cbd oil dosage for autistic children 3 years old

Fish Oil for Autism (Omega-3 and Autism)

Using fish oil for autism is a common practice and for good reason. Fish oil is considered a high-powered anti-inflammatory that can help with brain disorders, including autism. Many individuals have used it with success as part of a treatment plan to improve symptoms of autism, ADHD, anxiety, and other brain-related ailments. So, let’s look more at the connection between omega 3 and autism, and what makes it so effective in improving brain function.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil is the fat that is taken from fish, including fatty fish like mackerel, cod, herring, and tuna. Cod liver oil is harvested from the liver of codfish, as its name implies, and is also considered fish oil. One of the most beneficial components of fish oil is omega-3 fats, which make up about 30 percent of fish oil.

EPA and DHA

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the primary omega-3’s in fish oil. Both are connected to reducing inflammation and improving cognition, behavior, and mood, which supports the link between improvement in autism and fish oil. [ 1 ]

Vegan and Vegetarian Sources of Omega-3’s

Algal oil is derived from algae and is one of the few vegan sources of EPA and DHA. It can be taken in supplement form and is a good substitute for fish oil if you’re following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the most common omega-3 found in our diets, but it must be converted to EPA or DHA to be used by the body. ALA is the omega 3 found in plant sources, but only about 5% is converted to EPA and less than 0.5% is converted to DHA.[ 2 ] So, to get enough omega 3’s using only plant sources, you’ll need to consume a wide variety of sources. The best plant-based sources of ALA include chia, hemp, and flax seeds, brussels sprouts, and walnuts.

Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 vs. Omega 9

So what’s the difference between the omega fats, and why does it matter? Well, when they are out of balance, it can actually increase inflammation in the body. Here’s a breakdown of the differences in the omega fats.

Omega 3

Omega-3’s are essential fats that makeup cell membranes

The 3 types of omega 3’s are EPA, DHA, and ALA

They have been linked with reducing inflammation [ 3 ], supporting brain development,[ 4 ] and improving mental health [ 5 ].

Food sources: fatty fish, chia and flax seeds, walnuts

Omega 6

Omega-6’s are essential fats that are used for energy

These fats can be pro-inflammatory, especially when consumed in large amounts

The American diet tends to have an abundance of omega-6 fats

The recommended ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fats in the diet is 4:1 (the standard American diet has closer to 50:1!)

Food sources: Refined oils like soybean and corn oil, mayonnaise

Omega 9

Omega-9’s are not essential fats, meaning our body can make them

Eating omega-9 instead of saturated fats can have benefits for metabolic health [ 6 ]

Food sources: Olive oil, avocado oil, cashews, almonds

How does fish oil help with autism?

Research has indicated that children with autism have lower levels of omega-3’s in the body than the general population. [ 7 ] Other studies have shown that mothers with low levels of DHA are at higher risk for having babies with poor visual and neural development. [ 4 ]

With the association between low levels of omega 3 fats and increased risk for autism, various brain-related disorders have seen improvement in areas such as cognition, mood, and behavior with omega 3 supplementation.

The brain is about 60% fat, so it would make sense that fats are essential to brain function. There are numerous studies showing the impact of fish oil on brain function and development, which is a key concern in children with autism. Supplementing with fish oil is a great way to boost levels of omega-3’s and correct deficiencies, especially in children with diets lacking in good sources of omega-3’s.

What dosage of omega-3’s is best for children with autism?

The established Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for omega-3s is:

700 mg for children ages 1-3

900 mg for children ages 4-8

1200 mg for males ages 9-13

1000 mg for females ages 9-13

1600 mg for males ages 14-18

1100 mg for females ages 14-18

For children with ASD, a dose of double the DRI is usually recommended, though higher levels are commonly used. Beware of using too high of a dose, as fish oil can be a blood thinner. It’s recommended to discontinue the use of fish oil 7 days before any medical or dental procedure, as it can cause additional bleeding.

What are good food sources of omega-3’s?

Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies – Aim for 1-2 servings of fatty fish each week

Flax seeds – Try ground flax, as it is easier to digest and can be sprinkled on oatmeal or yogurt, or added to smoothies. Or try these brownies with flax .

Chia seeds – These are great added to homemade granola bars

Walnuts – Try making a trail mix with a few walnuts added in.

Which fish oil is the best brand for autism?

