Nutrient Supplements for Autism Management

What to add and what to avoid.

Modifying the diet of an autistic child or adult sets the stage for success in making sure their needs are being met while keeping their behavior in check. Food additives have made it difficult to control diet, but here is a list of things to add and to avoid.

>> Multiple Vitamin -Mineral Supplements: More often than not the probiotic bacteria in individuals with autism is depleted from the use of antibiotics used for food-allergy related ear infections. By adding a multivitamin, sleep and bowel patterns that are typically disrupted with the disorder improve significantly.

>> Vitamin B6 and Magnesium: Vitamin B6 is considered essential for a majority of neurotransmitter systems while magnesium is an essential macromineral for the enzyme-catalzyed metabolic reactions in your body. The combination of the two increases the B6 benefit, causing better eye contact, less self-stimulatory behavior, more interest in surroundings, fewer tantrums, and better speech.

>> Dimethylglycine (DMG): This nutrient, required for the metabolism and for cell  growth and renewal, is best taken earlier in the day to avoid rare possibilities of interference with sleeping schedule. DMG also helps prevent seizures but may cause the individual to experience an increase in hyperactivity. Taking this nutrient along with folic acid and vitamin B12 should help with side effects.

>> Folic acid : When vitamin B6 and B12 are too low, folic acid will be deficient in the body as well. Folic acid helps autism that is associated with Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that makes changes to the X chromosome. This could delay crawling, walking, cause hyperactive or impulsive behavior, delay speech and language, and manifest in other unwanted symptoms.

>> Calcium: Calcium, which is known to keep the nervous system functioning properly, as well as keep various hormones and enzymes activated, has been linked to anxiety relief for individuals with autism.

>> Vitamin B3: Similar to vitamin B6 and folic acid, this vitamin supports numerous pathways that sustain and renew the tissue of the body.

>> Vitamin C: This is another vitamin involved with metabolic pathways. It is a cofactor for neurotransmitter synthesis and has a calming affect on people.

>> Zinc: Zinc is extremely crucial for organ development and maintenance. The serotonin synthesis relies on zinc-activated enzymes. When zinc levels decline, copper levels tend to go up, and it’s been recommended to avoid copper. Individuals with autism tend to have an abnormally high amount of copper in their body already, eliminating the need for a copper supplement.

>> Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): EFAs help relay signal information from outside the cell to its interior. Fatty acids, such as omega-3s, are considered an anti-inflammatory and treat the coagulation abnormalities that are seen in autistic individuals.

>> Vitamin A: Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins in cell growth and differentiation, especially in epithelial tissues (cavity lining) of the gut and brain. Some studies have shown improved core symptoms such as language, eye contact, ability to socialize, and sleep patterns.

>> Taurine, Coenzyme Q10, and Carnitine: These essential nutrients often provide benefits to the body.

>> Sulfur Amino Acids: Individuals with autism have abnormally low levels of these acids, which are direct implications for the proven impairments of detoxification. This will lead to abnormally low levels of cysteine/cystine ratio and methionine, taurine, and glycine.