Research funded by the Marsden Fund and Neurological Foundation concluded, “cellular changes in the brain caused by genetic mutation that occur in autism can be reversed by zinc.” Zinc was found to alter brain cell communication, dietary, and behavior levels.
Individuals diagnosed with autism are more likely to be associated with having low levels of zinc. This claim attests to itself due to research in animal models where the mother was placed on a low zinc diet and results showed the offspring conducted autistic-like behaviors. The funded research introduced the protein Shank3 gene where it is known to be a “zinc-sensitive signaling system that regulates how brain cells communicate;” altering this gene does not alter zinc responsiveness. Such that the Shank3 gene causes a decrease in brain cell communication, zinc allows for this communication to increase.
Interestingly, disrupting zinc regulation can cause an impairment of how synapses work and can lead to cognitive and behavior abnormalities. In conclusion, it is important to determine the adequate level of zinc in order for it to be beneficial and to be another source of treatment for autism.
In addition, foods high in Zinc can be useful in helping children with autism. Spinach and beef are excellent sources of Zinc, and meat releases L-Tryptophan which converts to Serotonin (improves anxiety, stress, depression) and Melatonin (improves sleep), as well as, Vitamin B3 (supports the nervous system). All excellent for relaxation and sleep as well as the nervous system.
There are other supplements that can help for autism with increased flexibility, as well as research on healing the gut. Check out StressLess with Alternatives to Medication for Mental Health for more information.
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AUTHOR: Jim West, LMHC -has a Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology and is an accomplished Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with ADHD, defiance, anxiety, depression and autism in Orlando! Jim West can be reached at (407) 248-0030.