There are SO many supplements to choose from when it comes to omega 3’s, so here are some of my favorites based on quality and reliability.

When using fish oil for autism, the key is a balanced approach. While supplements can make a big impact, it is equally important to focus on a diet that offers whole, nutrient-dense foods, along with food sources of omega-3’s. Finding a few good fish recipes (like these salmon burgers!) can be helpful to get you started, and working on reducing processed foods that are high in refined oils (omega-6 fats) can be beneficial as well, in addition to finding a high-quality fish oil supplement.

Need Autism Diet Support?

BLOG WRITTEN BY KALEE LUNDMARK, MS, RDN

Kalee Lundmark is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and creator of The Crowded Table blog, where she shares family-friendly recipes focused on whole, nourishing foods the whole family will love.

You can find her on her website The Crowded Table

References:

[1] Kidd PM. Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, behavior, and mood: clinical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids. Altern Med Rev. 2007;12(3):207-27.

[2] Plourde M, Cunnane SC. Extremely limited synthesis of long chain polyunsaturates in adults: implications for their dietary essentiality and use as supplements. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2007;32(4):619-34.

[3] Calder PC. n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(6 Suppl):1505S-1519S.

[4] Innis SM. Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain. Brain Res. 2008;1237:35-43.

[5] Dinan T, Siggins L, Scully P, O’brien S, Ross P, Stanton C. Investigating the inflammatory phenotype of major depression: focus on cytokines and polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Psychiatr Res. 2009;43(4):471-6.

[6] Garg A. High-monounsaturated-fat diets for patients with diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;67(3 Suppl):577S-582S.

[7] Parletta N, Niyonsenga T, Duff J. Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Correlations with Symptoms in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Controls. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(5):e0156432.

CBD and Autism

More and more parents are coming out and telling their stories of how their autistic children, as well as their own lives, are improved by the use of Cannabis products. I’m dedicating this article on CBD and autism to my wonderful grandson (age 14) who suffers from autism, so this subject is very dear to my heart.

I hope you get as much from it as I have researched the subject further. This article relates to adults living with autism as well as children and their dedicated parents.

Subjects discussed include cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids such as THC that have also been found best to help improve the quality of life for autistic patients. I will be covering the following list of topics:

Current Statistics on Autism

In March 2014, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data regarding autism in the United States. This research showed that 1 in 68 children as having (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Currently, the worldwide statistics show that there has been a 300% increase in children diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder).

Over 3.6 million people in the United States of America live with some form of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

The population of children afflicted increased by 119.4% in the 10 years from 2000 to 2010.

As of June 2017, about 1% of the world population is estimated to have ASD. This equates to approximately 75 million people.

Estimated cost of autism services in the U.S. is conservatively estimated to exceed $350 billion each year and clearly increasing. Of that cost, the majority of the expense is in adult services. Approximately 75% of ASD sufferers are male.

How CBD Works?

The Cannabis Connection to Autism

Many people are now familiar with the videos of children with seizure disorders being calmed and treated completely with Cannabis. Similarly, we are beginning to see more and more “anecdotal evidence” that the CB2 receptor is found to help ‘connect’ CBD and autism.

In fact, a 2013 study at the Second University in Naples, Italy in association with the Medical School at Stanford University in California found that a malfunctioning or otherwise unhealthy endocannabinoid system may contribute to autism.

The Autism Research Institute has described the use of medical marijuana as has improved symptoms such as “anxiety, aggression, panic disorder, generalized rage, tantrums, property destruction, and self-injurious behavior”.

The aforementioned 2013 study in Italy by Dr’s Piomelli and Manzoni has revealed critically important discoveries about the “Bliss Molecule” anandamide and how Cannabis compounds like CBD and THC can be used to stimulate imbalances in the body’s endocannabinoid system while directly helping to treat autism patients in the process.

They both consider Cannabis as an optimal contributor to scientific approaches to the disorder.

The endocannabinoid system is not only important in regulating healthy behavior, it is now being shown to improve dysfunctional behaviors characterized in autistic patients. Our body’s endocannabinoid system also produces oxytocin which is essential in learning and social behavior. The chaos characterized by the Autism spectrum appears to be calmed significantly by inducing natural cannabinoids to our systems.

