A is for Autism and Vitamin A

And Aspberger’s, ADD, and ADHD! 🙂

On my morning walk with Kate, I listened to the most fascinating and moving lecture by Dr. Mary Megson, MD. She is a pediatrician who has been working with autistic children and seeing absolutely miraculous results with nutrition.

I was literally moved to tears listening to this woman speak. And totally dumbfounded. The connections she is making, the healing that is happening. It’s nothing short of incredible. In fact, I was so entranced by this lecture that I walked for over an hour! Poor Kate was home late for her morning nap.

She was talking about how vitamin A deficiency plays a role in causing autism. She explains physiologically why the lack of vitamin A and other nutrients causes problems with vision and language. She explains how autistic children see the world, and why they behave the way they do (the stimming, the flapping, the lack of eye contact). She explains what the physiological reasons are for those behaviors. She explains how nutritional deficiencies cause these behaviors — every single one.

There’s lots of scientific talk in it (some of it went over my head) but hang in there because the stories she tells are incredible.

She told one story about an 18-year-old girl who went to get her vaccinations for college. After the vaccinations, suddenly any bright light was very painful to her. Her father had to carry her out of the office. She had to stay in bed in a dark room for 6 months. Her father did tons of research and read about the vitamin A connection. He started giving her cod liver oil and within 3 days, she could tolerate light again. (She’s now doing fine — totally returned to normal.)

She told another story of a man she met who was in his late sixties. He said for the first 30-some-odd years of his life, he was autistic — and for the next thirty or so years he was just dyslexic. She said, “What did you do?” He said, “I ate a lot of fish.”

Fish! Vitamin A!

These stories are especially encouraging to me because these people were not children when they recovered — they were adults.

I can’t do her stories justice. You have to listen.

And yes, it fits with what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and Donna Gates are saying about how problems with abnormal gut flora fits with autism — because an inability to absorb nutrients causes deficiency! They both say you have to supplement with cod liver oil, too. And Dr. Megson also says you have to heal the gut with probiotics.

Here is a taste of Dr. Megson — this is an excerpt from her website. (You can download the PDFs here)

Our early experience with treatment with natural cis forms of Vitamin A in Cod Liver Oil (CLO) in these autistic children, followed by stimulation of blocked acetylcholine receptors for neurotransmitters affected with a blockage of G-alpha pathways in the cell, is promising. There are dramatic, immediate improvements in language, vision, attention and social interaction in some of these children, as evidenced by the following case reports.

My earliest evidence came from a ten-year-old boy diagnosed with autism by DSM-IV criteria (20). The patient’s parents suspect he has been reading since age four but his inability to communicate made this unverifiable. Over an eight-year period of regular visits I had never heard him speak. Standardized IQ tests revealed moderate mental retardation. His mother developed night blindness and hypothyroidism in college and had responded well to Vitamin A and thyroid hormone replacement. The patient’s mother’s sister was diagnosed in infancy with gluten enteropathy that had improved on a gluten free diet. She has had lifelong dry eyes and is night blind (treated with amber glasses.)

For these and other reasons I started the boy on cod liver oil (5,000 IU of Vitamin A, given in 2500 IU/b.i.d.) and a gluten free diet. After one week, he began to sit farther from the television and to notice paintings on the walls at home. He had always gone out of his way to follow the sidewalk and driveway to meet the school bus. On Vitamin A, he began to run across the grass directly from the front door to the school bus. After three weeks, he was given a single dose of Urocholine, an alpha muscarinic receptor agonist, to increase bile and pancreatic secretions and indirectly stimulate hippocampal retinoid receptors. It has minimal cardiac effect, is FDA approved, has been used safely in children since the 1970’s for reflux, and does not cross the blood-brain barrier, unlike secretin (21). It stimulates post- synaptic cell membranes via receptors for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the parasympathetic system.

Thirty minutes after administration of the Urocholine, the patient, who was sitting in a chair, swung his feet over the side, pointed to a glass candy jar on my shelf and said, “May I have the red Jolly Rancher® please?” He had read the label on the candy in the clear jar. These were the first words he had spoken in eight years, and the first proof that he could read. We took him outside and he said, “The leaves, the leaves on the trees are green! I see! I see!” When I asked to take his picture he looked at the camera, smiled and waved. When he left the office I said, “See you later.” He asked, “What time?”

