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Delayed reporting of concussions may lead to prolonged post-concussion symptoms

According to a study published in this month’s Journal of Athletic Training, athletes who wait to report a concussion may experience prolonged recovery times. Researchers determined that athletes who delay post-concussion treatment missed close to one more week of activity than those who received immediate treatment. Athletes who do not receive immediate treatment are at risk for further damage to the brain and will most likely take much longer to recover. Previous research has also supported...Read more

DHA helps improve kidney cancer therapy according to new study

According to a new study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, researchers demonstrate that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) helps reduce renal cell carcinoma invasiveness, growth rate, and blood vessel growth when combined with the anti-cancer therapy regorafenib.  Regorafenib is one of a new generation of anti-cancer therapies that attack tyrosine kinases. Unfortunately, kidney cancers mutate to resist these therapies. However, DHA metabolites called...Read more

Study demonstrates nutritional supplements improve efficacy of antidepressants

According to an evidence review published earlier this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers confirmed that certain nutritional supplements can increase the efficacy of antidepressants for individuals with clinical depression. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Melbourne examined 40 clinical trials along with a systematic review of the evidence for nutrient supplements that are used as adjuncts to help with clinical depression. As a result, fish oil, SAMe,...Read more

New study finds vitamin D improves heart function

According to a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers demonstrated that vitamin D improves heart function in patients with chronic heart failure. Heart failure affects more than 23 million people worldwide. This statistic emphasizes the significance of this new study because it presents the first evidence that vitamin D supplementation can improve heart function of people with heart failure. The findings could make a meaningful difference in...Read more

New study shows higher doses of omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA, are beneficial for depression

Depression is a major cause of disease burden worldwide, affecting approximately 350 million people. For quite some time now, fish oil supplementation has been a recommended adjunct for helping with major depressive disorder (MDD). According to a new meta-analysis published two weeks ago in Translational Psychiatry, researchers have further confirmed the link between intake of omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction in major depressive disorder. This meta-analysis consisted of 13...Read more

New study reveals individuals with metabolic syndrome may require more vitamin E

New research published just two days ago in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that approximately one-third of Americans who have metabolic syndrome do not absorb dietary vitamin E as effectively as healthy individuals. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that is essential to overall health. It is estimated that 35% of Americans have metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by having at least three of the following traits: excess abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure, low...Read more

Chemical exposure may be linked to rising rates in diabetes and obesity

According to a statement issued three days ago by the Endocrine Society, their summary links endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of our biggest public health risks, diabetes and obesity. This news builds upon the Endocrine Society’s 2009 report, which examined the scientific evidence on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the health risks associated with them. Since 2009, additional research has demonstrated that exposure to EDCs is associated with an increased risk of diabetes...Read more

Low vitamin D associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia

In a new study published earlier this month in JAMA Neurology, researchers demonstrated a significant association between vitamin D insufficiency and cognitive decline that is specifically seen in Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The results reinforce the importance of identifying vitamin D insufficiency among the elderly. Here, low vitamin D levels were associated with significantly faster rates of decline in memory and executive function performance. This study included approximately...Read more

Resveratrol helps to stabilize Alzheimer's disease biomarker

A new study published last week in the journal Neurology demonstrated that long-term, high-dose resveratrol stabilized amyloid-beta40 (Abeta40) in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. This biomarker declines when the disease progresses. Even though this is a single, small study, it is the largest and longest nationwide human clinical trial of high-dose resveratrol to date. The clinical trial was a randomized, phase II, placebo-controlled, double blind study in patients with mild...Read more

New study finds high prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the U.S.

According to a new study published in JAMA just three days ago, the increasing prevalence of diabetes may be leveling off. That being said, in 2011 through 2012, the estimated prevalence of diabetes among U.S. adults was 14% and the prevalence of pre-diabetes was 38%, which means about half of the U.S. adult population has either diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes is a major cause of illness and death and is still a significant problem in the U.S. The healthcare costs associated with diabetes...Read more

Vitamin D and its role in macular degeneration

Vitamin D has been extensively researched for its benefits in bone health, cancer, inflammation, and the immune system. A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology last week found that vitamin D may be a critical player in eye health in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration, specifically among women who are genetically susceptible. This may have to do with its role in inflammation, which is believed to be involved in the development of macular degeneration. Macular...Read more

Are you allergic to the fruits and vegetables you eat? You may actually be reacting to the antibiotic residues in the food.

