Research on Autism

There has been a burst of research into the possible biomedical basis of autism over recent years and this has uncovered a number of metabolic imbalances and nutritional deficiencies that are commonly found in children with autism. The emerging picture is very complex but suggests that the cause of autism is multifactorial with genetic susceptibility playing a role. Other factors that research has indicated could be involved are:
  • Prenatal toxic exposures 
  • Frequent vaccinations with live virus 
  • Abnormalities of sulfoxidation and sulfation that compromise liver detoxification 
  • Copper-zinc imbalances implying metallothionein impairment, which could have a negative impact on liver detoxification and on the health of the gut wall. 
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome and poor bowel flora leading to food intolerances (e.g. gluten and casein) and opioid intoxication. 
  • Immune system abnormalities 
  • Chronic inflammation and autoimmunity (e.g. antibodies to myelin basic protein)

Nutritional Therapy and Autism

Nutritional Therapy can help people with autistic spectrum disorders in the same way as anybody else. We look to identify and address nutritional imbalances and to support the body towards maintaining health. Everybody’s programme is individual but we often develop a phased programme which follows these broad principles:

Phase 1 – Digestion and absorption
  • improving digestion and absorption 
  • addressing nutrient imbalances shown by urine Organic Acids test 
  • ensuring regular bowel movements 

Testing will be used to assess the presence of toxic heavy metals, gut dysbiosis, nutrient levels or other indicators

Phase 2 – Reducing oxidative stress and balancing the immune system
Oxidative stress relates to damage caused to cells of the body when there is a deficiency of antioxidants. An increase in oxidative stress can affect the cellular metabolism, causing it to use glutathione as an antioxidant rather than for detoxification. There are many nutrients that provide different forms of antioxidant protection.

The immune system helps fight infections of bacteria, viruses and parasites but also reacts to allergens. If you have a history of allergies, asthma or eczema or a history of lots of colds and infections then we will discuss nutrients that support the immune system function.

Phase 3 – Supporting body processes
The body has processes for the removal of toxic substances including methylation and sulfation. These processes involve the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, hair and immune system. Nutrient imbalances can affect the efficiency of these processes. This is why we address nutrient imbalances and supply the nutrients to support these processes. All these processes also require cellular energy, provided by the mitochondria. The health and proper functioning of the mitochondria are also important to the body processes.