Super Nu Thera
All studies in which vitamin B6 has been evaluated as a treatment for autistic children have provided positive results; this is a rather remarkable record.
Research in the use of vitamin B6 with autistic children began in the 1960's. In 1966 two British neurologists, A.F. Heeley and G.E. Roberts, reported that 11 of 19 autistic children excreted abnormal metabolites in their urine when given a tryptophan load test. Giving these children a single 30-mg tablet of vitamin B6 normalized their urine. A German investigator, V.E. Bonisch, reported in 1968 that 12 of 16 autistic children had shown considerable improvement when given high dosage levels (100 mg. to 600 mg. per day) of vitamin B6. Three of Bonisch's patients spoke for the first time after the vitamin B6 was administered in this open clinical trial.
The Autism Research Institute in the U.S.A. carried out a large-scale study, on over 200 autistic children, using megadose quantities of vitamin B6. The children were living with their parents, and each was medically supervised by the family's own physician.
At the end of the four-month study it was clear that vitamin B6 brought about remarkable improvement. Between 30% and 40% of the children showed significant improvement. A few of the children showed minor side effects (irritability, sound sensitivity and bed-wetting), but these quickly cleared up when additional magnesium was supplied, and the magnesium confirmed additional benefits.
Professors Enoch Callaway of the University of California Medical Center at San Francisco and Pierre Dreyfus of the University of California Medical Center at Davis initiated a second experimental study in the use of megavitamin therapy on autistic children. This time concentrating on vitamin B6 and magnesium. The double-blind placebo controlled crossover experiment utilized 16 autistic children, and again produced statistically significant results. For most children dosage levels of B6 ranged between 300mg. and 500 mg. per day. Several hundred mg. per day of magnesium and a multiple-B tablet were also given, to guard against B6-induced deficiencies of these other nutrients. (In all probability, the temporary numbness and tingling resulting from B6 megadoses, reported by Schaumburg et al, were the result of induced deficiencies of other nutrients caused by taking B6 alone in enormous amounts.)
The children showed a remarkably wide range of benefits. There was better eye contact, less self-stimulatory behavior, more interest in the world around them, fewer tantrums, more speech, and in general the child became more normal, although they were not cured.
People vary enormously in their need for B6. The children who showed improvement under B6 improved because they needed extra B6. Autism is thus in many cases a vitamin B6 dependency syndrome.
After completing this study, Professor Callaway visited France, where he persuaded Professor Gilbert LeLord and his colleagues to undertake additional B6 and magnesium research on autistic children. The French researchers, although skeptical that anything as innocuous as a vitamin could influence a disorder as profound as autism, became believers after their first, reluctantly undertaken, experiment on 44 hospitalized children. They have since published six studies evaluating the use of vitamin B6, with and without additional magnesium, on autistic children and adults. Their studies typically used as much as a gram a day of vitamin B6 and a half a gram of magnesium.
LeLord and his colleagues measured not only the behavior of the autistic children, but also their excretion of homovanillic acid (HVA) and other metabolites in the urine. Additionally, they have done several studies in which the effects of vitamin B6 and/or magnesium on the brain were analyzed. All of these studies have produced positive results.
LeLord et al. recently summarized their results on 91 patients: 47% improved, 42% showed no improvement, and 11% worsened. They noted that " in all our studies, no long term side effects were observed...."
Several recent studies by two groups of U.S. investigators, Thomas Gualtieri et al., at the University of North Carolina, and George Ellman et al., at Sonoma State Hospital in California, have also shown positive results on autistic patients.
While no patient has been cured with the vitamin B6 and magnesium treatment, there have been many instances where remarkable improvement has been achieved. In one such case an 18-year-old autistic patient was about to be evicted from the third mental hospital in his city. Even massive amounts of drugs had no effect on him, and he was considered too violent and assaultative to be kept in the hospital, the psychiatrist tried the B6 and magnesium approach as a last resort. The young man calmed down very quickly. The psychiatrist reported at a meeting that she had recently visited the family and had found the young man to now be a pleasant and easy-going young autistic person who sang and played his guitar.
Another example: a frantic mother phoned to ask for information on sheltered workshops in her city, since her 25-year-old autistic son was about to be expelled for unmanageable behavior. We knew of no alternate placements for her son, but suggested the mother to try Super Nu-Thera, a supplement containing B6, magnesium and other nutrients. Within a few weeks she called, and excitedly told us that her son was doing well now.
In view of the consistent findings showing the safety and efficacy of the nutrients B6 and magnesium in treating autistic individuals, it certainly seems that this safe and rational approach would be worth a try.
Health Concern Ltd
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Last updated: June 29th, 2002.
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