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Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Children with Autism

Posted by Gabriel Williams on
The relationship between the health in the body and health in the mind is very strong. For children on the autism spectrum, many of the defining traits of the condition have to do with behavior and mental ability. However, discoveries of modern science have found strong parallels between certain nutrients and neurological functioning. Similarly, removing harmful foods, adding a healthy diet, and introducing nutritional supplements can have positive effects on how your child’s feels overall and can reduce problems relating to sensory overload. Here are some common natural nutritional deficiencies that your child may have.

Vitamin B6

This essential nutrient is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions in the body that primarily work to improve protein metabolism. It is also important for the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps regulate mood and relieve anxiety. Vitamin B6 also helps regulate histamine, the chemical released during allergic reactions. It is also necessary for sulfur metabolism in the body, which helps flush the brain and body of harmful toxins. Vitamin B6 is found in foods such as poultry, whole grains, and fish, although not in very high amounts. If you look for nutritional supplements of B6, look for the active form known as pyridoxal-5-phosphate, or P5P.

Taurine

This amino acid helps to stabilize cell membranes in the brain, which plays a major role in healthy brain metabolism. Taurine is also incredibly important for natural brain detoxification. Taurine has been found to be the most deficient amino acid in children with autism, a cause for concern given its importance. The main foods that contain taurine are most meats and fish. Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 work also help the body naturally produce taurine.

Fatty Acids

Fatty acids play a major role in multiple functions in the body, including the production of cell membranes, absorption of certain vitamins, the body’s use of proteins, liver function, and regulating inflammation. Children with ASD are particularly naturally deficient in the fatty acid DHA, which is important for healthy nerve, spinal cord, and brain function. Organic and cruelty-free meats, fish, and cage-free eggs are good sources of essential fatty acids. You can also easily find fish oil supplements as a way of supplying your child with healthy levels of fatty acids.

These nutritional deficiencies in children with ASD often contribute to feelings of anxiety, verbal communication problems, and irregular mood. Conversely, finding ways to introduce these essential nutrients to your child with autism, either though diet or with the use of supplements, can start to turn some of these problems around.

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