In this child’s case, after several weeks of treatment with Vitamin A in CLO 3500 IU/day, the Urocholine acted like a switch. When absorbed, he immediately became socially engaged, made excellent eye contact, hugged his mother tightly and said, “I love you so much,” looking at her face.

At that point we both realized that this child had a blocked pathway. The change in language and social interaction was dramatic and immediate. Yet he reverted to the pre-treatment state of silence when the dose wore off. On lower daily doses of Urocholine (12.5 mg bid) along with the Vitamin A, his language and social interactions have continued to progress, albeit slowly. Source

If you have autism (Anna, I thought of you!), have an autistic child or relative, or know someone who is autistic or has an autistic child, you must download this lecture. It’s $13 to download the mp3 on the Weston A. Price Foundation website. (They have it labeled as Dr. Campbell McBride but that is incorrect. It is Dr. Megson.)

This lecture is truly mind blowing. It made me want to go back to school and become a pediatrician.

PS: April (another A!) is Autism Awareness Month. Please spread the word on your blog if you feel so inclined.

PS2: A is also for Anna. And Ann Marie!

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

16 thoughts on “A is for Autism and Vitamin A

  1. I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I’ve been reading for a while now. I have been a WAPF member since 2002. I have a son who was damaged by vaccines and would have been labeled autistic, but is recovering well.

    Yes, nutritional deficiencies are a large piece of the problem. But, for many of these children (my son included) the body is damaged so much that they cannot absorb even supplements. I think that perhaps part of why and how fish oil works so well is because it actually reduces inflammation. This allows healing to begin. And healing must occur to optimize supplementation and nutritional absorption whether from food or supplements. Like you said, healing the gut with probiotics is critical. Once the gut is healed, what a wheel barrow of supplements couldn’t do, a thimble of supplements can.

    I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. AM,

    Just this morning, I took my first dose of CLO!!! Yikes, I’m almost trembling because of the coincidence. Two days ago, I bought a small bottle (probably not the best brand) at the health food store because everyone is raving about CLO. When we get our government refund check, I will invest in a carton of the brand you recommended.

    From what I’ve been finding in my own experience and research, many Aspie (Asperger’s) women suffer from hormonal issues and autoimmune conditions. Part of it may be the deficiencies and malabsorption of nutrients (like not being able to synthesize enough cholesterol, which in turn creates most hormones within the body.) Another link, which I’m still researching, is sugar sensitivity almost paramount to a constant pre-diabetic state.

    I have been drinking kombucha for about 10 days and goat milk for a week. My sinuses are remarkably clear (even in spring time!) and my gut systems are running more smoothly. While this is not the immediate recovery the Drs. you mentioned described, I still feel some improvements. Maybe the CLO will help more. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂


  3. P.S.-

    Ok, I was just reading the abstract you linked to from Dr. Megson. Would you believe my father has night-blindness, had thyroiditis as an adult and my mother has hypothyroidism, IBS, and a slew of other things? And I was treated for hyperthyroidism? Holy Crap Moment.


  4. Hi, wilsonclan!

    “Once the gut is healed, what a wheel barrow of supplements couldn’t do, a thimble of supplements can.”

    Wow — so well said!

    You are right. As Kaayla Daniel always says, you are not what you eat but what you eat, digest, absorb and eliminate.

    Ann Marie

  5. Anna, that’s amazing!

    I was just so thrilled and thought of you when I heard the story of the 69 year old who was “only dyslexic” and not autistic anymore.

    But you know it took him years to recover. Dr. Megson said it can take 1-2 years, and can take longer.

    I think you will start seeing some improvements thought. That is usually how it happens.

    What are your symptoms of autism? I am curious. When did you get diagnosed?

    And do you still have hyperthyroid? Have you been treated for it in any way?

    Make sure you take enough CLO. You need 5000 IU of vitamin A per day. I have been taking than that. I usually take 5000-15,000 IU of vitamin A. Which means I take 2-3 teaspoons of the Quantum brand. I’m taking more right now to help my thyroid and because I’m rebuilding nutritional stores after my pregnancy.

