- Remove or reduce foods using an Elimination Diet to see which food controls symptoms and which aggravates them.
- A gluten-free and casein-free diet (gluten is the protein in wheat, and casein is the protein in milk).
- Eliminate allergenic foods like eggs, fish, seafood, tree nuts, peanuts, and soy.
- A low-carb ketogenic diet has been found to be effective for autistic children.
- A yeast and sugar-free diet is helpful in some cases.
- Some autistic children are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals therefore ensure that the child is getting an adequate amounts to aid their growth and treat symptoms.
- Include a diet rich in essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and cod liver oil.
- A diet rich in fiber helps to alleviate and prevent constipation. Also include plenty of fluids and regular physical activity.
- Probiotics help with gastro-intestinal problems because they contain healthy bacteria and can improve the micro flora in the digestive tract in many autistic children.
- Digestive enzymes also help to aid digestion.
Nutritional supplementation can provide big changes for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Many reasons exist for treating ASD with supplementation. Many children with autism are deficient in things like digestive enzymes – resulting in poor digestion and poor absorption of nutrients.
The combination of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium has proven to be of significant benefit to autistic children. B6 is necessary for brain function and there have been numerous studies on B6 use in autism. Research proved supplementation with B6 and Magnesium led to increased eye contact, less self-stimulatory behavior (“stimming”) fewer tantrums, improved speech, a calming effect, and more normal behavior.
- Vitamin D is helpful in increasing glutathione levels (which assists in detoxification of the body).
- Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium promote a healthy immune system.
- Vitamins C and E fight free radicals and protect brain cells from oxidative stress.
- Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 are essential for normal brain development and help behavior and learning by supporting proper levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
It can be beneficial to add one supplement at a time in order to keep track of your child’s progress. Take note of any behavioral changes that occur with the associated supplementation – this will provide feedback on the progress that your child is making. Also, do your homework to make sure you are choosing high quality supplements.
After six weeks of use, researchers have found improved sleep, cognition, social interaction, and eye contact in autistic patients given omega-3 supplements. It is also thought that omega-3 might help reduce cardiac issues in autistic patients on antipsychotic drugs. Omega-3 is essential for proper cellular function and enhances brain cell membranes and promotes the growth of neurons in the brain. While it is a safe supplement to take, there are possible side effects such as nausea, nose bleeds, and a fishy-smelling burp. A 3g dose is considered to be safe for adults, but doctors should be consulted on the proper dosage for children.
One of the most well-known natural food sources of omega-3 is fish, particularly salmon, cod, and sardines. Buy wild fish because farm-raised fish usually have high levels of omega-6. Other food sources include flaxseed, walnuts, and some dark, leafy vegetables.
Methylation is so important because it produces glutathione. Glutathione is important for maintaining and restoring health, both physical and mental. Children with autism tend to have lower levels of glutathione when compared to non-autistic children. Genetically, families with autism tend to have lower amounts of glutathione and also may have a tendency towards problems with schizophrenia, alcoholism, bi-polar disease, depression, and attention deficit disorder. Glutathione is an antioxidant that is essential for protecting cells in the body from toxins.
There are ways that we can help to increase our body’s ability to produce glutathione. By increasing key ingredients in our bodies, we can improve the process of methylation. The following are some of the key ingredients to focus on:
- Vitamin B12 in its methyl form.
- Vitamin B6
- Folic acid
- Dimethylglycine also known as DMG.
- Trimethylglycine also known as TMG.
- N-acetyl cysteine also known as NAC.
- Glutathione given as an IV infusion, inhaled with a nebulizer, rubbed in as a cream, and orally.
Improving glutathione production can have a positive impact on focus, concentration, and language.
In addition to diet, the autistic body is often lacking proper nutrition. This isn’t hard to believe considering many children in general have picky appetites. The truth is though, is that the body cannot fight off sickness nor can the brain operate at its full potential without the proper food and nutrition. If your child won’t sign onto the idea of eating an array of foods with vital vitamins, a supplement may be the answer. Below are some of the most common vitamins and supplements that have been found beneficial in treating Autism.
· Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): A body with a Thiamine deficiency doesn’t deliver the proper fuel to the brain in order for it to function. Because of this, inflammation and damage to the brain are very possible. Gastrointestinal disorders, which come hand in hand with Autism, can cause an inability for the body to absorb Vitamin B1.
· Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Autistic bodies have been found to have a mutated enzyme (MTHFR). Vitamin B2 is needed for the healthy production of MTHFR and also aids in metabolizing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
· Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is traditionally given to increase skin quality and circulation, but its benefits outreach luminous skin. In a case study, rats that had a stroke were given Vitamin B3, and it was shown that new, healthy brain cells were created and they experienced improved neurological function. Not only has Vitamin B3 been prescribed for circulatory issues, but for many conditions such as depression, anxiety, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
· Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride): Research has found a link between those who are suffering from Autism and those with a particular form of epilepsy (seizure disorder). When taken with magnesium, Vitamin B6 helps alleviate several Autism symptoms.
· Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential of the B vitamins as it is normally responsible for metabolizing every cell in the body. In order to have a healthy working nervous system, Vitamin B12 is essential. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 has been known to cause a number of conditions such as delirium, anxiety, delayed thinking, and developmental regression.
· Folic Acid: A deficiency of Folic Acid has many of the same issues as that of Vitamin B12, only with potential digestive issues as well. Folic acid is necessary to maintain healthy cell production and maintaining DNA. Some research has indicated that Autistic Children have a deficiency in their “Folic Acid Cycle”.
· Vitamin A: This vitamin is necessary for language processing as well as tissue growth. Some research has shown that Vitamin A supplements can aid in memory, visual perception and language production.
