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Dear Dr Cannell: Preventing autism?

Posted on: October 2, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


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

1 Response to Dear Dr Cannell: Preventing autism?

  1. [email protected]

    Autism and vitamin D active metabolite function?

    Dear Dr. Cannell,

    After a Kidney transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, I was taking 15 different drugs for many side effects including daily constipation or diarrhea. I was also very tired all the time. When I moved to Oregon with much less sun in the winter and spring months, I had two severe bouts of Bullous Pemphigoid on every parts of my body. I refused to go to the hospital fearing infections and my bad experiences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a hospital with a superb reputation. My primary care doctor gave me 60 mg of prednisone daily and then ramped down the dose gradually. But I was never symptom free.

    Almost accidentally, I saw an abstract from 1990 that reported that psoriasis seemed to work for a while when vitamin D was given to patients, but they gave up since it did not work well. With my more open minded doctors permission, one of which also practiced alternative medicine along with her Internist practice, I started taking vitamin D3.

    I was specially concerned that vitamin D metabolite does increase the efficiency of the activation of T-Cells to go to the site of infections. Dr Lisa Emond told me after looking at her old journals that it also prevents or mediates autoimmune reactions

    So I started at 2,000 IU which he gives all her patients. I became less afraid when I accidentally found an article that said for Caucasians, just 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreens produces 22,000 IU of vitamin D3 in our skin, I concluded that we must need it for more than bones! The vitamin D did not degrade my one kidney (live donor) so I gradually upped the dose to 4,000 IU with improvements along the way. I now take 8,000 IU and have eliminated the disease, increased my testosterone and increased hair on my head. Vitamin D is based on a cholesterol structure which Statins remove harming our health because necessary hormones are reduced. Jim Kawakami, Eugene, OR, the state with the highest rate of Autism and MS. Yes, the UVB sunscreens use started the Autism crisis.

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