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Vitamins and Minerals Supplements
Vitamins and Minerals Supplements
Good nutrition is essential to developing and keeping the immune system strong and healthy. Nutritional deficiencies may be the
cause of chronic immune problems because it is easier for bacteria or viruses to take hold when important nutrients are missing.
Nutritional supplements can be an effective tool of prevention.

Low levels of additional vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium, and chromium continue to be a
significant problem in general. Based on these findings, research studies and reviews have approved the benefits of
multivitamin/mineral nutritional supplementation in the improvement of IQ, exceeding test scores, early neurological
development, and behavioral, cognitive, and academic achievements in children with learning disabilities.

In a recent study it was found that children with autism on average had much lower levels of most vitamins (vitamins A, C, D,
and E, and all B vitamins) and some minerals (zinc, magnesium, selenium). Some people believe that individuals with autism do
not have a sufficient amount of the precise nutrients in their bodies, or that their bodies are faulty in delivering use of the
nutrients available to them.

It is believed that this flaw may be the cause of some of the symptoms of autism, such as impaired communication and social
difficulties, and that these problems can be overcome by taking supplements of one or more vitamins. There is currently no
official evidence that individuals with autism spectrum disorders have a specific pattern of vitamin or other nutrient inadequacy,
nor that vitamin or that dietary supplements actually improve social, language or other functioning.

Important nutrients that stimulate a strong immune system include vitamins A, C, E and essential fatty acids. The most
important minerals include manganese, selenium, zinc, copper, iron, sulfur, magnesium and germanium. You can get these
nutrients from an organic whole-foods diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. You
may also supplement with green foods and antioxidant products.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is s a fat-soluble vitamin. It is found in animal sources, such as eggs, meat, fish, milk, cheese. Beta carotene, which
the body converts into Vitamin A, is found in vegetable sources such as carrots, squashes, and most dark green, leafy
vegetables.

Benefits: Studies suggest that this vitamin shows immediate improvements in language, vision, attention and social interaction in
some children.

Downside: Taking excessive amounts of vitamin A over a very short period o f time can lead to toxic symptoms, including
nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, and muscular lack of coordination. It can also tinge the skin orange.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B-6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex. It is found in beans, nuts, legumes, eggs, meats,
fish, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals.

Benefits: Studies claim that B6 can lead to a decrease in problems like seizure activity, increases appropriate behaviors,
attention, learning, speech and language, and eye contact a normalization of brain wave activity and urine biochemistry.

Downside: Taking excessive amounts of vitamin B6 can cause a magnesium deficiency. It is important to give magnesium
alongside Vitamin B6 to avoid this problem.

Magnesium deficiency can cause urinary incompetence (bedwetting), irritability/agitation, and sound sensitivity. Too much
magnesium can cause diarrhea. Too much B6 can cause peripheral neuropathy – tingling or numbness in the fingers or toes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. It is found in all fruits and vegetables.

Benefits: It is believed that vitamin C brings about significant improvement in people with autism.

Downside: Taking excessive amounts of vitamin C is difficult to do because it is water soluble and is regularly excreted by the
body. Therefore, toxicity is very rare. High doses can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food and can also be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from
the sun.

Benefits: We have been unable to identify any specific claims for the use of vitamin D in people with autism.

Downside: Taking excessive amounts of Vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and
weight loss. It can also raise blood levels of calcium, causing mental status changes such as confusion.

•        Calcium supplements are especially important if a person is on a dairy-free diet.

•        Iron supplements are needed by some typical children as well as children with autism, but should only be given if a test
indicates a need, as too much iron can also be a problem. Low iron is a leading cause of mental retardation in the US, and 40%
of infants under the age of 2 have low iron (and so do 40% of women of child-bearing age).

•        In general, nutritional supplements are a good way to boost key nutrients lacking in the diet.

Approach with Caution

All vitamins in the wrong doses can cause harm, and can also interact dangerously with other medications being taken. These
products can also be taken as supplements which come in a variety of forms, such as tablets and drops. All vitamins can be
hazardous in incorrect doses. Therefore professional advice should always be obtained before using any vitamin supplements.
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