Combined nutritional & dietary intervention effective at improving autism symptoms
Latest research supports Nutritional & Dietary Therapy for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Randomized, controlled, single-blind study looks at safety and effectiveness
Results of latest 12month scientific study led by Prof Adams of Arizona State University suggest that a comprehensive nutritional protocol is both safe and effective at improving nutritional status, intellectual ability and autism symptoms in most individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The randomized, controlled, single-blind treatment study utilized comprehensive nutritional and dietary intervention for 67 children and adults with ASD, alongside 50 non-sibling neurotypical controls of similar age and gender. Treatment consisted of a special combination supplement of vitamins and minerals, followed by essential fatty acids, Epsom salt baths, carnitine, digestive enzymes, and a healthy gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free (HGCSF) diet.
There was a significant improvement in non-verbal intelligence in the treatment group compared to the non-treatment group based on a blinded clinical assessment. Based on semi-blinded assessment, the treatment group, compared to the non-treatment group, had significantly greater improvement in autism symptoms and developmental age.
Improvements noted across several domains, including core autism symptoms
Substantial increase in developmental ability in communication, daily living skills, and social skills were recorded in those who received the active treatments. Parent reports also suggested improvements in aberrant behaviors, sensory processing, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
The nutritional supplements and healthy diet improved nutritional status, documented by significantly greater increases in vitamins, essential fatty acids, and carnitine. This included increases in EPA, DHA, carnitine, and vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, folic acid, and Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment group.
The vitamin/mineral supplement and essential fatty acids appeared to have the most clinical benefit, although other treatments appeared to have some benefit for some individuals.
“This comprehensive treatment approach is recommended as a promising therapy for children and adults with ASD, with an emphasis on the vitamin/mineral supplement and essential fatty acids as probably being the most helpful.”
Correcting nutritional and metabolic deficiencies can lead to improvements in long-term autism-related problems
This study is also noteworthy as it reports three exceptional cases of improvement during the study, all of which occurred in the treatment group.
“The three unusual case reports, in which three very different long-term problems were greatly improved, shows the power of comprehensive nutritional interventions in addressing complex, puzzling medical conditions which may involve one or more nutritional deficiencies.”
The results of this study are in agreement with previous studies and literature reviews, such as those by Gogou & Kolios (2017), in which the authors concluded that, based on the published evidence so far: “The use of dietary supplements in children with autism seems to be a safe practice with encouraging data about their clinical efficacy”.
A large body of scientific evidence shows that individuals with autism have statistically significant differences in nutritional and metabolic status, including biomarkers indicative of vitamin insufficiency, increased oxidative stress, reduced capacity for energy transport, sulfation and detoxification, and many of those biomarker are significantly associated with the severity of autism symptoms.
This latest study by Adams and colleagues suggests that correcting those nutritional and metabolic deficiencies through careful and targeted dietary and nutritional therapies can lead to increased ability to function and learn.
“His quality of life has improved dramatically and all behavior issues …have ceased. His social interactions with his peers and family members have improved dramatically and he is overall a much happier person.”
Adams JB, Audhya T, Geis E, et al. (2018) Comprehensive Nutritional and Dietary Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder-A Randomized, Controlled 12-Month Trial. Nutrients. Mar 17;10(3). doi: 10.3390/nu10030369.
Adams JB, Audhya T, McDonough-Means S, et al. (2011) Nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism vs. neurotypical children, and the association with autism severity. Nutr Metab (Lond). Jun 8;8(1):34. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-34.
Gogou M & Kolios G (2017) The effect of dietary supplements on clinical aspects of autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature. Brain Dev. Sep;39(8):656-664. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2017.03.029.
The following article is written by an autism parent and researcher, who has an interest in both autism and sports sciences. It lays out possible underlying reasons for some of the struggles and symptoms associated with autism. It is not possible to say who might...
Metabolism is the process through which our bodies convert nutrients from food and drink into energy. We need energy for the basics of life, such as breathing or blood circulation, and so countless metabolic processes take place in our cells and our organs all the...
In addition to the core symptoms of autism, which include social communication difficulties, restricted interests, and sensory processing difficulties, both children and adults with autism often present with many other ‘autism-related’ symptoms and behaviours....
High rates of depression and suicide in autism Depression is a common and serious problem in autism, and one of the main contributors to poor quality of life. Both children and adults with autism experience high rates of depression and other mood disorders. One...
Autoimmune encephalitis is a class of inflammatory diseases of the brain that can present with a wide spectrum of neurological and psychiatric symptoms. The word autoimmune means that the body, or the person’s immune system, is attacking its own healthy tissues.What...
‘From Bench to Biopharma’ International Conference on Translational Research in Autism – Day 1 Recap
Synchrony symposia, organised by The BRAIN Foundation in partnership with UC Davis MIND Institute and CalTech, is the first and only international conference on translational research in autism that brings together academia, biotech, pharmaceutical companies and...
The Synapse Centre for NeurodevelopmentThe Synapse Centre, based within the ESNEFT (East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust) is a new research centre based in the East of England looking to translate biomedical research into practical therapies for local...
“We must first recognise ASD as a whole body disorder” Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD, is traditionally seen as the result of behavioural and neuropsychiatric dysfunction. However there is a strong evidence that various physical, or biomedical, problems can...
The first Brain Foundation annual symposia, Pleasanton, California 8-10 of Nov 2019, aimed to connect researchers with clinicians, donors & stake holders to help translate research efforts into evidence-based treatments for autism and its co-morbidities. It highlighted the need for multidisciplinary collaboration, detailed diagnostics and personalised treatment…
One of the treatment modalities that has shown the greatest promise for reducing symptoms of autism in recent years is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The most recent study confirmed and expanded on the findings of previous investigations, which strongly indicate that tDCS could have positive effects on cognition, behaviour and physical health, and improve quality of life and autonomy for a large percentage of individuals with autism.
Several studies published in recent months investigated the effects of cannabis-based products for treating autism. Although the studies were open-label and relatively small in scale, the overall results were overwhelmingly positive, with statistically significant improvements in social communication, language, restrictive/repetitive and challenging behaviours.
A small double-blind, placebo-controlled trial shows dramatic effects of suramin as a treatment for autism. Improvements were seen in all three core features of autism: language, social interactions, and restricted or repetitive behaviours across multiple diagnostics in multiple tests in all who received the active treatments, absent in the placebo arm