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2013-02-22

Folate and B12 Deficiencies Common in Autism Spectrum Disorders

A new study involving 40 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 40 controls, found significantly lower levels of folate and vitamin B12 in the children with ASD (compared to the controls). Interestingly, another recently published study, which I didn't cover (since it was well-covered by many, many others), also found that folic acid supplementation during the prenatal period reduced the risk of autism in children.

While this study found ASD patients were deficient, it didn't investigate why. Regarding folate, I'd be interested to know whether people with ASD have the genetic defect that hinders the body's conversion of folic acid to L-methylfolate. It's definitely something to investigate in future studies.

I launched a L-methyfolate product for a client I consult for, and unexpectedly, this has been well-received by practitioners using this in their autistic patients. Prior to this, I didn't make the connection between folate and autism, but considering that L-methylfolate is the biologically active form of folate, and the form that can cross the blood-brain barrier to actually have a benefit to the brain, I guess it totally makes sense.

Based on this, if looking to supplement with B12, I'd recommend methyl-B12 (methylcobalamin), and similarly, if wanting to use L-carnitine (based on the studies in the links below), use acetyl-L-carnitine--the form that can cross the blood-brain barrier.


Source: Low folate and vitamin B12 nourishment is common in Omani children with newly diagnosed autism

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