Young girl with Autism smiling while drinking a glass of milk in front of an orange background.

When you think about your Vitamin D intake, you most likely think of getting it from the sun or from a glass of milk, right? From an early age, we were taught that Vitamin D is an essential nutrient to help us build strong bones and it was simple enough to make sure we were getting our daily dose because apparently, all it took were a few glasses of milk and some quality time out in the sun.

All of that is true, Vitamin D is in charge of helping your body to build and maintain healthy bones, but it actually does a lot more than just that. It is an antioxidant that works to regulate other cellular functions in your body, including brain function.

Somewhere along the way, researchers have increased their studies to focus on the relationship, if any, between vitamins and nutritional supplements, like Vitamin D and Autism Spectrum Disorder. In today’s article, we will discuss why researchers (and parents) believe that dietary supplements may improve symptoms of ASD in children.

Vitamin D and Brain Health

As we mentioned before, Vitamin D has a lot of other functions in your body aside from building strong bones. Not only is it an antioxidant, but it has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that support muscle function, brain function, and immune health.

Take a look at the findings from this specific study on brain health and Vitamin D:

“...Vitamin D is essential to maintain important functions of the body such as calcium homeostasis, maintenance of skeleton integrity, and neurodevelopment. Its deficiency has been linked to many problems such as dementia, depression, diabetes mellitus, autism, and schizophrenia. It is important that this topic is emphasized since correcting the deficiency state can help prevent many negative health consequences.”

It’s important to remember that the study is not suggesting that Vitamin D intake will cure any of the listed neurodevelopmental disorders, nor is it suggesting that a deficiency in Vitamin D causes the disorders. However, increasing Vitamin D, when levels are low, may help improve symptoms associated with the disorders.

Vitamin D and Autism

As you may know, we don’t know exactly what causes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but we do know that it has to do with an intricate interaction between genetics and environmental risk factors. A specific study on Vitamin D and Autism suggests that one of the environmental factors that may play a significant role in the origin of ASD is Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) because the vitamin is essential to brain development. The study surrounds a young boy with ASD and a Vitamin D3 deficiency. The study found that Vitamin D supplementation– specifically Vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol– helped to improve his core ASD symptoms such as hyperactivity, social withdrawal, picky eating and other mild symptoms.

Another study found that over half of children with Autism also had a Vitamin D deficiency or some type of dietary deficiency. The science behind these types of studies are part of the reason why Simple Spectrum was created.

Nutritional Supplements

We have said this in the past but want to reiterate that there is no “cure” for Autism and it is usually managed or treated through applied behavioral therapy, nutritional care, education and support. Still, ASD symptoms can be the result of stress induced situations or sensory overload, which is why parents may be drawn to the idea of improved symptoms for their child.

At Simple Spectrum, our hope is that our Nutritional Support Supplement will help parents fill the vitamin and mineral gaps that may be missing from their child’s diet, including Vitamin D.


There are a few main takeaways from this article and the first is that Vitamin D plays a much larger role in our body that goes beyond strong bones, it is critical for brain function as well. The second takeaway is that although the relationship between Vitamin D and Autism is still being studied, there is mounting evidence that suggests supplementation could improve ASD symptoms in children.