Archive | October 2011

Fact or Fiction: Increased GI Problems in Autism

espite the overwhelming observations by families and scientific there remains a small section  of scientific community that has questioned such a difference based on minority  of literature (Kuddo T et al, Black C et al).
In fact, an editorial in the journal Pediatrics (Gilger et al) stated with confidence that  “putting to rest the nagging suggestion that there exists a link between autism  and gastrointestinal disease”.  However, many experts have argued against putting too much stock in this.

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Study: micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) superior to drugs for autism

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By Anil Minocha MD, author: Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System

Micronutrient deficiencies have been reported in patients with autistic spectrum disorders/ autism. Limited Literature  suggests that an improvement in a variety of behavioral problems occurs upon  micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) supplementation. At the same time, systematic review published in the prestigious journal Pediatrics points out that most routinely used medications do not meet criteria for evidence based medicine.

Potential mechanism of beneficial effect of micronutrients in autism:

  • Antioxidant activity
  • Improved mitochondrial function
  • Micronutrients  function as cofactors and as such have potential to improve metabolic efficiency at the level of neurotransmitters.

Autism-micronutrient vs drugs study background:  Dr. Mehl-Madrona and colleagues from the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii. University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, sought to compare effect of micronutrient supplementation versus standard medical treatment for treatment of autism.

Autism-micronutrient study: Micronutrient group comprised of 44 subjects (2-28 years) that desired treatment without pharmaceutical medications. They were compared to 44 autistic kids whose parents requested medical treatment.

Results of autism and micronutrient versus medications  study:

Both treatments were effective in improving Childhood Autism Rating Scale and the Childhood Psychiatric Rating Scale.

Whether the behavioral improvements occurred via effect on mood dysfunction or directly their impact on autistic disorder is open to speculation.

Conclusions of the micronutrient vs medication autism study:

  • Treatment with micronutrients offers better results with lower activity level, improved social interaction, reduced SIB, anger and irritability.
  • Superior results on micronutrient therapy alone are accompanied by fewer side-effects and lesser weight gain.
  • Medical treatment offered advantages of insurance coverage, fewer pills, and less frequent
    dosing.
  • Medical treatment is not superior to micronutrient management for any of the clinical parameters measured.

Caveat: Just like most  of the literature on autism, this study not meet the evidence level of a  randomized controlled trial and is more reflective of evidence relying on
practice based medicine.

Note: Micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) supplementation is part of the 12-point treatment program for autism.

 Topics below may be of interest or go to Home page

Are micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) beneficial in autism?

Autism and constipation  controversy

Leaky gut syndrome  

Is mangosteen good for health 

Autism and leaky gut

Autism and gut bacteria  

Intestinal bacteria for health and disease

Gut bacteria genes and gut at interphase in autism  

L-carnitine treatment for autism 

Vitamin D and autism

Migraine headache triggers  

Learn about celiac disease

Home page       Join Facebook group Autism: It’s Gut Stupid    Facebook Dr. Anil 

Blog: Digestion, Health and Nutrition

Autism: It’s Gut Stupid

Home Page                   Facebook group Autism:It’sGut Stupid

By Anil Minocha MD, author: Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System

Welcome to Dr. Minocha’s new blog wherein he focus his attention mainly on peer-reviewed scientific studies and other info on gut and nutrition in the context of autistic spectrum disorders including autism. Such studies shall be cited appropriately.

While our knowledge about Autism/ASD continues to grow exponentially, much remains an enigma. Along the way, Dr. Minocha will offer his opinions as well. He is not the only clinician to do that. A recent peer-reviewed comprehensive systemetic review concluded that while numerous medical treatments are being prescribed by physicians, “strikingly little evidence” exists to support benefit for these treatments.

That may be due to the multifactorial nature of these disorders including a genetic predisposition. Further complicating the problem is the fact that there are multiple tpes/disorders clobbered into each of these conditions e.g. autism may not just have variants but are heterogeneous, in fact more than one distinct  disorder. When studies include subjects broadly, it can become difficult to replicate results of studies and hence this is one of one of the reasons for confusion on what causes these disorders and how can we heal them.

Multiple but not all studies have implicated gut and nutrition among the factors involved in the pathogenesis. The variability in results from different studies has led to the controvery surrounding the application of gut-nutrition hypothesis to these complex disorders. An analogy would be like various studies implicating gut/nutrition circling around the bulls-eye of autism/ASD. Whether these relationships are just a coincidence, an association or in fact represent causative mechanisms is open to debate.

Dr. Minocha believes that gut (for example hyperpermeability or leaky gut syndrome and dysbiosis or alterations in gut bacteria) along with nutrition play a sentinel role in causing and sustaining these disorders and hence should form one of the cores for treatment strategies e.g. 12 Point Autism Treatment Program With so much being unknown, other well-intentioned people may very well come to different conclusions.

Other topics of interest:

  1. Autism, leaky gut and elimination diets http://goo.gl/dRoFR
  2. Can probiotics strengthen selective intestinal barrier? http://goo.gl/cXmry
  3. Autism related to gut bacteria? http://goo.gl/omTSd
  4. Melatonin is not just for sleep. It helps gut too http://goo.gl/mKYOM
  5. Toileting posture: Taking care of business well! http://goo.gl/gCnsr

Review Autism Treatment Strategies at the 12-point treatment program for autism.

Topics below may be of interest or go to Home page

Are micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) beneficial in autism?

Autism and constipation  controversy

Leaky gut syndrome

Is mangosteen good for health

Autism and leaky gut

Autism and gut bacteria  

Intestinal bacteria for health and disease

Gut bacteria genes and gut at interphase in autism 

L-carnitine treatment for autism

Vitamin D and autism

Migraine headache triggers  

Learn about celiac disease

Home Page                   Facebook group page    Facebook Dr. Anil

Blog: Digestion, Health and Nutrition