The Science Behind Nutritional Supplementation in ASD

There are several studies demonstrating improvement in children with ASD using various nutritional approaches. The clear majority of research using nutritional approaches support the opinion that nutritional supplementation demonstrates promise in the treatment of ASD.

Featured Research

“Oral vitamin/mineral supplementation is beneficial in improving the nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism, including improvements in methylation, glutathione, oxidative stress, sulfation, ATP, NADH, and NADPH…a vitamin/mineral supplement is a reasonable adjunct therapy to consider for most children and adults with autism.”

 

ADAMS ET AL 

Effect of a vitamin/mineral supplement on children and adults with autism.

Adams JB, Audhya T, McDonough-Means S, Rubin RA, Quig D, Geis E, Gehn E, Loresto M, Mitchell J, Atwood S, Barnhouse S, Lee W.

Abstract
Vitamin/mineral supplements are among the most commonly used treatments for autism, but the research on their use for treating autism has been limited.

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Additional Scientific Research

"The study results suggest that the comprehensive nutrition/diet protocol was safe and effective. The nutritional supplements and healthy diet improved nutritional status, and hence presumably increased the brains ability to function and learn. This is supported by the increase in non-verbal IQ, and the substantial 18-month increase in developmental ability in communication, daily living skills, and social skills."

 

ADAMS ET AL 

Comprehensive Nutritional and Dietary Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder—A Randomized, Controlled 12-Month Trial

Adams, J.B.; Audhya, T.; Geis, E.; Gehn, E.; Fimbres, V.; Pollard, E.L.; Mitchell, J.; Ingram, J.; Hellmers, R.; Laake, D.; Matthews, J.S.; Li, K.; Naviaux, J.C.; Naviaux, R.K.; Adams, R.L.; Coleman, D.M.; Quig, D.W.

Abstract
This study involved a randomized, controlled, single-blind 12-month treatment study of a comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention. Participants were 67 children and adults...

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“...improved significantly more than the medication group in key ways, including notably reduced irritability, anger, and intensity of self-injurious behaviors. The micronutrient-treated group also had dramatically lower treatment side-effects.”

 

MEHL-MADRONA ET AL 

Micronutrients Versus Standard Medication Management in Autism: A Naturalistic Case–Control Study

Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Brenda Leung, Carla Kennedy, Sarah Paul, and Bonnie J. Kaplan. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. April 2010, 20(2): 95-103.

Abstract
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often accompanied by self-injurious behavior (SIB), aggression, and tantrums, symptoms that have reportedly improved with micronutrient...

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“...children and adults treated with micronutrients showed significantly fewer adverse events and significantly less weight gain compared with those taking medications.”

 

SIMPSON ET AL 

Systematic review of safety and tolerability of a complex micronutrient formula used in mental health

J Steven A Simpson, Susan G Crawford, Estelle T Goldstein, Catherine Field, Ellen Burgess and Bonnie J Kaplan

Abstract
Theoretically, consumption of complex, multinutrient formulations of vitamins and minerals should be safe, as most preparations contain primarily the nutrients…

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“Both boys benefited significantly from the micronutrient formula: mood, angry outbursts, delinquent behavior, social and attention problems, and anxious/obsessional symptoms improved when initially treated, returned when they discontinued treatment, and remitted when the micronutrient treatment was reintroduced. During a follow-up of over 2 years, both boys continued to be stable while taking the micronutrient treatment.”

 

KAPLAN ET AL 

Treatment of Mood Lability and Explosive Rage with Minerals and Vitamins: Two Case Studies in Children

Bonnie J. Kaplan, Susan G. Crawford, Beryl Gardner, and Geraldine Farrelly. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. July 2004, 12(3): 205-219.

Abstract
A micronutrient supplement containing a broad range of dietary minerals and vitamins is being examined for the treatment of mood lability in both adults and children (Kaplan et al. 2001; Popper 2001).

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“The autism group had many statistically significant differences in their nutritional and metabolic status, including biomarkers indicative of vitamin insufficiency, increased oxidative stress, reduced capacity for energy transport, sulfation and detoxification.”

 

ADAMS ET AL 

Nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism vs. neurotypical children, and the association with autism severity.

Adams JB, Audhya T, McDonough-Means S, Rubin RA, Quig D, Geis E, Gehn E, Loresto M, Mitchell J, Atwood S, Barnhouse S, Lee W.

Abstract
The relationship between relative metabolic disturbances and developmental disorders is an emerging research focus. This study compares the nutritional and metabolic...

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“The use of dietary supplements in children with autism seems to be a safe practice with encouraging data about their clinical efficacy.”

 

GOGOU ET AL 

The effect of dietary supplements on clinical aspects of autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature.

Gogou M, Kolios G

Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder is associated with significant social and financial burden and no definite treatment for this entity has been identified, yet. In recent years...

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“Parents and caregivers should therefore be aware of the benefits of nutritional therapy and need for proper monitoring the treatment of patients with ASD.”

 

KAWICK ET AL 

How nutritional status, diet and dietary supplements can affect autism. A review.

Kawicka A, Regulska-Ilow B.

Abstract
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms arising that are apparent throughout the patient's lifespan. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterised...

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Dietary Supplement for Core Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Where Are We Now and Where Should We Go?

Yong-Jiang Li1, Jian-Jun Ou2, Ya-Min Li3 and Da-Xiong Xiang1*

Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a class of severe and chronic conditions and core symptoms are deficits in social interaction, language communication impairments...

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Identification and Treatment of Pathophysiological Comorbidities of Autism Spectrum Disorder to Achieve Optimal Outcomes

Richard E. Frye and Daniel A. Rossignol

Abstract
Despite the fact that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise, no effective medical treatments have become standard of care. In this paper...

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A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of pharmacological and dietary supplement interventions in paediatric autism: moderators of treatment response and recommendations for future research.

Masi A, Lampit A, DeMayo MM, Glozier N, Hickie IB, Guastella AJ.

Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are pervasive and multifactorial neurodevelopmental conditions, characterized by impairments in social communication...

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Effectiveness of nutritional interventions on the functioning of children with ADHD and/or ASD. An updated review of research evidence.

Martí LF

Abstract
Attention deficit - hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood and comprises a range of behavioral problems...

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Pilot study of a moderate dose multivitamin/mineral supplement for children with autistic spectrum disorder.

Adams JB, Holloway C.

Abstract
Determine the effect of a moderate dose multivitamin/mineral supplement on children with autistic spectrum disorder.

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Metabolic approaches to the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, USA.

Abstract
Although the exact prevalence of metabolic abnormalities in autism spectrum disorders is unknown, several metabolic defects have been associated with autistic...

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Novel and emerging treatments for autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review.

Rossignol DA.

Abstract
Currently, only one medication (risperidone) is FDA-approved for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Perhaps for this reason, the use of novel...

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