A R T I C L E 1 3 : F A T T Y A C I D S A N D A U T I S M
AUTISM EDGE SERIES I am very excited to share this series with you. Autism Edge was born through the journey I have embarked gathering insight and knowledge along the way. I would love to share what I have learnt in the last 6 years with you.
Autism as we know are very complex and difficult to understand. Autism is a life-long neurodevelopment disorder and effects the individuals in a big way. Fatty acids are mostly seen as complementary medicine and can assist children with autism. A deficiency of Polyunsaturated fatty acids can be linked to ADHD and ASD. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are important for brain function, acts as an anti-inflammatory and support the function of the brain cell membrane and myelin sheats.
Fat is a macronutrient and is very important in brain development, hormone balance, healthy skin, energy, reduce inflammation and absorbing nutrients. Omega3 and Omega- 6 are the most common fatty acids everyone knows and use on a daily basis. Fatty Acids are Omeg-3, Omega-6 and GLA, Omega-9 to name a few. Omega-3 can be found in cod liver oil, flax seed oil or fish oil.
Research have shown that Omega-3 can boost the Th1 lymphocytes that helps and assists the immune system to fight of viruses and infections. As we know that children with autism struggles with digestion, you would rather use fish oil in their diet as their body breaks down foods differently. (Essential fatty acid in flax seed oil gets converted into EPA with the enzyme delta 6, which then is converted into DHA). Some children finds it difficult to convert essential fatty acids into EPA and DHA. When looking into using fish oils as a supplement in the diet, try to find the best quality of fish oils as some fish oils contain high levels of Mercury.
Cod liver oil contains high levels of vitamin A and D. Cod liver oil is high in DHA which is good for brain cell receptors function, neurotransmitters and hormones. It also reduce inflammation. It is very important to decrease or avoid the intake of trans fats, saturated fats, or the unhealthy fats. Trans fats is in meat and dairy products. Fast food restaurants, any frozen baked goods, margarine to name a few might have trans fats in them.
These fats does not occur in nature, it is produced in a lab. These fats worsen the symptoms of autism and influence their health negatively. GLA (Gamma linolenic acid), this type of fatty acid is important as it is an anti-inflammatory. People usually does not have enough GLA in their diet. Contact us to find out the foods that contain GLA or to register for our Uncover Autism series.
Omega-9 is one fatty acid that our body can produce and is not too important to add to your diet, but the benefits of omega-9 is that it protecting the heart and stops the oxidation of cholesterol. Keep in mind each and every child is different and acquire different types of diet.
Every child is unique in their own way. Health and happiness for the child is the ultimate aim or goal and we need to enrich their lives through being there for them.
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