying their detailed knowledge of a complicated subject), enjoy repetition and sameness, are often socially awkward, have peculiar interests, and get really angry when the furniture is rearranged (which is the genius-equivalent of encountering facts that don’t jibe with their world view)!


One last interesting observation I have made while interacting with an autistic boy and his sister with ADD over about a decade, is that autism to me seems to be the opposite of ADD. While ADD kids have trouble concentrating due to what I liken to having a wide-angle lens covering their eyes, autistic children seem to have the opposite problem as if their head was covered with a cardboard box and they must look out at the world though a pinhole. After pondering this idea I was not surprised to see a study that found that the genes involved in causing autism were also found to be involved with causing ADD.

Additional weight is given to this idea by the fact that the drugs seem to be beneficial in autistic kids are mostly tranquilizers, which I believe relaxes the pinhole-like focus to a broader panorama. Also, the drugs that seem to help kids with ADD (who often are hyperactive-ADHD) are all stimulants-which is quite counterintuitive-giving speed to hyperactive kids seem odd! But it works. Why? Because I believe the stimulant acts like fake stress and causes the wide angle lens on their face to narrow its focus, just as if the child was experiencing danger. Originally, ADD and ADHD children in the 1970’s were prescribed Dexedrine, and Ritalin which are amphetamines; later versions include Concerta and Adderal which are similar. There have been studies however that showed improvement in these kids with just taking caffeine or wearing nicotine patches, also stimulants. With all this in mind, I think another name for autism that might be instructive would be attention surplus disorder (ASD).


Jeff T Bowles: Being the author of the best-selling book on Vitamin D3 in the world, and given the topic of the book was the miraculous results of my one year experiment of taking HIGH DOSES of vitamin D3, puts me in the unique position of being the sounding board for many hundreds if not a few thousands of others who have embarked on their own high dose vitamin d3 experiment. Nobody on planet earth has this amount of unusual and exciting knowledge, and I will be sharing it with you in this series of 100 short articles describing a disease and some sort of amazing result achieved with high dose D3 therapy.

Sincerely Jeff T. Bowles

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Please feel free to send the pdf file to friends and patients – Jeff

5 Responses so far.

  1. Shiny thomas says:

    I would like to know why tropical countries then have a high incidence of autism as well, given that they are sun exposed anyway?

    • Jeff says:

      That is a good question, and I wish the answer was so obvious like it is for MS. All you have to do is google MS and latitude and the maps pop up, no MS at the equator. There wa a Swedish study that showed that Somali (dark skinned ) immigrants to Sweden had a much higher rate of autistic births than the geneal (light skinned population). They studied he blood from autistic and non autistic births and found the avg blood level of D3 for the aurtistic births wa 24 nmol/L and for their non autistic siblings was aroun 31 nmol/L it is a very tigth rnge that seems to make the difference, whereas in MS I expect the range between MS and non MS sufferers is larger. Here is the link>> Also Dr Cannell the head of the Vitain D Council has noted in soe responses to others on the intgernet that he has seen a latitude differential inautism rates but did not discuss the source. ONe thing I do know is that people, esprecially in the Arab world are often Vitain D3 deficient even though they live in the hot sun, due to covering themselves up everytime they gp outside. Also, the fact that darker skin needas a lot more sun ot make D3 than lighter skin means as one moves further south and looks at the indigienous people, the darker skin offests the benefit of more sun when itcome sot making D3. It wold be more instructive to view the autism rates of white skinned immigrants form the north to tropial countries. I would expect that the rate of autism for them wodl drop quite a bit.

    • Dr Tom says:

      Gut flora is also a large factor with autism. That may explain the D3 issue. It may not be a narrow band ie 24 vs 31. Gut flora if deficient cannot inform normal development of nervous system and also excretory (build up of heavy metals and toxins). These kids are like dirty vacuum bags that need to be cleaned out and good flora reintroduced. Best results if under age 5 so they can catch up. Chelation, Fermented foods and deficiencies/toxicities addressed are some basic therapies.

  2. Eric Booth says:

    Hi – I believe there is a direct link between Vitamin D deficiency and Neuro-Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (NIDS). The link is the role that Vitamin D plays with respect to overcoming viruses. Dr. Michael Goldberg’s work indicates NIDS is related to immune system’s inability to deal with viruses (e.g. herpes, strep, HIV, etc.), and, that anti-viral meds can help NIDS. Therefore, I think Vitamin D’s role in dealing with viruses, and therefore Vitamin D deficiencies’ role in NOT dealing with viruses, could be the causative factor in NIDS. Autism has risen in near direct correlation with Vit D deficiency. Thoughts? Eric

  3. Trudy Randall says:

    Your book on Vitamin D is amazing and I have just ordered your Alzheimer book and look forward to reading that too. Can you let me know what are the safe Vitamin D3 amounts for a woman who is pregnant to be taking and should it also include K2 please? Should the doses vary during the three trimesters? Babies in the UK are given a K1 injection at birth, will Vitamin D3 & K2 help the newborns level of Vitamin K without having to have the K1 injection at birth? Thank you, Trudy

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