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Omega6 Arachidonic acid and Autism

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

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid play a key role maturation of neural networks in brain. In fact DHA is critical for grey matter of brain and is associated with healthy cognitive and social functioning.

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Benefit of N-Acetylcysteine in Autism

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N-acetylcysteine and autism


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Probiotics: Do you know how to choose and use?

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  1. I suggest avoid taking probiotic with food so as not to subject the probiotic bacteria to peak digestive acid and juices
  2. Since the administered probiotic bacteria are transient inhabitants in the gut, I recommend taking probiotic twice a day in order to maintain a steady state and avoid sharp fluctuations.
  3. Data suggests that even killed probiotic bacteria may provide some health benefits

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Note: Probiotic supplementation is part of the 12-step treatment autism program.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Essential fatty acids and nervous system

  • Play a critical role in brain functions and transmission across nerves
  • Balance between various essential fatty acids is a major determinant in the maturation of brain function.
  • Inadequate 3-PUFA during the perinatal period in animal models leasd to disordered learning, neurotransmission and visual processes
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can cross blood brain barrier and enter brain

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More treatment strategies at the 12-point treatment program for autism.

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Autism prevalence and gut-brain connection: Treating based on what we know

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Is the brain dysfunction of autism primary or secondary

What causes autism? Is the problem mainly in brain or the brain effects are secondary? Alterations in pace of growth of brain white matter may result in uncoordinated nerve cell-synapse communications.

Other factors implicated in autism  including age of parents, seizure disorders, problems with immune system and endocrine/hormonal system, dysfunction of the mitochondria that are responsible for respiration at cellular level.

Disordered gut provides unifying framework underlying autism

Invoking the gut at the core of the disorder may provide a unifying framework for better understanding of autism and its multiple diverse manifestations. The range of presentations may vary based on the qualitative and quantitative differences of the digestive factors involved.

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Other topics of interest:

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

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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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Learn about 12-point autism treatment program   

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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