According to Dr. Bernard D. Rimland from the Autism Research Institute, the research and studies all show the need to take advantage of ”relatively safe drug like marijuana… The reports we are seeing from parents indicate that medical marijuana often works when no other treatments, drug or non-drug, have helped.”

Studies done recently by researchers at the University of California has confirmed the healing properties of CBD . They further state that their research shows that CBD works against further brain function degradation and has evidence of powerful neuroprotective properties. CBD has also been found to regulate emotion and focus specifically related to their studies on autistic patients.

Israeli scientists like Dr. Adi Eran are leading the clinical studies and trials for Cannabis as a major cure for Autism among autistic children and teenagers. One of the takeaways from the study has been that cannabis oil rich in CBD is proving out to be the most effective and the best CBD for autism which means that it is not necessary for the patients to have the psychoactive effects (or “high”) or the undesirable and unhealthy side-effects.

Hippocratic Oath

… or Hypocritical Practice?

Although the folksy mythology surrounding the Physician’s Hippocratic Oath to “cause no harm” is surely alive in theory, but is it in practice? Clearly, the answer is no and it’s past time to deal with it head-on. My direct involvement with the medical industry has enlightened me to a different reality and experience from what I had hoped.

The leading cause of death in America in 2017 is not “street drugs”. In fact it never was. However, it is a well-documented fact that the leading cause of death in America is from prescription drugs.

And they continue to wreak havoc on the ignorant and the addicted.

Apparently, most physicians are simply too afraid of their patrons pulling their licenses to practice medicine properly and according to their own “Oath”… another A.M.A. racket played out at the public’s expense.

Well, alert the impotent and “fake” modern media when I point out that some things never change regardless of 44 States voting otherwise . The Feds want to put us all in prison. Meanwhile, physician’s claim they are only applying the core paradigm of medical care in the context of prescribing these drugs for relieving pain.

Physicians and Big Pharma conglomerates continue to produce and prescribe even more dangerous drugs with horrendous and even deadly side effects.

And now, they want to control this “weed”. But I believe they know they can’t keep up this charade much longer. The truth is now coming out with higher velocity.

So just like here at Cannabis Animus, the mounting “anecdotal evidence” from parents, family, friends, and society in general. It IS BEING SHARED with our fellow Americans in spite of the hypocritical behavior of our bureaucratic regulators, rogue drug enforcement agencies, most physicians, and medical industry leaders.

So Why No Help for Autism?

Does it seem hard to imagine why we are talking about Medical Cannabis and improving neurologic-related disease while the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) controls the biggest black market valve ever measured?

By simply classifying the entire Cannabis plant as a Schedule 1 Narcotic , these ignorant or ignoble “agents” consider equivalent in “danger” to heroin and methamphetamine… end of discussion according to the new U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.

Perhaps one of the world’s top neuroscientists and researchers of the endocannabinoid system puts it best. Dr. Daniele Piomelli reminds us that “anecdotes should not be dismissed… an anecdote is a pointer. It is something that suggests something needs to be either proven or disproven.”

Seems like common sense to me and you, but not to the U.S. Federal government and the American medical-industrial complex. We have observed for decades now how they work hand in hand, one washing the other whenever necessary, and now they want ultimate control over the Cannabis plant itself.

Government Propaganda vs. Clinical Research

The old “Catch 22” effect is evidenced again when we look at the bigger picture of medical research limitations imposed by the Federal government.

The lingering effects from decades of government propaganda, misinformation campaigns, and ignorant talking-heads like Barbra Bush and Nancy Regan are still alive and killing.

And until 20019, we had Jeff Sessions as Attorney General of the U.S., who believes all Cannabis products should be prohibited from cultivation, use, or medical research.

Would it even make a difference if the subject of Autism and CBD therapy was even more deeply researched and patients evaluated?

Since there have been so many funding liabilities, discouragement, and negative leverage applied by the Federal Government on medical Cannabis research in America, there have been relatively few U.S.-based clinical studies on Cannabis and Autism or CBD and autism specifically.

However, there is mounting anecdotal evidence coming from thousands of parents, families, and physicians of people all over the world suffering from the disorder. They report that Cannabis and its cannabinoids like CBD and THC clearly help to improve communication, social interaction, and general behavior positively and noticeably.

Caregivers claim it is helping children, adolescents and adults with autism become happier, lead higher quality lives, and exhibit much-welcomed behavioral improvements.