Dr. Dan Rossignol gave a presentation at last month’s Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) conference in Costa Mesa, CA, where he presented the latest findings for a system he created to rank various autism treatments, including nutritional supplements. I was quite impressed by the meticulous detail that has gone into his undertaking. The adjective ‘biomedical’ is thrown around a lot these days, sometimes with a hint of skepticism. With these rankings, Dr. Rossignol offers a just-the-facts, unbiased glance at what actually has scientific credibility behind it, and I think it’s important for parents of kids on the autism spectrum to be in the know.
Dr. Rossignol is himself a pediatrician dedicated to the research and practice of new treatments for autism, ultimately giving weight to integrative methods through evidence-based medicine. (Key words here: Evidence-based medicine.) He originally developed the ranking system six years ago, utilizing data from all available published scientific studies of supplements and medications relating to the field of autism. Points were assigned for the strength of each study, ranging from single-case reports (1 point each) to the holy grail of medical research – randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (10 points each). He then assigned letter-grades, taking into account the overall amount, quality and consistency of results.
As of July of 2015, 368 studies have been identified and reviewed, 112 of which specifically test the efficacy of nutritional supplements as a treatment for ASDs. I can’t share with you his latest data until it’s been published, but I can highlight the supplements that have consistently made the grade both then and now.
My disclaimer: Just because these are available over-the-counter doesn’t entitle you to play doctor! I recommend that you seek guidance from a real one before adding anything new to your child’s protocol.
That said, below are the top 15 along with their 2009 rankings. Only a slice of your whole food grocer’s vitamin aisle has been tested, so omission of a particular supplement might simply mean that it hasn’t been studied yet. But inclusion on this list means there is medical recognition in at least one study.
Keep your eyes peeled for an update from us once this year’s update has been published. Information is power!