I’ll try to make this short. Here are eight facts:
- Although we do not have actual statistics, a significant number of children and adults with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome have been tested and found to have abnormally low levels of vitamin D.
- The reason or reasons for this are not well understood. Limited exposure to sunlight, some medications (e.g., anticonvulsants) can lower levels of Vitamin D), dietary issues may play a role.
- Low bone density (including osteopenia and osteoporosis) low-energy fractures, and skeletal deformities have been reported frequently among individuals with MECP2 duplication.
- Individuals with MECP2 duplication typically have increased frequency of respiratory infections.
- While at least some factors that contribute to this increased risk are well known (e.g., weak immune response, aspiration) are will known, this increased risk appears to be the result of multiple interacting factors.
- A large body of research suggests that Vitamin D deficiency plays a role in lowering resistance to respiratory infections.
- This research DOES NOT provide evidence that supplementing vitamin D beyond recommended levels is helpful.
- Too much Vitamin D is not helpful and can be toxic.
Most of these facts have been well known for many years.
CONCLUSION: Considering these facts, families may want to ask their child’s doctor about checking vitamin levels, and supplementing if needed.
Jat, K. R. (2017). Vitamin D deficiency and lower respiratory tract infections in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Trop Doct, 47(1), 77-84.
Martineau, A. R., Jolliffe, D. A., Hooper, R. L., Greenberg, L., Aloia, J. F., Bergman, P., et al. (2017). Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ, 356, i6583.
Teagarden, D. L., Meador, K. J., & Loring, D. W. (2014). Low vitamin D levels are common in patients with epilepsy. Epilepsy Res, 108(8), 1352-1356.
Telcian, A. G., Zdrenghea, M. T., Edwards, M. R., Laza-Stanca, V., Mallia, P., Johnston, S. L., et al. (2017). Vitamin D increases the antiviral activity of bronchial epithelial cells in vitro. Antiviral Res, 137, 93-101.
Sobsey, R. (1983). Nutrition of children with severely handicapping conditions. Journal of the Association for the Severely Handicapped, 8, 14-17. ( I just threw this very old reference on here because it partly addresses the need to check vitamin D levels in kids receiving anticonvulsants. It wasn’t a new idea when I wrote about way back then, and it is still important today. )