Autism, intracellular calcium and taurine

Dysregulations of intracellular calcium are thought to play a role in autism. Taurine regulates intracellular calcium in neurons. A subgroup of children with autistic spectrum disorders, 21 out of 66, had low taurine concentrations (<106 μM).

Children with autism spectrum disorders have low bone mineral density. Taurine is involved in bone formation via stimulating bone growth and inhibiting bone loss.

Children with autism had lower serum 25(OH)D (a metabolite of vitamin D) concentrations than did control subjects (19 vs. 33 ng/ml), despite parents of each group reporting the same amount of sun exposure. Taurine conjugated to bile acids assists in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin K is fat-soluble vitamin involved in bone formation via osteocalcin. Vitamin K deficiencies could co-occur with vitamin D deficiencies as in both cases there could be a failure to absorb fat-soluble vitamins due to deficiencies in taurine.

Dysregulations of taurine could play a key role in the development of autism. A treatment for autism could look a lot like a treatment for osteoporosis. Taurine, vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK-7, which is better absorbed than other forms of vitamin K, and calcium from calcium carbonate could be helpful in a subgroup of children with autism who also have low taurine levels. No studies of taurine, vitamin D3, vitamin K (MK-7) and calcium from calcium carbonate in the treatment of autism have yet been done.

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