Support for Cannell’s theory of autism

Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council believes that vitamin D deficiency may be a contributor to autism. Here’s an item today that backs up his theory, albeit saying that more study is needed.

“…a twofold increased risk was seen for the more severe subtype of infantile autism (adjusted HR 2.3, 95% CI 1 to 5.3) following maternal influenza infection, according to Hjördis Ósk Atladóttir, MD, PhD, of the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and colleagues.”

If a mother has influenza her vitamin D levels will be significantly challenged to fight the infection, and if she is quite deficient to begin with, the amount of vitamin D she passes on to her foetus will also be compromised. Vitamin D appears crucial to brain development, as outlined in my book, but influenza on top for a growing life may have a negative effect as well.

“There also was a threefold increase in risk for infantile autism when mothers reported having had a febrile episode lasting for a week or more (aHR 3.2, 95% CI 1.8 to 5.6), the researchers reported online in Pediatrics.”

If a mother is feverish this is a sign that her immune system is quite compromised. Not a surprising scenario when you’re developing life in you and are fighting the flu. And are vitamin D deficient.

“Other than influenza, none of the infections were significantly associated with infantile autism, with aHRs ranging from 0.9 (95% CI 0.3 to 1.5) for genital herpes to 1.2 (95% CI 0.9 to 1.7) for cystitis
…There also was a small elevation in risk of the two [autism and spectrum] disorders with maternal use of antibiotics.”

Influenza and antibiotic usage probably provide the greatest hit to the immune system from the selection. The latter, certainly, temporarily makes the immune system redundant and does its role by proxy.

Instead of just pinning blame on post-natal interventions for autism we should really be looking earlier.

“Our results do not suggest that mild infections, febrile episodes, or use of antibiotics during pregnancy are strong risk factors for [autism spectrum disorder] and infantile autism,” Atladóttir and colleagues stated.

Maybe they indeed aren’t if a mother is at least vitamin D sufficient, as opposed to optimal. That is to say, they’re not a real threat with basic or great armour.

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