Unfortunately, it has been proved beyond doubt that a large percentage of the United States population suffers from nutritional deficiency. Studies show, 30% of the general population has a marginal level of Vitamin C and 15% are Vitamin C deficient. Low level of vitamins and minerals like, calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium, and chromium continue to be a significant but common problem in the United States. It is also being noticed that children suffering from Autism are the most common patients for vitamin and mineral deficiency. Generally children suffering from Autism have much lower level of vitamins A, C, D, and E, and all B vitamins (except choline) and some minerals (zinc, magnesium, selenium).
The most common problems that are detected in children suffering from nutritional deficiency can be listed as follows:
* High Copper: Zinc ratio
* B12 deficiency
* Calcium deficiency
* Sulfate deficiency
* Vitamin A
Why children with Autism suffer the most?
Chronic diarrhea/constipation: Malabsorption is a common problem related to Autism. A recent study by the Southwest Autism Research Center of over 400 people with autism has found that 48% reported chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation
Gastrointestinal inflammation: Many patients suffering from Autism experience chronic gastrointestinal inflammation and structural compromise in the digestive tract. This intestinal inflammation likely reduces nutrient absorption.
Dietary restrictions: One of the classic symptoms of autism is restricted interests and behaviors and this often extends to choices of food. Restricted, self-limited diets are highly likely to be deficient in one or more essential nutrients.
The Brighter Side
When we are all concerned with the increasing rate of autistic children and problems due to lack of necessary vitamins and minerals it has also been proved that multivitamin/mineral nutrient supplement goes a long way in helping these children. These nutritional supplements significantly contribute towards their improvement of IQ, scholastic test scores, and early neurological development. Children with learning disabilities experience substantial behavioral, cognitive, and academic gains by use of these multivitamin nutritional supplements.
Studies and feedback from parents of children with Autism has shown that calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B6 with magnesium, zinc, niacin, niacinamide, and dimethylglycine resulted in improvement in 41-58% of cases.