Let me talk to you about something called creatine. Creatine is an autism supplement product that actually helps to build what is called creatine phosphate in our muscle tissue. Creatine is a fuel source that our cells use, our muscle tissue uses, our cells in our body use as a fuel source for energy production. Our cells produce a tremendous amount of energy through something called ATP. ATP is the energy currency in our body and our cells use a tremendous amount of it in order to do the metabolic work needed to keep us healthy and alive. Creatine is actually created as a byproduct or a side chain reaction of something called methylation. We know that in Autism methylation problems are quite prevalent. So when you have a methylation deficiency or problem within the methylation cycle, creatine may be one of those things not being produced in an adequate amount. So creatine helps as I mentioned, helps with energy in the cell.
Creatine is also very useful for energy production in the brain. One of the areas that is has been useful for is to help, in many cases, with expressive language production. We know that many kids on the spectrum have problems with language, particularly expressive language. So creatine is something that can be useful in those cases. Creatine as a supplement has been used for years by athletes, in fact athletes will use creatine as a way to bulk up muscle tissue and to create more muscle power or muscle energy through their athletic activities.
We have seen creatine helpful for kids who have low muscle tone, poor coordination, whether it is gross motor, fine motor, usually the gross motor skills tend to be improved with creatine. It comes in a powder and the dosing range is fairly large. You are talking between 300 mg – 1000 mg / kg per day which can be quite a significant amount of creatine to give. It is fairly easy to give and I haven’t really seen any type of negative side effects from it. Although when you do take creatine it is important to keep yourself hydrated because it does flow through the kidneys and you want to make sure the body is hydrated in order to flush out extra creatine that is not being used.
So think of creatine as something to be used and helpful for kids who have low muscle tone, low energy, low metabolic energy, very lethargic, sometimes in expressive speech areas. Usually what I will do with kids who are 3, 4, 5, 6 years old I’ll be conservative in my dosing. I may start with 500 mg twice per day then work up to 1000 mg twice per day. In some cases I have gone upwards of 5000 mg or even 10000 mg per day. On average anywhere between 1500 mg to 3000 mg per day is about where I’m having most kids as their target dose. Creatine is a useful supplement and it can be very helpful in just supporting the underlying metabolic aspect, particularly muscle metabolism in the body and again as well in brain chemistry and brain energy too.
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