· Vitamin C: Many Autistic bodies have shown a deficiency in Vitamin C. Supplementing this vitamin can promote the body to excrete toxins like heavy metals.
As the number of people affected by Autism grows, so do the groundbreaking advancements. Autism isn’t a sentence for you or your loved one to lead an unfulfilled life. Researchers are constantly looking at different medications – specifically natural medicinal options – that may be able to alleviate some of the often uncomfortable symptoms of the puzzling disorder. Many Vitamins have proven benefits in Autism and other neurological disorders. More recently, Vitamin B3 has been a focal point for many studies concerning it’s affect on Autism.
As time passes, it is being found that Autism is not just a neurological disorder, but one that affects the entire body in various ways. Clearly, the brain is one of the most affected parts of the body, however, other symptoms of Autism are more focused on other areas. For example, an overly acidic stomach is one of the largely reported side-effects of Autism due to the imbalance of chemicals in the Autistic body.
Traditionally, vitamin B3 is taken to regulate circulation as well as keep skin looking it’s best. It has also been found that Vitamin B3 aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system, as well as brain function. Digestion and stomach acid issues are often reported in Autism cases. Vitamin B3 assists in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and aids in the production of hydrolic acid for the digestive system.
Vitamin B3 has also been prescribed to treat these other common conditions when given in the proper dosage:
Type 2 Diabetes
In some recent studies, done by the Henry Ford Hospital, it was found that when given Vitamin B3 (also called niacin), rats who had a stroke showed new brain cell creation and this greatly improved neurological function. Essentially, it is believed that niacin in some sense re-wires the brain. With this advancement, Vitamin B3 could be a monumental help in those with stroke, Autism, or other devastating neurological disorders.
With all of the different techniques, medicines, and therapy choices, it’s often hard to make decisions on what treatment approach to take. While there is no official statement saying “B3 Treats Autism 100% Of the Time”, it’s important to note the logistics of it all. Undoubtedly, Vitamin B3 has a connection to the brain. There is a disorder, Pellagra, which is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B3 in the body. It is characterized by skin rash, loss of appetite and neurological effects. Though rare, it does exist and target the Western part of the world.
Where can one get Vitamin B3? There’s always taking a multivitamin or getting a supplement. Vitamin B3 is also found in Roasted Chicken Breast, yellowfin tuna, lean beef tenderloin, venison and roasted turkey breast.
Bottom line – it’s important that someone with Autism take supplements. The Autistic body is often deficient in several areas, and in order to maintain the best health possible, it’s important that you supplement these deficiencies. Take special note of which supplements are available for which symptoms, and be on the look out and ear out for new advancements. With more studies, Vitamin B3 could be a very big step in the direction of solving the mystery of Autism.
Amino acids play a major part in metabolism and as building blocks of protein. They are so essential that they have become known as “the building blocks of life”. Amino acids cause reactions in the cells of the body and control cellular process.
There are 22 amino acids needed by the body to manufacture around 50,000 proteins to keep the body healthy. Out of these 22, there are 8 that the body cannot produce itself and these are referred to as “essential amino acids”. These essential amino acids must be obtained on a daily basis from the food that we eat because they cannot be stored for later use.
Amino Acids and Autistic Children
Children require more amino acids in their diet than adults because they are growing, developing and also use more energy.
Studies have shown that some autistic children are deficient in certain amino acids and that they have an increased need for amino acids, when compared to other children, because they have problems metabolizing amino acids. It is therefore essential that parents make sure that their children are receiving adequate amounts of amino acids (from protein foods), particularly if they are on a restrictive diet like the GFCF Diet or SCD.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been talking about the importance of a healthy balanced diet and how eliminating some foods, such as casein, gluten and complex carbohydrates, can be beneficial to autistic children. A healthy diet can help combat deficiencies and elimination diets can stop autoimmune reactions and allow an inflamed gut to heal.
Autism and Nutritional Deficiencies
Research into autism has found that some autistic children have nutritional deficiencies, particularly in the B vitamins, Vitamin A, calcium, zinc, selenium and magnesium, so it may be worth getting your child tested for deficiencies.
However, it can be difficult to get a child to eat a healthy diet and almost impossible to get them to consume all of the right essential nutrients, especially if they are a fussy eater!
The good news is that there are vitamins and supplements out there that can remedy this and help ease some of the symptoms of autism. Here are some vitamins and supplements which have been found to be helpful in treating autism:-
The B Vitamins
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – A thiamine deficiency can starve the brain of the fuel it needs to function properly, causing damage and inflammation to the brain. As autism is a neurological disease, a Vitamin B1 supplement can be beneficial, particularly where a child has suffered from gastrointestinal disorders which may have effected absorption of this vitamin.
What are Biomedical Treatments?
If you are a parent or carer of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, you are bound to have heard of biomedical treatments for autism, but what are they?
Unlike traditional psychotropic drug therapies, biomedical treatments work by addressing what is triggering or causing the autism in the child, rather than just treating or masking symptoms.
Biomedical approaches are working wonders all over the world and are helping children that some doctors had given up on, and working what many parents would call “miracles”. What could be more miraculous than having eye contact with your child for the first time in years or hearing them say their first word?
A Menu of Biomedical Approaches
In an interview, Jenny McCarthy, autism crusader, writer and mother to Evan, spoke about there being a menu of biomedical treatments to choose from and that you need to work through this menu until you find what works for your child. Every child is unique and has different needs, and the right treatment for your child will often depend on what is actually causing your child’s autism.
Here are some examples of biomedical approaches which are being successfully used to treat autism :-