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2012-09-24

L-Carnitine Improves Behaviour in Autistic Kids

Another study shows L-carnitine can improve symptoms in autism. Experts in the field believe that  autism is influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental and immunological factors.  New evidence has suggested that autistic patients show increased vulnerability to oxidative stress coupled with mitochondrial dysfunction, which is confirmed by altered brain energy metabolism, lowered cellular energetic and deficient reserve mitochondrial energy capacity.

Since L-carnitine is essential in transporting the main source of the body's energy (long fatty acids) to the mitochondria, therapy with this amino acid has shown to be useful (as I discussed in THIS post from last year).

This 6-month study administered L-carnitine (100 mg/kg/day) to kids aged 2 - 8 years old and measured outcomes on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). The researchers concluded that the therapy significantly improved these scores in the subjects who received the supplementation.
More specifically, L-carnitine treatment improved some of the mental and physical manifestations of autism but not, generally, in the language usage impairments.

The researchers noted that they derived the dosage from earlier studies and this may have not been optimal. They recommended further studies to look into factors such as larger doses. Based on the mitochondrial component of autism, as I mentioned in the other post, there are a number of other supplements that may be highly beneficial (such as CoQ10/ubiquinol, magnesium, alpha-lipoic acid, D-ribose, etc.).

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Source: L-Carnitine supplementation improves the behavioral symptoms in autistic children


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