Magnesium and B6 - used in combination they can be very effective in ASD. In one study, 30-40% of children showed significant improvement in speech and behaviour.
Vitamin D - many benefits have been cited over the last decade. Vitamin D is instrumental in reducing inflammation and therefore necessary in healing a leaky gut. It supports immune function, neurological function and cell to cell communications. Deficiency signs include developmental delays, low muscle tone, learning disabilities, eczema, chronic chapped lips, delayed tooth eruption and profuse sweating.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Amino Acids - these are the building blocks for protein building and are essential for muscle and tissue growth and repair, neurotransmitter production, immune responses, enzymes and detoxification. Carnitine is often deficient in children with ASD and supplementation helps with more efficient utilization of fat for energy consumption. Other amino acids of note are glycine which is needed for detoxification of chemicals and Taurine which is used to make bile salts and digest fat. An amino acid analysis can be completed to determine which amino acids are low for an individual child and what nutrients and coenzymes are needed.
Glutathione Precursors -
Folic Acid - a B vitamin that is essential for for DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation. Folic acid is often low is children with ASD. Folic acid needs to be converted to 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) in the body. Many children with autism cannot convert folate to 5-MTHF and hence impeding many biochemical processes such as methylation (see discussion of methylation for more information). With the advent of the new FRAT test, folic acid has become a major player in autism treatments.
DMG - dimethylglycine, as a nutritional supplement, has many positive effects including stress reduction, improved athletic performance and enhanced cardiovascular, brain, and immune functions. As an adaptogen, DMG works with other co-factors in the body to counteract the negative effects of physical, emotional, and metabolic stress and to help prevent and overcome degenerative diseases. It can also normalize physiological functions and help maintain homeostasis (balance) within the body. These physiological functions include the regulation of blood glucose levels, immune response, blood pressure, hypoxic or low-oxygen conditions, hormone and cholesterol levels, as well as those of important biologically active molecules like SAMe, glutathione, and creatine.
Studies also show DMG:
One reason DMG affects so many areas in the body is because it contributes to methylation, a biochemical process essential to life and necessary for good health. Through trans-methylation (the transfer of a methyl group from one molecule to another), DMG supplies methyl groups for many of the modifying, building, detoxifying, recycling, activating, and protecting reactions that change the structure and function of many components in the body. As a source of methyl groups, DMG causes certain critical chemical reactions to proceed more efficiently. Specifically, DMG recycles SAMe, the primary methyl donor in the body, which helps lower elevated homocysteine, an identified risk factor in cardiovascular disease. Through the methyl donor SAMe, DMG supports nerve function and neurotransmitter production, improves verbal communication, social behavior, and sleep patterns of autistic children. DMG also functions as a mineral transporter, chelating agent, and cell communicator. DMG helps detoxify toxic substances via its effect on Phase II detoxification by the liver. Methyl groups are attached to toxic metabolites to produce new water-soluble, readily excreted compounds.
Zinc deficiency is far too common today, especially in our children. This may be due to a poor diet, a genetic disorder called pyroluria (25% of kids with ADHD have this) or just plain malabsorption. Low zinc levels have been linked to behavioral disorders such as ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder and aggression in children/teens. Before putting your child on Ritalin or a stimulant drug with countless side effects, just do a simple blood test to determine your child's zinc levels. Along with this you should test copper levels. Elevated copper is related to lower levels of dopamine and higher levels of nor-epinephrine (the stress hormone). These fluctuations in neurotransmitters lead to cognitive/behavioral issues and learning disorders.