how vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may increase the risk of autism 

For the past thirty years, the rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has only grown to increase. In fact, there were only 1 in 10,000 cases of autism just thirty-five years ago. 

What is the cause of the increase in Autism? 

According to CDC reports, nearly one in six children has developed some form of disability – which ranges from language and speech impairment to autism. 

Disturbingly, it is also projected that one in three children will be born with somesort of autistic disorder within the next two decades if the deficiency trend continues to rise. 

So what exactly is the cause of this epidemic that is sweeping the nation? 

Research claims that certain disorders of the brain that are the primary cause as toxin exposure may play a vital role during pregnancy. Two other factors that are related to the rise in autism are the gut microbiome damage and the deficiency in vitamin D. 

How deficiency in vitamin D during pregnancy increases the risk of autism 

For an extended period, the theory of deficiency in vitamin D in autism used to be based on the fact that the development of the human brain contains receptors of vitamin D. This suggests vitamin D plays a vital role for proper development and complete function of the brain. 

Currently, there is a significant amount of research that validates the claim as studies found deficiencies in vitamin D during pregnancy are linked to the increase in autistic-related traits in children. 

How Vitamin D may influence autism 

It is important to understand how vitamin D plays a crucial role in the brain function and development as vitamin D also gets transferred into a steroid hormone. 

As vitamin D becomes a hormone steroid, it will be than regular to over a thousand processes of physiology and will control nearly 5% of the entire human genome. As the body has enough vitamin D, it will bind to vitamin D receptor that is located throughout the body and act like the key to the door. 

The receptor of vitamin D can reach deep into the DNA, where it then recognizes the sequence of genetic code that leads the receptor complex towards turning the gene active or inactive. 

This is identified as the vitamin D gene will encode the tryptophan hydroxylase, which is a different enzyme. The TPH has the responsibility for converting the tryptophan into serotonin – a neurotransmitter that is linked to brain development and mood regulation. 

Your body carries two different TPH genes – the one in the brain and the gut. The TPH gene in the brain produces serotonin while the others in the gut region transfer the tryptophan into serotonin. 

As the two serotonin systems are separate, the gut serotonin will play a vital role in coagulation of the blood. This will cause them to promote inflammation and activate the T-cells. 

How Vitamin D regulates Gut Serotonin 

The vitamin D will deactivate the gene that is held responsible for developing the TPH. This forces the vitamin D to help fight inflammation in the intestinal gut that is caused by high levels of serotonin. 

The TPH gene also has a cycle that will cause the adverse reaction. Here, the vitamin will activate the gene and increase serotonin production. 

How Vitamin D Optimization Can Reduce the Risk of Premature Birth 

Every year, over 500,000 premature babies is born in the United States. Research shows that nearly half of premature births could have been easily prevented by increasing the levels of vitamin D in the women’s body. In fact, approximately 75% of preterm birds in African-American and Hispanic populations could be prevented. 

A study in 2013 claims that women carrying twins and maintained a vitamin D level have a major reduction in the risk of preterm birth. Another key finding is that the steady increase of how long the baby stays in the womb depends on the rise of vitamin D. 


With that said, optimizing your vitamin D intake is the easiest and budget-friendly ways to reduce the risk of developing autism and complications during birth. Achieving an ideal level of vitamin D may also reduce the risk of MS, ASD, and other health conditions in children. 

The best way to get the most vitamin D is through clean sunlight and natural exposure.