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Saudi Pharm J. 2013 Jul;21(3):233-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jsps.2012.10.001. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

The role of nutraceuticals in the management of autism.

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Consultant Clinical Pharmacist, P.O. Box 1627, Hail 81441, Saudi Arabia.


Autism and related disorders are increasingly prevalent behavioral syndromes of impaired verbal and nonverbal communication and socialization owing to neurodevelopmental abnormalities. The most recent estimate for the prevalence of autistic disorders is about 1% on a global scale. Etiology of autism is multifactorial and multidimensional that makes therapeutic intervention even harder. Heterogeneity of genetic factors, oxidative stress, autoimmune mechanism, and epigenetic mechanisms complicate the nature of pathogenesis of the disease. Nutraceutical approach to treat this disease is a promising strategy, especially in some areas, it is more attractive than others. This review critically analyzes the roles of vitamins and cofactors, dietary modifications and gut abnormalities, probiotics and prebiotics, phytochemicals, and environmental factors in order to determine the state of evidence in nutraceutical-based autism management practices. This article presents a systematic review of randomized- and placebocontrolled trials to examine the evidence supports the use of autism nutraceu10.1016/j.jsps.2012.10.001ticals. The results will be discussed in the light of all relevant evidence generated from other clinical and exploratory studies.


Autism; Autistic spectrum disorders; Diet; Nutraceuticals; Probiotics; Vitamins

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