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Nutritional Therapy for Autism

Most children with autism have a need for increased amounts of vitamins, minerals, and some amino acids. Some detoxification agents may remove essential minerals, creating a need for additional minerals. Vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are often needed in addition to broad-spectrum vitamin/mineral supplement. Copper should be avoided in many cases, since the levels in autistic children are sometimes high. Amino acid, nutritional, and supplemental therapies can be customized for each child. Once the physician has determined the specific nutrients that are needed by the individual, numerous compatible supplements can be combined into flavored suspensions to simplify administration.
Many children with autism are zinc deficient. Zinc deficiency affects taste perception and children then become averse to eating certain foods and taking supplements. In this case, transdermal preparations can be very helpful by completely bypassing the oral route of administration. Commonly needed nutrients which can easily be given in a transdermal form include vitamin A, vitamin D, and zinc.

Glutathione - is the major antioxidant in cells and is important for detoxification and elimination of enviromental toxins. Its active form is reduced in about 80 percent of autistic children. Oxidative stress, a suspected contributor in many disease processes like heart disease and cancer, also plays a role in autism, and occurs when antioxidants are not present in sufficient levels to clear the body of free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells in the brain, gastrointestinal tract and immune system. Children with low glutathione levels may be more vulnerable to this damage, so supplemenation with oral or transdermal glutathione and other antioxidants may be beneficial.

Methylcobalamin - Vitamin methyl-B12 helps support the methylation pathway, which is important for detoxification. This pathway is often not working optimally in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Melatonin - appears to be a safe and well-tolerated treatment for insomnia in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Please note: These therapies have not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of autism, and should be used only under the supervision of an experienced and knowledgeable health care professional after parents or guardians have received adequate information and given consent.
References:
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