Taylor & Francis
Recent studies indicate an important role for vitamin D3 in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although its mechanism is not completely understood. The most puzzling aspect of ASD is that identical twins, who share identical DNA, do not have 100% concordance rates (∼88% for identical and ∼31% for fraternal twins). These findings provide major clues into the etiology: ASD must involve an environmental factor present in the prenatal milieu that both identical twins are not always exposed to because they do not always share it (i.e., placentas). Combined with the exponential increasing rates of ASD around the world, these observations suggest a contagious disease is probably transferred to the fetus via the placenta becoming infected by a cervical virus. Vitamin D3 boosts immune responses clearing viral infections and increases serotonin and estrogen brain levels. Here we review the different roles and untangle the most probable one vitamin D3 plays in ASD.
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