Posted by PatchMD.com on 6/29/2018
Choosing between supplements for autism can be a confusing task but our Focus Plus Topical Patch makes things simple. We partnered with renowned clinician, Barry Smeltzer, to develop an easy-to-use patch that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your child needs. In this article and the accompanying video, we discuss some of the most useful supplements for autism, challenges around compliance, and how topical patches can help.
Do People on the Spectrum Need Supplements?
There are several reasons why children on the spectrum may benefit from taking nutritional supplements. Some are restrictive in what they will eat, preferring certain textures or colors over others. This can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies since they aren’t eating a wide variety of different food types.
It has also been suggested that people with autism may not absorb or metabolize nutrients in the usual way. This could mean that even if they are consuming the nutrients they need, their body isn’t actually able to utilize them effectively. Signals that children may not be absorbing enough nutrients include chronic constipation, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal inflammation.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the brain to function at its best. They have a particular impact on nerve cells or neurons and how they influence behavior and thought processes. The body can’t manufacture these types of nutrient itself so is completely reliant on food sources.
Research indicates that omega 3 deficiency is associated with impulsivity, aggression, schizophrenia, ADHD, and may also be linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder. There have been some very small-scale studies involving less than 20 children that tried omega 3 supplements for autism. These found that hyperactivity and repetitive behaviors decreased in the children who took the supplements. They also found that concentration, cognitive and motor skills, sociability, eye contact, and sleep were improved, however, further research is still needed with larger groups of participants.
The type of fish oil found in sardines and mackerel, along with walnuts, flax, and chia seeds are all good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Because the body can’t produce them itself, it is important to supplement if your children aren’t eating these types of foods.
B vitamins perform a wide range of different functions in the body. They act as ‘coenzymes’ in lots of different reactions, many of which are involved in the metabolism of food nutrients. For the body to break down carbohydrates, fats, and different types of amino acid, it needs a plentiful supply of B vitamins to aid the process.
This vitamin family includes niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, and folic acid among others. Vitamin B6, in particular, has been highlighted as one of the potentially beneficial supplements for autism. As early as the 1960s, researchers noticed a link between B6 levels and autism. Over the years numerous scientific studies have found an association and combined high doses with magnesium.
Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that the body can’t manufacture. Meat and fish are the main sources for most people, so if your child doesn’t eat these foods then supplementing is a good idea. It’s also something that many vegans and vegetarians take since it’s difficult to consume enough from purely plant-based sources.
Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties, but it is also a highly effective antioxidant. A number of scientific studies have shown that children on the spectrum suffer from an increased amount of oxidative stress. This may be one way in which vitamin C can be one of the most effective supplements for autism.
Free radicals have a spare electron which means they try to bind with anything and everything. This makes them highly unstable so they cause damage to surrounding cells. The only way to stabilize them is to find something for the spare electron to bind with and vitamin C provides just that. Free radicals have been implicated in numerous cancers, but they are also associated with neurological conditions. For children diagnosed with autism, it may provide additional support at a cellular level.
Challenges Around Supplements for Autism
When it comes to taking supplements for autism, compliance is a big challenge. Many children do not like to take oral tablets, either because they taste bad, are difficult to swallow, or cause stomach pain. For some children, taking pills can create sensations like nausea that they don’t understand.
For parents of children with autism, it can be difficult to know which supplements they need. There are so many conflicting reports of different nutrients and how they can be beneficial for autism. Sadly, there are many websites that promise miracle cures and prey on the hopes of families.
If you do choose to purchase supplements for autism, then it can be overwhelming to have so many different pill bottles and packets for your child to consume. Getting them to take one tablet can be challenging, but five or six may be almost impossible. This is one reason that multi-vitamins are a popular choice among parents. To address these challenges, we developed the Focus Plus Topical Patch.
Patch Supplements for Autism
The Focus Plus Topical Patch was developed in partnership with Barry Smeltzer, a doctor who wanted to find a better way of providing nutritional support to children with autism. Vitamin patches allow you to bypass the major issues related to compliance since they are tolerated much better than tablets. They also remove the worry of giving your child excessive amounts of vitamin pills.
The Focus Plus Topical Patch combines several nutrients into one patch so they no longer need to take multiple tablets each day. It contains vitamin A, C, and D, along with B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Simply attach it directly to the skin and allow the nutrients to be absorbed over the following 8 hours. This not only provides an initial nutrient boost but delivers a sustained release over time which allows the body to fully metabolize the contents at its own pace. They’re also gluten-free and certified suitable for numerous types of allergy and intolerance. Learn more about the Focus Plus Topical Patch here.
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