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.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Vitamin B2 supplements should be considered because this vitamin is needed for the production of an enzyme (MTHFR) which has found to be mutated in some autism sufferers. Vitamin B2 is also essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to many symptoms associated with autism – emotional problems, irritability, memory loss, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue and loss of appetite. Vitamin B3 is essential for the production of hormones, energy metabolism and the repair of DNA.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) – Research has suggested that some autistic children have much in common with those suffering from pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy and can therefore benefit from supplementation. Many studies have shown that Vitamin B6, when taken with magnesium, can improve many autism symptoms.
- Vitamin B12 – A Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a range of neurological and psychiatric problems, such as developmental regression, memory problems, confusion, delirium, slow thinking, depression and unsteadiness. This vitamin is vital for brain health and a properly functioning nervous system.
Other Useful Supplements
- Folic Acid – This vitamin is needed for a healthy brain, cell production and the maintaining of healthy cells, and for DNA. A Folic Acid deficiency can cause neurological problems such as slow thinking, depression, memory loss and irritability, as well as digestive problems, loss of appetite and slow growth. Research has shown that some autistic children have abnormalities in their “folic acid cycle”, so supplementation should be considered.
- Vitamin A – This vitamin is vital for many body functions, including language processing, cell growth, tissue health, a healthy immune system, sensory perception and attention skills. Research has suggested that supplementation of Vitamin A (cod liver oil and urocholine) can improve attention spans, language development and visual perception.
- Vitamin C – Studies have shown that autistic children are prone to a deficiency of this vital antioxidant vitamin and that Vitamin C supplementation can help the body to detoxify and excrete harmful heavy metals and lead to an improvement in behavior.
- Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils are vital for a healthy brain, immune system, heart and cholesterol levels, skin, joints and eyes, and for aiding attention spans and concentration. Autistic children have been found to have lower than average levels of Omega 3 and so should be given supplements or have their diet enriched with fatty fish, flax seed oil, olive oil, eggs and walnuts.
Gut Healing and Supplements
It is important to heal the gut, through special diets like the GFCF diet or SCD, before starting supplements so that these essential nutrients will be properly absorbed by the body and put to use.
DAN! Physician Chun Wong blogging the whole truth and nothing but the truth on Autism, HBOT and all the Biomedical approach on a weekly blog. If you’re ready to start improving the health of your autistic child, make sound judgement, and have more knowledge to do so, get your FREE breakthrough news now at www.NewAutism.com