A few months ago I read about a recent Australian study which showed that Zinc supplementation can help reverse brain cell changes in autism (see below link or google it). I have a 9 year old boy with high functioning autism and decided to give zinc a try with an everyday supplement.
Within a week of starting the zinc my son's teacher took me aside and said that he had been having an amazing week, concentrating and getting involved with the class much more than ever before! I had also been noticing that it had been a really good week with him at home, but it wasn't until a few days after these conversations that I realised that it could be the zinc because I'd assumed it would take ages to work and was also very sceptical about anything alternative.
I continued with the zinc for the rest of the term and he did really well at school, but then as we all have busy lives I started forgetting to give it to him and didn't really bother with it for a couple of months. He started not concentrating at school so much, misbehaving at home etc and I remembered about the zinc and started it again on a daily basis, and had exactly the same reaction as before - a marked improvement in his behaviour within a few days.
I have health problems myself and have tried so many alternative medicines etc and none have worked so I am extremely sceptical but this is so simple and seems to REALLY work for my son so I hope that by writing this it helps some others too. The supplement I have used daily is Natures Aid Immune Support because it has 10mg of Zinc and is a liquid (like Calpol) and isn't stuffed with all sorts of other things, although I'm sure other supplements would probably work similarly if they have a similar amount in them. Be aware that there are different forms of zinc (zinc sulphate, zinc citrate, zinc gluconate etc) and I don't know about which is better, I just know what works for my son!
I hope this helps some other children!
First of all it's a New Zealand study!
Secondly, please do not exceed the 10mg daily which will be likely just topping up what is likely to be a sub optimal intake which is common in ASD kids with fussy eating. Zinc is sourced in wholegrains, red meat and vegetables.
I seldom recommend single nutrient supplements because the can competitively inhibit uptake of other nutrients (In the case of zinc, iron and copper) and in high doses have significant health risks.
Hey. First of all- anything that helps! Of course it's a suppliment and like any other, vitamin C etc., is to be taken in the correct dose. I want to thank you for posting this. We will now try this with our son who is also high functioning and i hope it has the same effect as it did on yours. I just think anything that can support them, help them in anyway we should give it a go. Thanks again.
Thanks for the replies. Sorry I forgot to say that the supplement I was using was actually the Natures Aid 'KIDZ' Immune Support so designed especially for children and I kept to the recommended daily dose.
To Imadadfirst, I hope it helps your son too!! QuirkeyFriend, my son hasn't been a fussy eater since toddler stage and has lots of veggies, fruit, wholegrains and meat/fish every day. There is a theory that most of us are lacking in zinc because intensive farming depletes the farmland of some nutrients in the topsoil, so the food we eat can be lacking in it. I'm no expert on the subject but just wanted to let others know what has helped my son.
Food supplements and restrictions have been the subject of a lot of studies and this one looks interesting. A lot of people on this site are adults and I see no reason why it would just be interesting for children!
I don't think that people should see this as reversing structural changes in the brain but it will likely be acting as an essential mineral for some pathway in the brain's functions.
Interested people might also look at salicylate sensitivity. http://community.autism.org.uk/search?q=salicylates I came across this a while ago and have a definite sensitivity to certain high salicylate foods. A lot of the work on this was done in Australia IIRC.
Hi, I just saw information on the news about zinc deficiencies in children with Autism. Thank you for your post.