Nutritional supplements that may be helpful: Vitamin B6 has helped to normalize the function of nerve cells in autistic children. 1 Uncontrolled and double-blinded research shows that vitamin B6 can be helpful for autistic children. 2 3 In these trials, children typically took between 3.5 mg and almost 100 mg of B6 for every 2.2 pounds of body weight, with some researchers recommending 30 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight. Although toxicity was not reported, such amounts are widely considered to have potential toxicity, can damage the nervous system, and should only be administered by a nutritionally oriented doctor. At least one prominent researcher has suggested that vitamin B6 may be better supported by research than drug treatment in dealing with autism. 4
Some researchers have added Magnesium to vitamin B6, reporting that taking both nutrients may work better than taking B6 alone. 5 The amount of magnesium - 10-15 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight - is high enough to cause diarrhea in some people and should be administered by a nutritionally oriented doctor. Doctors of natural medicine will often try vitamin B6 or the combination of B6 and magnesium for at least three months to see if these nutrients help autistic children.
Are there any side effects or interactions (Refer to the individual supplement for complete information.) As mentioned above, the amounts of vitamin B6 and magnesium often used for autism are very high and have the potential for toxicity. A health care physician should be consulted during treatment.
Checklist for Autism
|Vitamin B6 |
|No herbs commonly used for this condition||No homeopathy commonly used for this condition|
1. Martineau J, Garreau B, Barthelemy C, et al. Effects of vitamin B6 on averaged evoked potentials in infantile autism. Biol psychiatr 1981;16:627-39.
2. Lelord G, Muh Jp, Barthelemy C, et al. Effects of pyridoxine and magnesium on autistic symptoms: Initial observations. J Autism Developmental Disorders 1981;11:219-29.
3. Rimland B, Callaway E, Dreyfus p. The effect of high doses of vitamin B6 on autistic children: a double-blind crossover study. Am J psychiatr 1978;135:472-5.
4. Rimland B. Vitamin B6 versus Fenfluramine: a case-study in medical bias. J Nutr Med 1991;2:321-2.
5. Martineau J, Barthelemy C, Garreau B, Lelord G. Vitamin B6, magnesium, and combined B6-Mg: Therapeutic effects in childhood autism. Biol psychiatr 1985;20:467-78.
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