On last nights “Natural Approaches to Autism” Webinar, the overwhelming questions was, “What supplements should my child be taking.” With clients, I often give them the supplements that their child should ideally be on and then… a top priority list. So, this is the “Top 5 List,” in order of preference.
- Pre and Probiotics: The vast majority of children and adults on the autism spectrum are shown to have digestive issues. Many have had digestive issues so long that you literally have to ask them if they have a stomach ache or have gone to the bathroom that day to know that they are having problems. And if they are non-verbal, this becomes a bigger challenge. Probiotics replace the good flora in the intestines, that have died off because of poor eating, medications, leaky gut syndrome and many other culprits. In our home, we tell our children that these good flora are the soldiers that keep our whole body healthy. You need a good probiotic that guarantees delivery of the bacteria to the intestines. A pre-biotic powder is also recommended as you begin to replace and feed these good bacteria. The Optiflora and Pre and Probiotic system can be purchased together or seperately.
- Multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement- This is where I must be clear that NOT ALL SUPPLEMENTS are equal and a store bought chewable, gummy or gumball may actually do more harm than good with our children. I say harm, because not only are the nutrients in these supplements not readily available to absorb in the body (making them more likely to flush down the toilet), but many actually contain chemicals that leach in our childrens’ digestive tracts. We recommend a few different options because we know there are different dietary limits and our children can be very picky. Shaklee makes two chewables. The Incredivites are ideal because they contain a pre-biotic called lactoferrin, known to help boost the immune system. They are also GF (gluten free) certified, completely natural and easily absorbed. Lactoferrin is derived from dairy so if you need a dairy free option, the OceanWonders are GF and CF free and are also Kosher certified. If your child can swallow, the Vita Lea with iron is ideal and if you need a powder form, the Citriboost is a refrigerated powder that also contains probiotics (no iron). Please contact us if you need more help with choosing.
- Omegagard Fish Oils- Omegagard is a 7 spectrum, pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement. It is the most complete fish oil supplement on the market. For our children on the spectrum, pure fish oils are recommended to help with concentration, brain function, and inflammation that is often missed in the gut. Amazingly, fish oil is the top recommended supplement by the entire medical community and is now widely recommended for women during pregnancy, both as an anti-inflammatory; as well as, to boost babies brain development. This fish oil capsule is chewed by many children, but can also be swallowed or pierced and mixed in applesauce, juice or any nutralizing food. A word of caution. I often have families tell me they tried a flavored fish oil and their child would Not take the product. Upon questioning, I learn that they went strait for the flavored and never tried a pure fish oil without flavoring. We find that many of our children actually prefer the pure, non-rancid supplement to flavored products that often have odd textures.
- Calcium Magnesium- Calcium Magnesium supplements may actually be recommended for many of our children and family members because of the poor diets associated with autism or a Casein Free diet, but this supplement is so much more. Magnesium has been proven to slow down the heart rate, calming down hyper-activity and has also been shown as a catalyst in helping to curb or reduce bedwetting. One of our children has restless leg syndrome and magnesium is often recommended by nuerologists to help with the leg tremors associated with this condition. For parents of hyperactive children, calcium magenesium can definately be a welcome addition. This product can be found in a strawberry flavored chewable or in a crushable tablet that can also be swallowed.
- Protein Powder- We have been using Protein Powder with our children for many years, but were amazed as our children became older, at how their bodies actually craved the plant based protein. We actually began to see difference in cognition and energy based on whether or not they had a “shake” and what time of day it was at. Many of our clients also report that they see a significant difference in their childrens’ concentration and focus if they drink the protein for breakfast. One mom told us that her food budget reduced and her stress level went down. This happened because her children were no longer craving the bowls of carb loaded cereal and snacks and hour after eating and were concentrating so much better. As our daughter became more vocal and higher functioning, she would report leg cramps on days when she had not had the protein. Recent urine and saliva testing, through Dr. Ryan Bentley, showed us that our 11 year old with aspergers, who does not drink the shakes, has a protein deficiency because her body does not absorb other forms of protein in dairy and foods. We recommend beginning with Non-GMO energizing soy protein or Cinch Whey Protein for children and adults with a soy sensitivity or allergy. These are organic forms of protein powder and come in several flavors.
You will note that the brand of supplements we recommend is made by the Shaklee Corporation. After years of research, we have settled on this brand because we know it to be safe, pure and 100% money back guaranteed. This company does over 83,000 tests annually on their raw ingredients alone and tests every finished batch before it goes out the door. Shaklee has over 100 studies published in medical magazines such as the Journal of Modern Medicine and guarantees bioavailability. If you prefer another brand, simply call the company or your doctor and ask for proof of their standards; as well as, there guarantee if the products do not work for your child. If you would like help putting together a supplement program for your child, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!