Many patients have been asking me about the recent study on broccoli extract (sulforaphane) and autism, and how to find this supplement. Let me sum up my search so far:
1. The study is promising, but this extract does not cure autism. When test subjects went off of the extract, their gains went into decline.
2. They kept the extract used in the study in the freezer, leading me to believe it is easily oxidized or otherwise inactivated
3. Another study showed broccoli sprouts are way more active than most supplements, meaning you have no way of knowing if the supplement you purchased is active or not
4. The activity of sulforaphane is inactivated by heat and cooking, so any supplement made with a process that heats the extract also likely inactivates it.
4. One supplement maker warns not to use capsules filled with a brown powdered extract, as it is likely inactive. Capsules filled with a properly handled extract should be bright green.
5. No dosage has been established yet, although the study in question used 50 micromol for <100 pounds of body weight, 100 micromol for 101-199 pounds, and 150 micromols for > 200 pounds of body weight. I am used to working with milligrams and micrograms, I have no idea yet how much a “micromol” is. Please do not guess at how much to give your child.
6. Sulforaphane may interact with medications that are changed by the liver. Some medications that are changed by the liver include clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pentazocine (Talwin), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others.
7. You cannot get enough sulforaphane to match the levels in the study by eating broccoli.
8. I do think it is safe to consume broccoli sprouts, but I don’t know yet if you can match the amount by eating broccoli sprouts; will look into it.
9. Please do not rush out and buy broccoli extract supplements yet. Let the science unfold a little longer.
Translating Knowledge Into Action…Because Awareness Isn’t Enough!
Has your child been diagnosed with Autism, Asperger syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder or PDD? Do you feel lost, overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Tired of feeling you haven’t done enough for your child, and all that controversy over vaccines?
If you’re like us, and just want your child to be healthy, happy and their own personal best, welcome to the home of the Un-Prescription! Serving families in twelve states, our mission is to provide supportive therapies and relieve the misery of constipation, sleep disruption and irritability in children and adults on the Autism Spectrum.
Over twelve years ago when Dr. Lintala was trying to find help for her sons, there wasn’t much out there. Nowadays, there is so much information available that parents are either trying anything and everything they find on the internet,( sometimes all at once!) or feel confused and frozen with indecision as to where to start. Our unique approach cuts through all the “autism clutter”, and gives you a clear and logical natural approach. You will know exactly what needs to be done from first to last, and we coach you at every step. And everything we do is based on common sense, clinical experience and research.
We also believe in an integrated treatment approach, and will cooperate with your other doctors and therapists so you can create a team of professionals to best help your child.
Many families love our three-step calming program, the “Un-Prescription” for their aggressive, constipated and sleep-deprived child. It helps many children and adults sleep better, behave better and balances out all those GI symptoms. It often is the catalyst for improved language and affection, better eye contact and more socialness.
Is your child on “The Unholy Three”? That is, Clonidine for sleep, Miralax for constipation and Risperidone for behavior? Did you know that The American Academy of Pediatrics, in its publication, “Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders”, recommends that children with autism who present with aggression, GI symptoms and disturbed sleep patterns be assessed and treated for hidden sources of pain and inflammation, including the GI tract, before being given psychiatric medications? You’ll find the same advice in the stunning consensus paper by Dr. Tim Buie, a pediatric gastroenterologist of Massachusetts General/Harvard fame, along with 27 other experts.
We are not against the use of medicines for children with autism, in fact we feel they may sometimes be necessary. However, most of these medications have an undesirable side effect – constipation. Up to 70% of those on the autism spectrum struggle with chronic constipation and/or diarrhea, and may have a painful, inflammatory condition in their GI tract causing much of their aggression, irritability, night awakenings and constipation. We do not feel that these medications should be the only treatment they are on. We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Dr. Timothy Buie of Harvard–this unsuspected, underlying source of pain, disease or distress should be treated before reaching for the prescription pad! If the underlying painful gastrointestinal distress, found in up to 70% of ASD patients, is left untreated, then you are drugging them into submission while leaving them in pain. Not fair!
The Un-Prescription Basic Treatment Protocol is one of the first protocols we use at Autism Health! for patients with these common sypmtoms, and who usually show up on the medications listed above. We see positive results in at least 3 out of 4 patients that try it. Of course, we offer much more than this, but it is an easy and effective natural approach to start with.
Serving children and adults in West Virginia and eleven other states, Autism Health! offers consultations and natural approaches to help your child feel their best and be who they are meant to be. Please note that we do not claim to treat or cure autism.
Dr. Lintala strives to offer the most up-to-date therapies that have been supported by research, and get good clinical results in her office. She offers simple, natural approaches in a supportive, friendly atmosphere. Most children show improvement, although we cannot offer any guarantees, or predict how much better any one child may feel.
70-90% of children benefit to some degree from these approaches. It may be just the boost your child needs to reach new gains in language or social skills. Many children come out of their “fog”, and get even more out of the valuable therapies you’re already doing, such as ABA, speech and occupational therapy. Many improve so much they no longer need medications such as Miralax, Clonidine and Risperdal to control their symptoms.
Dr. Lintala provides her time completely pro bono, so therapies at our center are offered at a very low cost. “Angel Money” is available to West Virginia families, and our Lending Library is free of charge. Supplements and therapies are discounted as much as possible.