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Randomized controlled trial suggests vitamin D improves autism symptoms

Posted on: October 26, 2016   by  John Cannell, MD


Today was wonderful. I received an email that said:

“Dear Dr. Cannell

After about one year of revision, the paper is finally accepted, “A Randomized-Controlled Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” in the “Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.”

  • Print ISSN: 0021-9630
  • Online ISSN: 1469-7610
  • Published on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Impact Factor: 6.615


Khalid Saad”

The paper is the first double blind randomized controlled trial of vitamin D in autistic children.

They randomized 85 boys and 24 girls to one of two groups. Group one received a placebo and the other group received 300 IU/KG/day vitamin D3 (with a maximum of 5,000 IU/day) for four months. To put this dose in perspective, a dosage of 300 IU/KG/day would be 30,000 IU/day for me. By the way, at the beginning, they excluded all children with a 25(OH)D less than 20 ng/ml from participating in the study, thinking it unethical to diagnose vitamin D deficiency in a child but not treat it.

The researchers used four different rating scales to measure the severity of the autism, before and after treatment.  They also measured 25(OH)D before and after treatment.

As this paper has only been accepted, and not yet published, I’m not going to tell you the results. I think it unfair to Dr. Khalid Saad, the lead author, to do that. Let’s just stick with my often stated experience, “Vitamin D helps autism.”

1 Response to Randomized controlled trial suggests vitamin D improves autism symptoms

  1. IAW

    I am glad you had some good news! I look forward to the results when they are published! Congratulations also to Dr. Khalid Saad!

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