I’ve been wondering about whether Moses has been getting enough Vitamin D. It’s one of the vitamins that autistic children are often deficient in. He currently has Vitamin D in the form of his multi-vitamin, but given what I recently read in one of Dr. Mercola’s articles, he’s not getting enough. I’ll ask his naturopath what she think when we see her next week.
According to Healing and Preventing Autism by McCarthy and Kartzinel, they recommend supplementing from 600 IU to 2,000, IU of vitamin D3 daily. Moses is currently getting approx. 600 IU from his multivitamin and calcium supplement, so I thought that he might be okay, but Dr. Mercola’s article recommends 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight, which means he probably needs about 1225 IU of vitamin D3 per day.*
Of course, ideally, the best way to get your vitamin D is by exposing your skin to sunlight, but we live in cloudy Newfoundland and I think many people living here supplement their vitamin D. I actually haven’t been on vitamin D myself, but after reading Dr. Mercola’s article, I’m strongly considering it.
Dr. Mercola’s article is worth a read as it discusses how vitamin D helps with your immune system and also how 33 different diseases are linked to a vitamin D deficiency (including autism, eczema and asthma).
You may be wondering why Moses is deficient in so many vitamins. Given his extreme food sensitivity, his food selection is very limited. Furthermore, his gut is out of whack, which also affects the absorption of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. As I was reading through Healing and Preventing Autism, I was pretty overwhelmed by all of the information, but I’m just going to go step by step, and as I go through these steps, I’ll let you know what we’re doing and how it’s going for us.
* By the way, one IU (International Unit) is equal to 0.025 micrograms (mcg or ug) of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
Update: I was at the health food store today and purchased Vitamin D Drops (“Ddrops“). The adult formula contains 1000 IU in an oil base, and the baby formula contains 400 IU in each drop. Just one drop — you can add to water, juice or just take it on its own. Very easy to take! I like easy, especially since Moses is on so many other supplements. Everyone in the family will take one drop a day.
Also, according to the Ddrops website, “A recent study… demonstrated that 9% of children were Vitamin D deficient and 61% were Vitamin D insufficient.” Yikes!
I also found out on the Ddrops website that people with darker skin take longer to make vitamin D in the skin through the sun (and both Moses and I have darker skin as we are of Asian descent – well, Moses is a mix, but he’s still darker than most). Interesting!
Update (September 3, 2010) – Read Healing Autism & ADHD’s article about Vitamin D here.