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Nutritional and Metabolic Status in Children with ASD

23 Mar 2015 9:55 AM | Anonymous

Date: June 8, 2011

Source: Arizona State University, USA

The relationship between relative metabolic disturbances and developmental disorders is an emerging research focus. This study compares the nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism with that of neurotypical children and investigates the possible association of autism severity with biomarkers.

Participants were 55 children aged 5-16 years in Arizona with Autistic Spectrum Disorder compared with 44 neurotypical controls of similar age, gender and geographical distribution. Autism severity was assessed using the Pervasive Development Disorder Behavior Inventory (PDD-BI), Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), and Severity of Autism Scale (SAS). Study measurements included: vitamins, biomarkers of vitamin status, minerals, plasma amino acids, plasma glutathione, and biomarkers of oxidative stress, methylation, sulfation and energy production.

The autism group had many statistically significant differences in their nutritional and metabolic status, including biomarkers indicative of vitamin insufficiency, increased oxidative stress, reduced capacity for energy transport, sulfation and detoxification. For example, participants with ASD exhibited lower levels of biotin, plasma glutathione, RBC SAM, plasma uridine, plasma ATP, RBC NADH, RBC NADPH, plasma sulfate (free and total), and plasma tryptophan; and higher levels of oxidative stress markers and plasma glutamate compared to the control group.  Several of the biomarker groups were significantly associated with variations in the severity of autism. This research highlights the need for biomedical consideration in the treatment of ASD.


Adams, J. B. et al. (2011). Nutritional and Metabolic Status of Children with Autism vs. Neurotypical Children, and the Association with Autism Severity. Nutrition and  Metabolism (Lond), 8. DOI: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-34.

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