A recent clinical trial suggests that supplementation with the B vitamins methylcobalamin and folinic acid may benefit autistic children.* Scientists believe that metabolic abnormalities underlie some neurobehavioral conditions such as autism, and that targeted nutrients may be therapeutic.
Investigators at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute treated 40 autistic children for three months with methylcobalamin (a form of vitamin B12 that is active in the central nervous system) and folinic acid, which has vitamin activity equivalent to folic acid.
At the study’s onset, autistic subjects had significantly different levels of biomarkers associated with oxidative stress and detoxification capacity, compared with healthy control subjects. After treatment, these biomarkers improved significantly, although not to the level seen in unaffected control children. Glutathione levels also increased significantly among autistic subjects.
“The significant improvements… suggest that targeted nutritional intervention with methylcobalamin and folinic acid may be of clinical benefit in some children who have autism,” researchers concluded.