In 2010, Canadian researchers studied the effect EMPowerplus, an all-natural formula of 36 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids, on people with autism. Their tests showed positive results and were published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
Autism spectrum disorder is often accompanied by self-injurious behaviour, aggression, and tantrums, symptoms that have reportedly improved with micronutrient treatment.
Researchers took advantage of naturally occurring differences in parental preferences for treatment approaches. The EMPowerplus group (44 participants ranging in age from 2 to 28) asked for treatment without pharmaceuticals, and researchers matched their records with those of 44 similar children whose families requested conventional treatment (medication group).
Both groups improved on both the Childhood Autism Rating Scale and the Childhood Psychiatric Rating Scale. Both groups also exhibited significant decreases in total Aberrant Behavior Checklist scores.
Compared to the medication group, the EMPowerplus group improved significantly more in total Aberrant Behavior Checklist scores, they had lower self-injurious behaviour intensity, and they improved more on the Clinical Global Impressions scale.
Researchers pointed out that “it is difficult to determine whether the observed changes were exerted through improvement in mood disorder or through an independent effect on autistic disorder.”
However they also noted that there were several advantages to treatment with micronutrients:
- Lower activity level
- Less social withdrawal
- Less anger
- Better spontaneity with the examiner
- Less irritability
- Lower intensity SIB
- Markedly fewer adverse events
- Less weight gain