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Autism Treatment – Curcumin and Phenol Sensitivity in Autism

Posted on 28 September 2010 by admin

Let me talk a little bit about the curcumin products, turmeric and phenol reactions. I’ve had some kids on the Autism spectrum who’ve actually done quite well with products like Enhansa or regular turmeric also the active ingredient curcumin in these products primarily because, at least we think, it has some type of anti-fungal or anti-bacterial effects which it’s been shown to do. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect and so some kids may benefit from that. There’s been some evidence that it helps to raise glutathione levels too. So there’s a host of benefits that can be seen with respects to these types of products.

The problem is, in certain kids, who are very sensitive to phenols, and phenols are these chemicals found in many different types of foods particularly in things like artificial colors and flavors, is they can react to them quite adversely. A lot of times kids will get hyper, sometimes they’ll get irritable, way over stimulated, so they need to come off. So if you’re starting your child on something like Enhansa or another type of turmeric product and you’re noticing that they’re immediately hyperactive, they’re irritable or just way over stimulated, you may be looking at a phenol reaction. Don’t always assume it’s going to be die-off because of yeast. It may just be the fact that they’re just intolerant to the chemicals, not that there’s anything wrong with the supplement, but their body just can’t process the phenols that are in that supplement.

In those cases, many times we’ll have parents stop that supplement for a few days and see if those symptoms go away and many times it does. I have had some kids do okay when they’re taking those things and the parents either know they have a phenol sensitivity, or suspecting it because of a reaction like that to that supplement, stopping it for a period of time, letting those symptoms disappear, and then restarting with an enzyme called No Phenol. No Phenol actually comes from Houston Enzymes, and its specific enzymes have actually helped to break down phenols. Now some kids can use No Phenol and do great, other kids use No-Phenol enzymes and still have to avoid phenol/high phenol foods, it’s all very individualized you just have to experiment with your child. But the No-Phenol in some kids seems to allow them to tolerate the Enhansa as well as some of the other turmeric products a little bit more effectively. So, both options are great, I think it’s a great remedy to try and you can certainly read more about it, I’ve got a lot of information about Enhansa specifically and turmeric on the www.autismactionplan.com website. You can certainly find out more information about it online as well. I think it’s a worth while supplement to implement for many kids, just watch out for that phenol reaction.

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"By far and away the MOST important part of our intervention program for my 8 year old daughter was your Methyl-B12 therapy. More important than speech therapy, behavior therapy, OT. Only the GFCF diet comes close, and in our case, it is very important, too."
Charlene O.



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