According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disabilities characterized by communication challenges, abnormal social skills, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Since ASD are “spectrum disorders,” they affect each person in different ways and can range from very mild to severe.
Your Vitamin Levels & Autism
For some time, autism has been correlated with low levels of serotonin and vitamin D. One study shows that vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, activates a genetic sequence that converts the essential amino acid tryptophan into serotonin in the brain. These findings confirm the importance of adequate vitamin D for serotonin production in the brain, where it acts as a neurotransmitter, affecting brain development, mood stabilization, cognitive flexibility, social behavior, and sleep patterns.
Another study found that pregnant women with low vitamin D levels increase their chances of having a child with autistic traits. This reiterates the importance of regularly measuring vitamin D and maintaining optimal levels in pregnant women and people of all ages, which is easy and affordable through dietary supplementation.
Supplements to Help Improve Autism Symptoms
In addition to vitamin D3, here are ten supplements that are known to improve the symptoms associated with autism:
- Calcium– A must for those on a dairy-free diet. Taking an additional supplement is necessary since multivitamins typically don’t contain enough calcium.
- CoQ10– This heart-healthy supplement helps to convert food into energy and is also a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals.
- DMG/TMG– Helps with methylation by improving speech production and behavior patterns.
- Folate– An essential vitamin that plays a vital role in DNA synthesis and repair by encouraging cell and tissue growth.
- L-carnitine– Plays a crucial role in the production of energy in cells and increases mental focus.
- Magnesium– Is used as a sleep aid and can also relieve anxiety.
- Omega-3 fatty acids– Essential for brain development, omega-3s can also help to reduce depression.
- Probiotics– These microorganisms are a benefit to the immune system and gut function.
- Vitamin B6– As one of the B complex vitamins, B6 is a metabolic aid that maintains healthy nerve function.
- Vitamin E– Boosts the immune system and helps to detoxify the body.
- Zinc– Supports a healthy appetite and strengthens the immune system.
Due to the variability of the underlying brain function problems in ASD, SPECT brain imaging is extremely useful for revealing otherwise hidden information, which helps us select the best course of treatment for each person with the disorder. Along with SPECT scans, a detailed clinical history, neuropsychological testing and laboratory studies may be used to target treatment specifically to the brain using the least toxic, most effective means.
Autism is a multi-faceted and misunderstood condition. Amen Clinics can help decipher the right treatments and protocols. If you would like to learn more, please visit us online or call 1-888-288-9834.