Supplements for autism

Fat is not always a bad thing! In fact, maybe you should add fats in your diet! 

Many people still believe that all saturated fats are unhealthy which is a just the unfortunate remains of the "butter is bad" campaign in the 1980's.  The truth is that some saturated fats can have amazing health benefits, take for example coconut oil. It contains lauric acid and certain MCT fats that fight yeasts, parasites, common viruses, even the cold, and bacterial overgrowth in the body.  Good saturated fats like organic butter, avocado, and coconut oil can help seal the lining of the digestive tract that may be inflamed from leaky gut syndrome, inflammation, or other gastrointestinal problems common in the autism population. Up to 85% of individuals on the spectrum report GI disturbances.  Given the challenges of autism being a communication disorder, one can imagine that a child suffering painful gas, bloating or other GI stress may exhibit self-soothing repetitive behaviors or become irritable when unable to effectively communicate their discomfort.  

Also, our brains need fat —plain and simple. All fats will give you a mood boost, but coconut is one of the best fats linked to preventing depression, improve memory  and helping emotional regulation.  One of the reasons is due to the MCT fats in coconut which bypass normal digestion and are immediately absorbed into your body.  So then your brain can turn these into instant fuel which will improve your mood. These fats also enhance focus, ward off mental fatigue, and can help stabilize your blood sugar which also boosts your mood in a whole other way. Coconut’s fats and amino acids fuel neurotransmitters in the brain that boost serotonin levels to stabilize your mood and hormones. 

In fact, deficiencies in essential fats are common in people with autism. Some autistic children have an enzymatic defect that removes essential fats from brain cell membranes more quickly than it should. Therefore, an autistic child is likely to need a higher intake of essential fats than the average child.  The recommended daily intake (RDI) of healthy fats for children with autism can be up to 25% of the diet.  Supplementing  Omega 3 fatty acids – most commonly known as fish oils, cod liver oil, DHA and EPA which can slow the activity of the defective enzyme, has clinically improved behavior, mood, imagination, spontaneous speech, sleep patterns and focus of autistic children.   Children with autism have been shown to have a DHA deficiency.  Supplementation of DHA results in improved cognitive, social, language and behavioral development.  Flax oil is a great balanced source of Omega 3+6 and can be added to smoothies, salad dressings and grains.  You do not want to cook with flax oil or bake with it as heating it destroys it's beneficial properties.  For more ideas on beneficial supplements for autism contact me.