Dear Dr. Cannell:
My name is Dr. David Smith. I am an MD, Board Certified in Pediatrics. I began a private pediatric practice in 2006. Since day 1 of my practice, I have gone against the grain, and I have recommended to the mothers in my practice to take their newborns out for regular walks outside and to make sure they soak up some sun. In the winter, I strongly recommend Vit D supplementation.
Interestingly enough, out of all of the babies that were born into my practice, none of them have developed Autism. I do have a handful of autistic patients, but these kids transferred to my practice from other places after infancy.
I am not a researcher, but I do understand scientific principles and rules of statistics. Having said that, according to national data, I should have had at least four kids who were born into my practice that are now autistic. I have had ZERO.
My numbers are small, but I understand that Dr. John Cannell is conducting some research in this field. I would love to talk to him if possible and share thoughts and present to him my ongoing experiences and personal testimony.
David Smith MD, New York
Dear Dr. Smith:
That is interesting but, as you say, the numbers are small. However, I am not conducting any research into autism, rather, as one of our non-profit’s programs, we conduct free remote telephone coaching sessions to help parents with autistic children adequately treat their child’s vitamin D deficiency. We supply free blood tests and free vitamin D. What some parents tell me is when they get their child’s vitamin D levels into the upper ranges of normal (~80 ng/ml), the symptoms of autism improve.
How vitamin D seems to help in autism is unknown. It may be by increasing nerve growth factor, upregulating the antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase, increasing Tregs, decreasing inflammatory cytokines, upregulating the vitamin D receptor, DNA repair, reducing antibodies to brain tissue, or by a combination of the above.
John Cannell, MD