Nearly half of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder have compromised gastrointestinal function and nutrient deficiencies. Studies show the positive effect of multivitamin and mineral supplement on symptoms.
Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are known to have significantly lower levels of most vitamins and minerals compared to healthy controls. The most common deficiencies are Vitamins A, C, D and E as well as B vitamins and the minerals Zinc, Magnesium and Selenium.1
One documented cause is the link between Autism and chronic gastro-intestinal inflammation and structural compromise, specifically that section of the small intestine which is the major site for optimal nutrient absorption. In a recent study conducted on children with ASD it revealed that 48% reported either chronic diarrhoea or constipation.1
The evaluation of more than 18 studies revealed that large oral dosages of Magnesium and Vitamin B6 were effective in reducing many symptoms associated with Autism, like impulsivity and repetitive behaviours.1 A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted over three months on 20 ASD children aged between three and eight years, using a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of supplementation in reducing symptoms associated with Autism. Blood and urine samples were collected before and after the completion of the 90-day supplement use. Parental questionnaires were also used to gauge improvements in sleep, gastro-intestinal functions, eye contact, sociability and receptive language.
Interestingly, the study found that the children all had elevated serum B6 levels well above the typical reference range for children aged 3-16. The test assessed the biochemical forms of B6. ASD children have very low activity of pyridoxal kinase, the enzyme which converts pyridoxal and pyridoxamine into their active forms, pyridoxal-5-phosphate and pyridoxamine-5-phosphate1. This may result in these children having a larger demand for Vitamin B6, specifically the activated form pyridoxal-5-phosphate.
The results highlighted that a moderate dosage of a good quality children’s multivitamin and mineral supplement improved sleep quality and significantly improved gastrointestinal symptoms, including improved bowel functioning.1
The above results also highlighted the need to have your child assessed by a qualified natural health practitioner who is also able to provide quality supplements. Fortification of processed foods has been linked with compromising the body’s natural processes to convert inactive forms of nutrients to the active forms. At True Medicine we provide quality high grade supplements which are tailored to individual needs. Call 07 55301863 to arrange an appointment or visit http://truemedicine.com.au/treatments/life/childrens-health/ for more information.
Adams JB, Holloway C. Pilot study of a moderate dose multivitamin/mineral supplement for children with autistic spectrum disorder. J Altern Complement Med. 2004;10(6):1033-1039. doi:10.1089/acm.2004.10.1033.