    Hugs to you –
    Ann Marie

  6. I was diagnosed in August 2007 (in my late twenties). It came as a relief or a nice ribbon to tie up so many loose ends for me. The things that bother me the most (and what drove me to seek help) is not having the socializing abilities. Making and keeping friends is difficult. This is like the final product at the end of an assembly line, like many symptoms of other disorders.

    The other issues, like autoimmune junk, are also tying into the Autism cluster. I was treated for the hyperthyroidism three years ago and have been relatively ok since. [No need for synthroid.] I still have anti-thyroid antibodies, however, so I need to be vigilant.

    As for other autism-related things, they are smaller, and really aren’t as limiting as with other people. For instance, I have trouble understanding when someone is joking or not, when they are speaking. Written humorous language I can pick up, no problem. Sensitivities to sounds (busy restaurants are exhausting), light sleeper unless I wear earplugs, dyscalculia (like dyslexia, except with mathematical concepts), minor obsessions like with my sleeping arrangements, sensitivities to certain smells, forgetting about people I have not seen recently.

    The positive sides of being autistic: superb memory for details (even when I do not want to remember certain details), perfect pitch, creativity galore, extreme faithfulness in the relations I have been able to maintain, thinking visually, compassion for those who suffer (yes, we do have empathy!), enthusiasm for learning and living in general. Child-likeness. For some reason, animals and children adore me. Shoulder-shrug.

    Now if I could shed some of the negatives and keep the positives, life would be grand…


  7. In her lecture Dr. Megson spoke of one autistic child who, after treatment, was invited to her first slumber party and joined the swim team. She explains the problems with socialization and how they are physiological.

  8. Ann Marie,

    GREAT POST! I’ve been reading more recently, too, about the findings of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – it just drives me insane that doctors don’t know this stuff. And then trying to get people (with Autistic children) to realize they may be missing a big piece of the puzzle is even more frustrating! So many people are coming at them with various things they should try, they’re probably too overwhelmed to look into one more thing.

    I’m going to link to your post in my blog soon.


  9. Hi, Kelly!

    I know it can be frustrating.

    Lately, I’ve started asking God to bring me the people who are ready for help. 🙂

    Not everyone’s ready, you see. Because to admit that it’s food — that it’s our food supply. I guess that is pretty scary for a lot of people. They don’t want to have to change everything. They want it to be easy. But also — they just don’t want to believe that it could be that bad.

    But that IS what it comes down to.

    Did you read Jenny McCarthy’s book? Man, it was good. I think she is helping a lot of people with that book.

    Exciting times!

  10. I came across your posts when searcging for GF recipee. My 7 year old has ADD type symptoms. She has been GF for 4 months and we are treating her for an overgrowth of yeast with nystatin. She also takes multi vitamins and fish oil (Barleans lemon swirl) daily. It is difficult to understand the gut connectin but from what I have read and researched there is a link. I am doing my best to eliminate presevatives, food dyes, etc and feed her the best diet possible. She has difficulty concentrating and staying on task at school. She is very bright and allof her teachers have described her as gifted (very articulate, reads way above grade level, creative. . ) What about probiotics? I have been told that I shouldn’tgive them with the nystatin???

    I appreciate any comments and am enjoying learning from others with simiar situations. We are also doing neurofeedback and seeing some improvements.



  11. @ Deann

    Check out https://www.gapsdiet.com

    Also I recommend cod liver oil not just fish oil. Kids need the vitamin A & D which is in cod liver oil.

    I personally would do probiotics NOT nystatin. Nystatin kills the yeast but it doesn’t do anything to help the good bacteria. If you build the good bacteria, that will help kill the yeast naturally.

  12. Hi, I am amazed reading this article, I was looking for Urocholine in Google but nothing appears. Do you any source or website where I can buy this? Please let me know. My daughter has Speech delay and developmental issues, she is 5, and she struggles when is around kids.

    Thank you


  13. Hi Cheeseslave,

    I stumbled upon this article from the vitamin d council and i'm wondering if you have some comments about it.


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