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Are Autistic Brains Getting Rusty or Oxidized? Analysis of almost Five thousand children

The incidence of autism continues to grow in the USA and around the world. Oxidative stress or oxidation is like the development of rust, but instead of being in a car, it is in the brain of children with autism. Oxidative stress affects fats and the brain is 60% fat. There is evidence of high levels of oxidation in the brain of ASD children.

New research published in Translational Psychiatry revealed that in a sample of 4928 ASD children and 4181 healthy children, the concentration of different oxidative stress indicators (rust) was significantly high in autism than in healthy children (1). In other words, oxidation (rusting) is happening in a major way in children with autism.

Some of the indicators that were high include homocysteine (brain toxin) and oxidized glutathione. Both indicators can be easily be fixed with nutrition. For example, homocysteine is a brain and heart toxin that is associated with low levels of B-complex vitamins from food or supplements.

Reduced glutathione and vitamin D, which are crucial for brain health, were significantly low in children with autism. These levels can be replenished with nutrition or dietary supplementation.

What Can We do?

*Fix the Diet

Oxidative stress tends to increase with fried foods, junk food, and a high carbohydrate diet.

  • Increase your intake of organic fruits and vegetables.

  • Increase your food intake with a high healthy fat content like salmon, flaxseed, nuts, chia seeds, etc.

  • Avoid sodas and processed foods.

  • Avoid salty foods like bread and flour products.


  • Vitamin D supplementation can decrease oxidative stress and increase glutathione (2).

  • Antioxidants can benefit high levels of oxidative stress

  • B-Complex vitamins are helpful for higher levels of homocysteine (brain toxin).

Formula of Success

It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at can learn from it. So, go ahead and make mistakes. Because, remember, that's where you find success.

Thomas J Watson

Founder of IBM

Have a great day!

David Rivas, RPh, MSc, CCN

Pharmacist and Autism Expert

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Before initiating any dietary changes, including supplementations, always consult with your primary care physician


(1): Chen, L., Shi, X. J., Liu, H., Mao, X., Gui, L. N., Wang, H., & Cheng, Y. (2021). Oxidative stress marker aberrations in children with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 87 studies (N= 9109). Translational Psychiatry, 11(1), 1-10.

(2): Sepidarkish, M., Farsi, F., Akbari-Fakhrabadi, M., Namazi, N., Almasi-Hashiani, A., Hagiagha, A. M., & Heshmati, J. (2019). The effect of vitamin D supplementation on oxidative stress parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Pharmacological Research, 139, 141-152.

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