A recent article published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology discusses a case of a 10 year-old girl who had an anaphylactic reaction after eating blueberry pie. She had a history of asthma and seasonal allergies, and known allergies to penicillin and cow's milk, but she was not aware of being allergic to any of the ingredients in the pie. After much testing, it was discovered that the reaction was caused by streptomycin-contaminated blueberry. Streptomycin is a well-known antibiotic,...Read more

Green tea polyphenols protect spinal cord neurons against oxidative stress

Green tea polyphenols are a potential new aid for the recovery and regeneration of neurons after spinal cord injury. Several factors contribute to pathological changes secondary to spinal cord injury, with oxidative stress having a very important role. The formation of reaction oxygen species is the basic response to disease and trauma that contributes significantly to the injury. As a result, oxidative stress and inflammation cause the death of neurons and are the main processes leading to...Read more

Can probiotics help prevent obesity?

In a recent study, researchers at Vanderbilt tested a bacteria that can produce a “therapeutic compound” in the gut. The results showed that it stopped weight gain, insulin resistance and other health complications.  Past research has demonstrated that gut bacteria plays a role in the development of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  According to Sean Davis, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology at Vanderbilt, “The types of bacteria you have in your gut influence your...Read more

Is niacin safe?

There has been some recent negative news about niacin based on the HPS2-THRIVE study, and now we see it again, this time in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Let’s take a closer look at all of this.  First, in the recent HPS2-THRIVE study, which examined an investigational drug from Merck, the researchers state that niacin does not provide any benefits. The drug they looked at is a combination of extended-release niacin and laropiprant, a drug which partially blocks the flushing...Read more

Examining immune-related disorders and microbial balance

It has become increasingly clear that many diseases are triggered or influenced by changes in bacterial populations in the gut. The general view up until now has been that bacteria stimulate the immune system, which leads to inflammation or autoimmune diseases. In a recent study published in Immunity, researchers have painted a more complex picture. The immune system of the gastrointestinal tract not only prevents the invasion of pathogens, but it is more actively involved in the balance...Read more

The human gut has only a limited ability to convert folic acid to 5-MTHF.

There has been a lot of press on the link between MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene mutations and chronic disease. This has resulted in a great deal of concern with the particular form of folate that doctors are giving to their patients. As Director of Clinical and Product Support here at Designs for Health, I personally speak to approximately five doctors a day about this very topic. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the human gut appears...Read more

New study demonstrates efficacy of vitamin D supplementation with autism spectrum disorder

Posted on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 02:22 PM

autismasd.jpgApproximately 2% of American children experience symptoms among the autism spectrum, including deficits in social interaction, impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication, and stereotyped patterns of activities. Many families seek integrative doctors to investigate food sensitivities, environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies, and metabolic imbalances not seen on the usual laboratory testing.

According to a study published two weeks ago in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, researchers demonstrated the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Vitamin D has an essential role in neurodevelopment, gene regulation, immune function, inflammation, and overall health. Previous studies have shown a link between the risk of ASD and vitamin D insufficiency. In addition, vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is linked with adverse effects in the fetus and an increased risk of autism.

This study was a four month, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial including 109 children with ASD from outpatient clinics and five private autism treatment centers. Serum vitamin D levels were measured at the beginning and at the end of the study.  

Vitamin D supplementation was dosed at 300 IU per kg/day, not to exceed 5,000 IU/day. The autistic symptoms of the children improved significantly following four months of vitamin D supplementation, which was not seen in the placebo group. There was a significant improvement in irritability, hyperactivity, social withdrawal, stereotypic behavior, and inappropriate speech, as well as significantly fewer autistic mannerisms such as repetitive hand movements, creation of noises, and jumping. 

This is the first double-blinded RCT demonstrating the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in children with ASD. 

Proper nutrition is incredibly important and can be difficult to accomplish for children with ASD. It can be very challenging for some parents to get their kids to eat a nutrient dense diet. Children are growing, the brain is developing, and there tends to be some nutritional gaps due to lack of variety in their diet, soil deficiencies, or eating processed, convenience foods. Children sometimes get to choose what foods they will eat, and they may be influenced by advertising or packaging. A well-balanced diet consisting of whole foods should be the number one priority and foundation of their health, but supplements can definitely fill in some of the gaps to support optimal health. 

The level of nutrient intake that maintains the best possible health is highly variable from child to child. Lifestyle choices and environmental exposures filtered through genetic predisposition are fundamental factors in ASD, and a successful treatment approach must include investigation into these factors. It is important to assess the nutrient status of the child. This can be antioxidant status, vitamins, essential fatty acids, vitamin D, B12, folate, calcium, etc. An organic acid test is also a great tool to assess nutrient deficiencies, oxidative stress, and detoxification impairment, as well as stool testing to assess the gut microbiome. 

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN

 

Related DFH Products- Vitavescence™OmegAvail™ Lemon Drop SmoothieHi-Po Emulsi-D3™

 

Source: Saad, K. et al. Randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2016.

 

 

Tags: autism, vitamin d

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