Typical signs of low magnesium levels include restlessness, being overly sensitive to noise, poor attention span, poor concentration, irritability, aggressiveness, hyperexcitability, apprehension, and belligerence - all symptoms seen in children with autism spectrum disorder.
In general, children today suffer from a significant magnesium deficiency. For one thing, the foods most of them eat are highly processed with very little valuable vitamins and minerals including magnesium. Also, foods overall are declining in mineral content.
Further, children with autism spectrum disorder are unable to absorb magnesium, because magnesium absorption is dependent on intestinal health which is compromised. In fact, according to health experts, nearly all such children have multiple mineral deficiencies.
In a new study on children with autism spectrum disorder, French researchers show that mega doses of vitamin B6 plus magnesium combination therapy markedly improves both communication and behavior, along with normalizing biochemistry.
These researchers noted that 22 studies, including 13 double-blind and placebo-controlled studies showed that vitamin B6 plus magnesium combination therapy benefits nearly 50% of all children with autism spectrum disorder.
To further explore the benefits of this therapy, they enrolled 33 children with either autism or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) in an open trial of the combination therapy that lasted an average of eight months.
Before and after treatment, the researchers scored the children’s symptoms in four categories: social, communicative, behavioral, and functional. They also measured magnesium levels in red blood cells (ERC-Mg) and blood.
They found ERC-Mg levels to be significantly lower in children with autism spectrum disorders than in ‘normal’ non-disabled children. In fact, even parents of children with autism spectrum disorders had lower than normal ERC-Mg levels, suggesting that a genetic vulnerability may underlie magnesium depletion.
Nearly 65% of children in the study who continued taking the supplements for at least two months had higher ERC-Mg values than at the start of the study - although their levels were still lower than control levels.
Treatment for two months also reduced the children’s social, communicative, behavioral and functional symptoms. But when treatment was discontinued, their symptoms reappeared in just a few weeks.
Clearly, magnesium supplementation plays a vital role in reversing autism spectrum disorder, suggesting that this critical mineral is deficient in children who suffer from this condition. However, further research is necessary to better understand what is responsible for this and other mineral deficiencies in these children.
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