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Does Vitamin B12 Help Children with Autism?

Dr. Kelly Austin, ND

Childhood can be a difficult endeavor for anyone.  Socially, mentally, and emotionally, growing pains can hurt for both the child and child’s family. Throw a diagnosis of autism in the mix and this childhood journey becomes even harder. However, there has been a rise of research that supports Vitamin B12 and B6 supplementation as a form of autism spectrum disorder symptom relief.  It’s certainly no cure, but it can help.

For one, vitamin B12, methylcobalamin, has been found to be commonly deficient among autistic children. This can be due to picky eating habits which lead to poor dietary intake of B12, dysbiosis in the gut lining leading to poor absorption of B12, neurodegenerative neuron damage from autoimmune antibodies, neurotoxins, and heavy mental poisoning which render neurons unresponsive to standard doses of B12, or diminished transsulfuration, transmethylation, and antioxidation metabolic pathways.

Incidentally, methylcobalamin is extremely important for good energy levels, focus, memory, mood stability and stress and anxiety relief. It can generally be found in high quality meat products. There are several types of Vitamin B12, including cyanocobalamin and methylcobalmin. Although cyanocobalamin can work to prevent anemia, only the methylcobalamin form can maintain neurological health. High levels of methylcobalamin is needed to regenerate neurons and the myelin sheath of the spinal cord, which is necessary for symptom relief in autism disorder.

Studies with high dose vitamin B12 supplementation show speech and language improvement in spontaneous language, use of complex sentences, and increased vocabulary. Pediatric patients on supplemental B12 also show improvements in socialization, emotional expression, and interactive play with other children as well. Children also show improvement in sleep, mostly likely because methylcobalamin improves the body’s supply of melatonin.  Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder report seeing initial results within the first 5 weeks of treatment.  Again, vitamin B12 supplementation is not a cure to autism, but it is a form of very effective treatment. B12 levels the playing field for patients with autism so that other forms of treatment such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy can produce even more success in the child’s growth and development.

Furthermore, studies also show that Vitamin B6 and magnesium supplementation can also help with treatment of behavioral symptoms of autism. Of course, it’s very important to make sure each child has all the vitamins and minerals needed to metabolize vitamin therapy properly. In addition to the essential nutrients of B12, B6, and magnesium, a strong high quality multivitamin is encouraged for autistic children in order to metabolize vitamin therapy fully and properly.

Obtaining Vitamin B12 and B6 in injection form proves to be significantly more effective than sublingual or oral supplementation. The higher therapeutic dose that injections allow is needed for symptom relief. For more information on where these therapeutic dosages can be obtained, please visit Prime Wellness, a naturopathic clinic in San Diego, offers methylcobalamin B12 and B6 injections as well as high quality magnesium and multivitamin and mineral support. The physicians and health practitioners at Prime Wellness are able to create full nutritional and supplemental guidance for pediatric patients and their families to support overall growth and autism symptom relief.

Christine George, RN & Dr. Kelly Austin, ND



Written by Kelly Austin, ND

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