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1st July
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Vitamin D is a currently the focus of much research.  Recently, it was reported that appropriate levels of Vitamin D have been shown to slash the risk of heart disease.  A study reviewed by Dr. Muhlestein, director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, adds further evidence that appropriately supplementing your diet with Vitamin D can lead to less Heart Disease and decrease the development of late onset Diabetes.  Now there is a study in progress attempting to determine if there is a link between receiving appropriate levels of Vitamin D while pregnant and decreasing the chance of having a child born and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Autism is a developmental disorder that is often recognized during the first three years of a child’s life.  Autism can impair and/or interfere with the development of the brain that can control verbal and nonverbal communication, social awareness and behavior, and sensory integration and development.  Autism is a spectrum disorder which means that the symptoms of the disorder can vary from moderate to severe.  Autism is categorized as a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) which is a category that includes many different areas of developmental delay, of differing severities.  Autism is generally more severe than the other disorders categorized under PDD.  A diagnosis of autism stems from expert evaluation and observations/reports of a certain number of symptoms in the areas of social interaction, communication (language delay), and a restricted range of behaviors/interests.  Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Pediatrics in Portland Oregon is leading a study to determine  if giving vitamin D to the pregnant mother, who already has had at least one previous child with autism, can prevent the recurrence of autism in the newborn sibling.  Families wishing to participate do not need to live in the state of Oregon or even the United States.  Preliminary results so far are promising.

Author:  Stephen Johnson

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