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Nutritional Deficiency In Autism

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Lalit Mittal 87% (22 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (Pediatrics), Certification Course In Sick Newborn Care, POST GRADUATE PROGRAMME IN PEDIATRIC NUTRITION
Pediatrician, Delhi  •  12 years experience
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Hi,

I am Dr. Lalit Mittal, Pediatrician. Today I will talk about the nutritional deficiency in autism. First of all, why children have a nutritional deficiency? They eat foods according to taste, flavor, texture, and temperature. 2nd is oral defensiveness i.e. the resistance to take food inside the mouth. Then they have tactile defensiveness i.e. their resistance to feel the taste of the food. 3rd most important thing is xenophobia i.e. the resistance to eat new food. Along with this, they have a very narrow range of food products. They are more selective toward carbohydrates. Along with this, they have destructive behavior during mealtime. During the mealtime, they will lock off the food on the table, they will spill out the food or they will run away from the dining table. All these issues are clubbed together are responsible for nutritional deficiency. Now, what is the reason behind these autistic children? They have oral motor sensory issue means they have difficulty in chewing the food, and they have exaggerated gargoyles means they are vomiting out. Now we will be discussing each one of them one by one. Now coming to vitamin B6 & B12. Now B12 is one of the most important vitamins in the human body. It is responsible for the 3 most important processes.

First, methylation, 2nd, decreasing the oxidative stress level. and 3rd responsible for gene expansion. As a result of these 3 processes because of the deficiency of vitamin B12, these 3 processes are hampered. Along with these, there are oxalate levels. Because of the deficiency of vitamin B12, the oxalate level in the body increases. Then these causes oxidative stress to the body. It is very important to supplement the ADHD cases regularly with vitamin B12, B6 and give them fruits which are less in oxalate levels. Oxalate levels are found in citrus fruits. Hence, consumption should be minimized. Now we are coming to iron and folic acid. Now they are prone to iron and folic acids deficiency. Because of selective food nature, they are prone to only a particular range of food. They are taking an imbalanced diet. They are also prone to iron and folic acids deficiency. Hence, regular intake of iron and folic acid supplementation is advisable. Now coming to the calcium levels. It is known that the calcium and vitamin-D levels in ADHD cases are lesses to the great extend or they are below the normal range. Because these kids are selective predators and 50% of them are on a restricted diet.

As a result of that their bone density is decreased. Such children are prone to muscle cramp, pain in legs, fatigue, they will get tired easily. In spite of being a normal calcium level in the body, the level of vitamin-D always is less. Hence, t is advisable to take regular consumption of calcium and vitamin-D in the right amount. Now coming to the zinc and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3, 6 and 9 are the most important but the most important role is of omega-3 in ADHD kids. Naturally, by birth, ADHD kids have a low level of zinc and omega-3. Now, both these are important for GI tract and intestine. As a result of this, the mucosa of these kids is thick, becomes licky. Because of zinc deficiency, mucosa lining is affected. And then the GI problems like constipation, diarrhea, bloating extends. And they have the deficiency of digestive enzymes. So, it is advisable to consume omega-3 regularly, digestive enzymes in the right amount. For vegetarians, the good source of omega-3 is walnuts, chia and flax seeds. If you are a non-vegetarian, the best source is fish oil. Now coming to the sulfate level.

This is the 4th most important level in the body. It is responsible for the formation of brain tissue. As a result, the regular consumption of sulfate is important. Now, coming to the last carnitine. It is another important mineral which is found in all the human body which is responsible for providing instant energy and to remove the toxic organic fatty acid from the body. In ADHD case, it is normally found to be deficient as a result that the amount of oxidative stress in ADHD cases increases. There are 2 forms of carnitine. L-carnitine and S-carnitine. L-carnitine which is an active form and found naturally in the body. Hence, it is very important for ADHD cases.

Thank You!

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