Dr. David Clark, DC explains why new research connecting Vitamin D Deficiency and pschotic disorders in children could help children with Autism, ADDH, Depression, Bipolar Disorder....
I want to share with you important new information about the connection between Vitamin D deficiency and psychotic disorders in children.
Recently, at the annual meeting of The American Psychiatric Association there was a interesting study presented that investigated the vitamin D levels of children that required residential care (so these are kids with severe psychotic disorders.)
And here's what they discovered....
21 percent of the kids in this study--21 percent -- had Vitamin D levels less than 20 ng/dl. These are extremely deficient levels of Vitamin D.
They also discovered that the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in kids with psychotic disorders was 43 percent.
So, their point is there’s an unequivocable, undeniable connection between Vitamin D deficiency and these kids that have these severe psychotic disorders.
Now what the study authors didn’t do, which I’m going to fill in for you, is
1. Give you some reasons WHY Vitamin D and psychotic disorders are connected
2. What you should do with this information about Vitamin D and psychotic disorders in children.
The Brain has receptors for Vitamin D. Vitamin D affects brain development---and if you look around some of my other posts, you’ll probably find some information on that--
So, in a simple way of looking at it...
Deficient Vitamin D often leads to abnormal brain development and brain function....psychotic disorders are just one example.
But there are some other reasons why low Vitamin D levels could lead to psychotic disorders in children.
Vitamin D is critical for the normal regulation of your immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is strongly associated with autoimmune disorders.
"Autoimmune" means the immune system is attacking and attempting to destroy some part of the body. The immune system could attack the brain; it can attack any organ, any tissue.
When you have low Vitamin D levels, your immune system can dis-regulate and literally become unbalanced. Become overzealous and can start attacking things that it shouldn’t attack.
It can lead to what we call “neural inflammation," “neuroinflammation," or "neurodegeneration." This is inflammation inside the brain, inflammation in the central nervous system.
In fact, a lot of researchers believe – I shouldn’t say a lot. Some researchers believe that Vitamin D deficiency is THE cause of autism. I don’t believe that Vitamin D Deficiency is THE cause of autism--- BUT, it’s certainly the cause for several cases that I’ve seen personally in my practice.
How would a child get to be that Vitamin D deficient?
Is it the fact that they don’t go out in the sun enough? Probably not. I’ll give you some other reasons why this could happen.
This is what I want you to pay close attention to....
Vitamin D deficiency is often caused by gastrointestinal malabsorption.
Now let's ask the next question...
Why would a child not be able to absorb things correctly through their intestines?
The number one reason is gluten sensitivity. I’ve said this a million times, and I’ll say it a million and one times more...
If there was only one thing you could do for a person that is diagnosed with some type of psychiatric disorder – the best thing you could do--- a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.
I’ve made some posts on this before... if you have an inflammatory response in your gut, you do not absorb correctly.
I can’t tell you how many cases; I’ve lost count of how many autistic spectrum kids I've seen that had Vitamin D levels in the toilet---less than 20 ng/dl--- that, when we corrected their diet (and a few other things), their Vitamin D levels increased beyond "normal" and into the "optimal" range.
So that’s one likely reason why these kids in the study have Vitamin D deficiencies--gastrointestinal inflammation. (The detective in me must tell you that a good doctor won't stop there, though. He/she will investigate and determine WHY there's inflammation)
The other probablity is that these kids may have autoimmune disorders. There are certain genetic propensities that make you not be able to store and use Vitamin D normally. And you end up with a unregulated immune system and/or disordered brain development.
Okay, so what are you going to do with this information?
If there's a child that’s been diagnosed with any sort of psychotic disorder, they’ve got to get checked for Vitamin D deficiency. You have to find a doctor who understands that just because the child is in a residential care facility doesn’t mean that the child can't be helped. With the right help, the child may be able to leave.
If you don’t have a child with any type of psychotic disorder this important information may still be able to change a child's life...
If you have child with ADHD, Autism, Bipolar disorder, depression... you need to have their Vitamin D levels checked by a doctor who understand what I'm talking about.
Really, you should get the appropriate testing and determine if the child is gluten sensitive. But, let me save you some money...just save your money and put the child on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.
And third, you gotta find a doctor who can help guide you through all this because these get complex quickly.
Please, don’t just go run out and start supplementing Vitamin D.
Here's why... because if your child’s got low Vitamin D, you have to figure out WHY. Do they have an autoimmune condition? Do they have gluten sensitivity? What exactly is happening? Do some investigating.
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© 2011 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.
THE PLACE FOR ANSWERS™
Dr. David Clark, DC
Diplomate College of Clinical Nutrition
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist