A quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

The Autism Research Review International is quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

Spring, 2019 | Number 2, Volume 33

Prospective study: Early vitamin D deficiency not linked to later ASD

New research casts doubt on the idea that low vitamin D levels in early childhood are a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders(ASD).

In a prospective study designed to determine if lower vitamin D levels precede an ASD diagnosis, Yamna Ali and colleagues analyzed data on more than 3,800 preschool children. The data included the children’s blood concentrations of 25 hydroxy vitamin D and parental reports about vitamin D supplementation. 

Over the course of the follow-up, which averaged two and a half years, 41 of the children received a diagnosis of ASD. Controlling for a wide variety of factors, including age, sex, family history of ASD, maternal ethnicity, and neighborhood household income, the researchers found no association between vitamin D status and a later ASD diagnosis. In addition, they found no association between vitamin D supplementation and an ASD diagnosis. 

The researchers conclude, “Vitamin D in early childhood may not be associated with incident physician diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder.”


“Prospective cohort study of vitamin D and autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in early childhood,” Yamna Ali, Laura N. Anderson, SharonSmile, Yang Chen, Cornelia M Borkhoff, Christine Koroshegyi,Gerald Lebovic, Patricia C Par-kin, Catherine S Birken,vPeter Szatmari, and Jonathon L Maguire, Autism, March 8, 2018 (online).Address: Jonathan Maguire, Applied Health Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St.Michael’s Hospital, 250 Yonge Street, Toronto, ONM5G 1B1, Canada,[email protected].