Thursday, February 19, 2015

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Metabolic Concerns

An article by Mumper and Bedell Cook in the February 2015 issue of the Natural Medicine Journal discusses how the understanding around autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is shifting from ASD being a purely brain based concern to one that involves a number of additional body systems including the digestive system and the immune system and as well as metabolic impairments.  
On a metabolic level, most people with ASD have impaired functioning of their methylation and transulfuration pathways.  This impacts the body in a number of different ways and can contribute to the various symptoms/concerns people with ASD experience.  
There are a number of different tests that can help determine if a person does have impaired methylation and transulfuration pathways including urinary organic acid testing and genetic/single nucleotide polymorphisms buccal swab testing.  
There are a number of nutrients that support healthy functioning of the methylation and transulfuration pathways and can make these metabolic impairments easier for the body to manage.  Some supplements to consider include:  B12,  folic acid, vitamin B6, coenzyme Q10.  The article stresses the importance of using the active form of each of these nutrients to ensure they are more easily and fully utilizable by the body.  The active form of B12 is methylcobalamin.  The active form of folic acid is 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate (MTHF).  The active form of B6 is pyridoxyl-5-phosphate (P5P).  And the active form of coenzyme Q10 is ubiquinol.  

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