Biomedical Interventions
The fundamental concept driving biomedical interventions for autism is the profound interaction between the intestine and the brain. Biomedical intervention aims first to address the profound nutritional deficiencies that may be involved in the induction of autistic behaviours. These may include supplementing the metabolic methylation pathways, removing heavy metal contamination with chelating agents and/or enhancing the immune system.

Studies have shown that many people with autism have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Supporters of nutritional therapies for autism believe that taking specific vitamins and supplements can provide more nutritional balance and help lessen symptoms of autism.

Methlycobalamin vitamin B-12 shots are one supplement given to children with autism. This type of vitamin is produced by bacteria in the colon and absorbed, but it is believed that people with autism are unable to naturally absorb B-12.   Methyl B-12 is essential for proper functioning of the methylation cycle creating glutathione, which helps with detoxification of heavy metals.

Other supplements used to treat autism include magnesium and vitamin B-6, as well as a variety of antioxidants.

Vitamins and Supplements

Chelation Therapy

Many children diagnosed with autism may be less able to make glutathione, which protects cells from toxins and helps the body to remove heavy metals. Chelation therapy uses chelating agents, in the form of oral drugs or topical creams, to help remove heavy metals from the body.

Before beginning chelation therapy, blood or urine tests can be performed to test for heavy metal poisoning. Chelation therapy should be done under the supervision of a doctor, and care must be taken to avoid removing necessary minerals from the body. As chelation therapy proceeds, periodic testing tracks the amount of toxins removed from the body.

Gluten and Casein Free Diet

Many children with autism also have gastrointestinal symptoms, food allergies and maldigestion issues. To relieve these problems, one form of diet therapy is to embark on a gluten and casein free diet, which involves removing all wheat and other grain proteins, or gluten, and milk proteins, or casein from the diet.

Briefly, gluten is a protein, and so is casein. Gluten is a protein fraction found in all wheat, rye, barley, and most oat products. Casein is a protein fraction found in all dairy products. To most Autistic children, gluten and casein are the equivalent of poison. They leak into the gut, undigested, and attach to the opiate receptors of the autistic's brain. Essentially, many autistic children are "drugged" on wheat and milk products, as if they were on a morphine drip.

Although parents have been reporting a connection between autism and diet for decades, there is now a growing body of research that shows that certain foods seem to be affecting the developing brains of some children and causing autistic behaviours. This is not because of allergies, but because many of these children are unable to properly break down certain proteins.

Researchers in England, Norway, and at the University of Florida had previously found peptides (breakdown products of proteins) with opiate activity in the urine of a high percentage of autistic children. Opiates are drugs, like morphine, which affect brain function. These findings have recently been confirmed by researchers at Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. The two main offenders seem to be gluten (the protein in wheat, oats, rye and barley) and casein (milk protein.)

The gluten-free, casein-free diet is challenging, but it can make a tremendous difference. We often receive phone calls where parents break down in tears as they recount the improvements seen in their child. It is not at all uncommon to hear reports that an autistic child made eye contact with their parent for the first time, or that he/she was able to attend a "normal" school for the first time. One parent struggled to tell us that her 4 year old used to stand in a corner and beat his head against a wall, but within 4 weeks of the diet, he was able to play outside with other children. Other Diseases that can be associated with Celiac Disease include: