Autism and Nutritional Supplements
By Ray Smith
Unfortunately, it has been proved beyond doubt that a large percentage of the United States population suffers from nutritional deficiency. Studies show that 30% of the general population have a marginal level of Vitamin C and 15% are Vitamin C deficient. Low levels of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium and chromium, continue to be a significant but common problem in the United States.
It is also being noticed that children suffering from autism are the most common patients for vitamin and mineral deficiency. Generally, children suffering from autism have much lower levels of vitamins A, C, D, and E, and all B vitamins (except choline) and some minerals (zinc, magnesium, selenium). What do children with autism suffer the most from?
Malabsorption is a common problem related to autism. A recent study by the Southwest Autism Research Center of over 400 people with Autism has found that 48% reported chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation.
Many patients suffering from autism experience chronic gastrointestinal inflammation and structural compromise in the digestive tract. This intestinal inflammation is likely to reduce nutrient absorption.
One of the classic symptoms of autism is restricted interests and behaviors and this often extends to choices of food. Restricted, self-limited diets are highly likely to be deficient in one or more essential nutrients.
The Brighter Side
We are all concerned with the increasing rate of autistic children and problems due to lack of necessary vitamins and minerals in the diet. It has also been proven that the use of a multivitamin/mineral nutritional supplement goes a long way in helping these children. Supplements can significantly contribute towards improvement of IQ, scholastic test scores, and early neurological development. Children with learning disabilities experience substantial behavioral, cognitive, and academic gains by use of these multivitamin nutritional supplements.
Studies and feedback from parents of children with autism have shown that calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B6 with magnesium, zinc, niacin, niacinamide and dimethylglycine, resulted in improvement in 41-58% of cases.
The Liquid Vitamin Formula and the Liquid Mineral Formula - available at Awaken Nutrition: Oral Chelation Therapy - developed with the advice of James Adams, Ph.D. of Arizona State University, is an ideal solution to meet the nutritional needs of Autism and ADHD. James B. Adams is a father of a young girl with autism, diagnosed in 1994, and that is what led him to eventually shift much of his research emphasis to autism, focusing on biological causes and treatments.
It was found in research that a combination of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium is highly effective in reducing many of the deficits and symptoms of autism. Vitamin C has also been shown in a clinical trial to facilitate a reduction in symptom severity in children with autism. Vitamin B6 deficiency is significantly elevated in children with autism, probably due to defective pyridoxal kinase, implying a functional need for more. This may explain why very high doses of vitamin B6 have been shown in numerous studies to benefit children with autism. However, further study is required to measure pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, PMP, and PLP simultaneously to validate this interpretation. Alpha-lipoic acid levels should also be higher and preferably at par with those found in typical adults.
These are some of the basic requirements that must be kept in mind while developing any nutritional supplements, to be effective and contribute towards proper treatment and growth of children with autism, and people suffering from lack of minerals and vitamins. James Adams' research has gifted us with two such multivitamin nutritional supplements; however we should put in continuous effort to develop even better solutions and products that would be effective to cure autism.