Dr James Schaller
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Autism & Nutrition:
Useful or Overstated Benefit?

We can agree on one thing. Anyone that works with autistic children knows their impairment is not like a cold. Any injury to the brain has affected a number of neurons. In this context, and as a strong believer in nutrients and reality, I think some comments are useful.

  1. Many individuals who love nutritional medicine as much as I do feel that merely addressing diet and removing wheat and giving common nutrients like omega 3 oils and key minerals will cure the child. While I did the first major study on fish oil mercury purity, and I do feel everyone should take pure omega 3's, that is not the same thing as saying it will restore Autistic neurons with oral dosing--even with high oral dosing.
  2. Increased gut inflammation, bad bacteria and excess yeasts are not helpful to any person, and certainly not autistic children. Indeed, increased inflammation in the gut will send annoying chemicals into the brain and undermine baseline functioning.
  3. I have worked with some master IV nutrient--oriented physicians using massive amounts of nutrients for brain injury, such as in concussions, electrical damage, and closed head trauma. I am NOT talking about only giving Vitamin C and some B-Vitamins. Such an approach is simplistic and ignorant of the many roles many nutrients play as a team. These formulations have about fifteen or more ingredients and are at massives IV doses. Some of the ingredients are direct neuron building blocks. And in these very special settings, with these very wide ingredients and high doses, I have seen some benefit over repeated treatments. The treatments usually seem to have an effect after six to twelve. And because they are so dense, require at least ninety minutes to delivery through the vein.

Below is an abstract that reports Autistic youth have too many free radicals or "oxidative stress" which essential nutrients would help fix.

This IV option is just one of dozen's of treatments in my book in process, Autism to Alzheimer's: Aggressive Treatment Options for Neuron Repair.


Oxidative stress in autism.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Indirect markers are consistent with greater oxidative stress in autism. They include greater free-radical production, impaired energetics and cholinergics, and higher excitotoxic markers. Brain and gut, both abnormal in autism, are particularly sensitive to oxidative injury. Higher red-cell lipid peroxides and urinary isoprostanes in autism signify greater oxidative damage to biomolecules. A preliminary study found accelerated lipofuscin deposition--consistent with oxidative injury to autistic brain in cortical areas serving language and communication. Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of potent antioxidants--vitamin C or carnosine--significantly improved autistic behavior. Benefits from these and other nutritional interventions may be due to reduction of oxidative stress. Understanding the role of oxidative stress may help illuminate the pathophysiology of autism, its environmental and genetic influences, new treatments, and prevention. OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this article, participants should be able to: 1. Be aware of laboratory and clinical evidence of greater oxidative stress in autism. 2. Understand how gut, brain, nutritional, and toxic status in autism are consistent with greater oxidative stress. 3. Describe how anti-oxidant nutrients are used in the contemporary treatment of autism. [Bolding is mine]

McGinnis WR. Oxidative stress in autism. Altern Ther Health Med. 2004 Nov-Dec;10(6):22-36; quiz 37, 92

Dedicated to Loving Parents & the Children They Love,

Dr. J

Bank Towers, Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL
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