Supplementing Autism

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As with any other supplement or vitamin, consult your child’s doctor before adding them to your child’s regimen; so-called ‘mega-dosages’ of supplements or homeopathic preparations may cause other troublesome health issues.  Remember that supplements and homeopathic remedies are neither standardized nor regulated.  Also many of the supplements listed below can be found in your diet and in many brand-name/commercially-available multi-vitamin preparations.  BTW the article below is written by a homeopath and certified nutritionist.  As with everything: Caution, please -Ed


Autism NutritionJanuary 12, 2013 by Sima Ash

Nutritional health supplements have been proven to be an intelligent choice by parents of autistic children. If your healthcare provider “doesn’t believe in them” – then I suggest you find another health professional. There is no debate – good nutrition is essential for your child’s health – now let’s talk about what really works.

Many of the clients I see are young children with autism. As a homeopath and a CEASE practitioner I not only listen to the parent or the child describe their chief complaint, but also observe their appearance, demeanor, behavior and a host of other items as part of the intake. One of the items noted quite often in kids with autism is pasty skin or looking malnourished.

Getting any child to eat a well-balanced meal can be challenging, but when autism is added into the mix, food choices are often so restricted that the child will only eat a few foods. This is where supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals can really make a difference!

Supplements should truly be based on an individual’s needs. There does however seem to be some that benefit a vast majority of children with autism so it’s important to understand what they are and how they can help. I firmly believe that nutrition is the key and we need to eliminate as much sugar as possible so eventually the children get the nutrients from their food – which does happen – but in the meantime, supplements can help bridge the gap.

Zinc – In August of 2012, a study was discussed in Psychology Today that examined the role of zinc in children with autism. Nearly 2000 children with autism were tested and 43.5 percent of boys and 52.5 percent of girls in the study were zinc deficient. Researchers speculate that active inflammation and stress cause these children to waste zinc.

In addition, low serum zinc levels are associated with heavy metal toxicity such as lead, cadmium and aluminum. It’s interesting to note that soy infant formulas have six times more cadmium than cow’s milk formula and cereal formulas are between 4-21 times higher depending on the batches tested.

Magnesium – A small study in 2006 noted that blood magnesium levels were significantly lower in children with autism and recommend getting more magnesium in their diets through food or supplements. Combining magnesium with vitamin B6 has given positive results for many children.

Essential fatty acids – A study reported in AutismAsperger’s Digest stated that children who were taking essential fatty acids for 90 days showed very statistically significant improvement in all eight areas of language and learning skills that were measured. Fish oils were used in the study and I find that my clients make wonderful progress using mammalian oil.

Calcium and vitamin D – Since a lot of children with autism are picky eaters and are on a GFCF diet, supplementing with these two vitamins are a good idea. The National Institute of Health found that boys on the spectrum had thinner bones than typically developing peers.

Vitamin C – A 1993 study demonstrated that vitamin C can be helpful for children with autism. Researchers noted improvements in sensory motor scores as well as a reduction in symptom severity. Vitamin C also helps to escort lead out of the body and is always part of an overall lead detox protocol. I use both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamin C in my practice since they are utilized by the body in different ways. If your child is on a low oxalate diet, check with your practitioner to see if vitamin C can be incorporated into your child’s plan.


One thought on “Supplementing Autism

    Heather Zwicker said:
    01-24-2013 at 3:12 pm

    Clove oil will help the body absorb Vitamin D. That is why I give my son Young Living’s Ninxia Red everyday. Lots of fruits and veggies and antioxidants in one ounce!

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