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Online Library: Autism

The following pages provide an overview of the most recent research and clinical studies about the health benefits of micronutrients in fighting autism. This collection of scientific facts proves that anyone who privately or publicly questions the health value of micronutrients does not serve YOUR health, or the health of the people, but rather the multi-billion dollar investment 'business with disease' based on patented pharmaceutical drugs.

We encourage you to forward the link to this important online library on natural health – one of the largest ones in the world – to your friends. You may also print out the articles you find most important for your own health condition and share them with your doctor. Any responsibly acting health professional will be grateful to receive such science-based health education.

A randomized controlled pilot trial of oral N-acetylcysteine in children with autism.

Source: Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Jun 1;71(11):956-61.

Author: Hardan AY, Fung LK, Libove RA, Obukhanych TV, Nair S, Herzenberg LA, Frazier TW, Tirouvanziam R.

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract: An imbalance in the excitatory/inhibitory systems with abnormalities in the glutamatergic pathways has been implicated in the pathophysiology of autism. Furthermore, chronic redox imbalance was also recently linked to this disorder. The goal of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of using oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutamatergic modulator and an antioxidant, in the treatment of behavioral disturbance in children with autism. This was a 12-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of NAC in children with autistic disorder. Subjects randomized to NAC were initiated at 900 mg daily for 4 weeks, then 900 mg twice daily for 4 weeks and 900 mg three times daily for 4 weeks. The primary behavioral measure (Aberrant Behavior Checklist [ABC] irritability subscale) and safety measures were performed at baseline and 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Secondary measures included the ABC stereotypy subscale, Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised, and Social Responsiveness Scale. Thirty-three subjects (31 male subjects, 2 female subjects; aged 3.2-10.7 years) were randomized in the study. Follow-up data was available on 14 subjects in the NAC group and 15 in the placebo group. Oral NAC was well tolerated with limited side effects. Compared with placebo, NAC resulted in significant improvements on ABC irritability subscale. Conclusion: Data from this pilot investigation support the potential usefulness of NAC for treating irritability in children with autistic disorder. Large randomized controlled investigations are warranted.

Association between maternal use of folic acid supplements and risk of autism spectrum disorders in children.


Author: Surén P, Roth C, Bresnahan M, Haugen M, Hornig M, Hirtz D, et al

Affiliation: Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Nydalen, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract: Prenatal folic acid supplements reduce the risk of neural tube defects in children, but it has not been determined whether they protect against other neurodevelopmental disorders. The objective was to examine the association between maternal use of prenatal folic acid supplements and subsequent risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) (autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified [PDD-NOS]) in children. The study sample of 85,176 children was derived from the population-based, prospective Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). The children were born in 2002-2008; by the end of follow-up on March 31, 2012, the age range was 3.3 through 10.2 years. The exposure of primary interest was use of folic acid from 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after the start of pregnancy, defined as the first day of the last menstrual period before conception. Relative risks of ASDs were estimated by odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs in a logistic regression analysis. Analyses were adjusted for maternal education level, year of birth, and parity. At the end of follow-up, 270 children in the study sample had been diagnosed with ASDs: 114 with autistic disorder, 56 with Asperger syndrome, and 100 with PDD-NOS. In children whose mothers took folic acid, 0.10% (64/61,042) had autistic disorder, compared with 0.21% (50/24,134) in those unexposed to folic acid. No association was found with Asperger syndrome or PDD-NOS, but power was limited. Similar analyses for prenatal fish oil supplements showed no such association with autistic disorder, even though fish oil use was associated with the same maternal characteristics as folic acid use. Conclusion: Use of prenatal folic acid supplements around the time of conception was associated with a lower risk of autistic disorder in the MoBa cohort. Although these findings cannot establish causality, they do support prenatal folic acid supplementation.

What is the role of vitamin D in autism?


Author: Cannell JJ, Grant WB

Affiliation: Vitamin D Council; San Luis Obispo, CA USA; Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center; San Francisco, USA.

Abstract: A growing body of literature suggests that higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations, either in utero or in early life, may reduce the risk of autism. For example, an ecological study in the companion paper inversely correlated solar UV-B doses in the United States with prevalence of autism among those aged 6-17 y. That study proposed that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could account for this finding, although the findings are also consistent with childhood vitamin D deficiency contributing to the condition. Also, in a recent study, children with autism had lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations than did control subjects (19 vs. 33 ng/ml), despite parents of each group reporting the same amount of sun exposure. The same study found highly significant inverse correlations between 25(OH)D and autism rating scales and between 25(OH)D and levels of an anti-neuronal antibody. This finding indicates that higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations may reduce the symptoms of established autism. Because activated vitamin D, a secosteroid, upregulates DNA-repair genes, vitamin D deficiency during development may inhibit the repair of de novo DNA mutations in fetuses and infants and thus contribute to risk of autism. Vitamin D might also reduce the risk or severity of autism through its anti-inflammatory actions, anti-autoimmune effects, increasing seizure threshold, increasing T-regulatory cells, protecting the mitochondria, and upregulating glutathione, which scavenges oxidative by-products and chelates (captures and excretes) heavy metals. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and childhood is a widespread and growing epidemic.