What Supplements Help Autism with Protein Delimma

Protein is a macro nutrition that needed by the body in large amount. It is essential for a human body in building strong bones, increasing muscles, maintaining body and brain health. If an autistic person has a health problem related to proteins, they might be recommended to eliminate certain proteins from the diet, take supplements to help digest proteins or take high quality protein supplements to increase the protein intake.

Let’s first credit what protein can benefit people with autism (same for us) before we explain why we think protein can be like madness.

Brilliant Protein Benefits of Protein

  • From hair to digestive enzyme, protein is in everything of our body. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein. There are 20 different amino acids that can make different proteins. Our body can create 11 nonessential amino acids while we need to consume foods that contain 9 essential amino acids that our body can’t make.
  • The amino acids perform all the essential duties such as building muscles, repairing tissues, sending signals between cells, creating enzymes etc. They are the building blocks for the neurotransmitters that send messages throughout the brain. There are two essential amino acids and two non-essential amino acids that are crucial for brain development and cognitive performance.
  • Protein is another source for energy when the body needs it. The liver stores amino acids as fat which can be used for energy when needed.
  • The enzymes in saliva help breakdown the protein in chewing while hydrochloric acid and other enzymes further break it down in stomach and small intestines to become absorbable single amino acids. . They take longer to digest than carbohydrates do.
  • Animal proteins and plant proteins are two main sources of protein for food. Milk (including dairy products) and eggs are included in animal proteins that are complete proteins, which provide all 9 essential amino acids for the body. On the other hand, most plant proteins from legumes or nuts are incomplete proteins that don’t provide all essential amino acids, although different plant proteins can be combined to have all essential amino acids.
  • Casein is the protein from milk and milk products and gluten is the proteins from wheat, barley, rye and their cross combinations. Both proteins are harder to be digested so they can make body feel less hungry.

Protein Madness

We call it protein madness since protein causes most food intolerance, allergies and some fatal disease.

Besides certain disease that limits a body to have protein or certain proteins, too much or too little protein intake can impose problems too.

Protein and Immune System

Protein can cause some mistakes in body’s immune system, showing as an autoimmune disorder or an allergy.

  • Amyloidosis- Amyloidosis is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by the abnormal protein amyloid. This protein is produced by bone marrow before it is deposited in tissues and organs. Although amyloidosis is not common, but it can be fatal since it affects the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system, stomach or intestines.
  • Celiac disease-This is an autoimmune disorder that the body’s immune reaction to gluten, which causes inflammation in small intestines. Symptoms of celiac disease might include fatigue, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain or constipation. It can cause malnutrition since the inflamed small intestine is not able to absorb the nutrition if the patient is not on gluten free diet.
  • Wheat Allergy- This is a condition that the body immune identifies the proteins in wheat as a thread and triggers reactions. As a result, you might get stomachache after eating bread, pasta or bread that is made from wheat.
  • Casein allergy- When the body immune system treats the protein casein as a thread, it reacts in different symptoms that might include vomit, hives, or difficulty in breathing. Casein allergy can be quite severe or even life threatening if not treated.
  • Other Common Allergies-Certain proteins also cause other common allergies. From nut allergy, pollen allergy to certain fruit allergy, they are mostly triggered by some types of proteins. Although some allergies might be more severe than others, allergy is an individual immune system reaction that there is no universal solution to eliminate certain proteins.

Protein Intolerance

Protein intolerance is a condition that the body shows an unexpected problem when digesting the proteins from food. It is commonly associated with gastrointestinal symptoms.Symptons of Protein Intolerance

  • Casein intolerance-Casein intolerance is a gastrointestinal problem and is usually not life-threatening. The symptoms might include bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramps. Some people might show fatigue and behavioral disruption due to the internal discomfort, especially for those autistic individuals who can’t express the discomfort.
  • Gluten intolerance- Some people who might be sensitive to gluten which might show discomfort in the body especially in the stomach. Gluten intolerance is more about the body doesn’t produce enough enzymes to digest the protein, but it doesn’t cause permanent damage to stomach, intestine, or other organs.
  • Gluten intolerance- Some people who might be sensitive to gluten which might show discomfort in the body especially in the stomach. Gluten intolerance is more about the body doesn’t produce enough enzymes to digest the protein, but it doesn’t cause permanent damage to stomach, intestine, or other organs.
  • Wheat sensitivity – This seems to relate with gluten intolerance, but it stands alone since the body is only sensitive to wheat products. The wheat sensitivity shows up slowly with symptoms like bloating, cramps or diarrhea hours after eating wheat.

Protein Intakes

  • Too much protein- The body doesn’t store protein as protein, but the liver stores them as fat after amino acids that are not used for essential performances. The extra protein that is not used purposely by the body may cause extra burden on liver, bones and kidneys. More often the high protein diets might be associated with increased risk of heart disease due to overly- intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • Protein deficiency- A lack of protein in the diet can lead to a list of health problems including fatigue and weakness, muscle loss, increased infection, and weakened immune system. The causes of protein deficiency can be complicated due to the facts that protein triggers most allergies and intolerance. It is relatively easier to fix if the protein deficiency is caused by the choice of diet instead of body reaction.

Crazy Protein   Spike Protein

To simplify the concept, protein can cause massive destruction. There is no virus infection or covid-19 pandemic if there is no protein. Viruses depend on the protein of the host for reproduction. Spike protein allows the virus SARS-CoV-2 to interact with the cells of human that caused covid-19 pandemic.

A specific protein production is part of the biochemical process, which demonstrates the protein can be used in nasty ways.

Protein and Autism Diets

Just like everyone else, an autistic person might have to choose a special diet to eliminate certain proteins that impose the problems for the body.

  • It is necessary to get the autistic person tested on food allergy and intolerance to make the diets certainly needed.
  • Use the Elimination Diet if an autistic person still experiences discomfort after eating certain proteins like gluten and casein, even though the tests don’t reveal an allergy or intolerance. The diet will help identify if the body can’t tolerate certain proteins.
  • Autism diets related to protein elimination can be one or combination of gluten free, casein free, nut free or wheat free diets.
  • Casein free diet means the elimination one of the highest sources of calcium from milk and milk products. To maintain strong bones and optimize body function on a casein-free diet, make sure the diet has enough intake of calcium from other high calcium sources.

Autism Care and Protein

It is understandable that not all autism parents choose autism diet for their child, especially when they don’t need a special diet. But make sure to understand:

Protein is More Essential for AutismBalanced Protein for Autism

Protein is important to everyone, but it is more essential for people with autism.

Researches show that children with autism have low glutathione in the body. Glutathione is a small protein made of 3 amino acids that body can produce to support overall health. Some researchers believe that glutathione has more benefits than the ones known including removing mercury from the brain.

Sulfur rich food, dairy and whey protein are the best sources for glutathione. Sulfur rich food includes meat, egg, fish, grains and some vegetables including onion, garlic, and broccoli. Whey protein is one of the two proteins in milk besides casein. It is separated from milk when making cheese.

It is essential to choose a balanced and nutritional diet for an autistic person, especially include high quality protein in that goal.

How Much Protein Does the Body Need

Proper amount and variety are two key factors when consuming protein.

Depending on the age, gender, body weight and level of physical activity, protein intake amount can vary from one person to another. However, the general rule of thumb, adjust the amount accordingly from the dietary guidelines.

According to the references, children(including autistic children) aged 4-9 should consume around 20 grams of protein each day, and those aged 9-13 need around 35grams daily. Boys aged 14-18 need around 52 grams while the same age girls only need around 45grams per day. An average adult with moderate activity should consume 0.4 grams protein per pound of body weight per day. That means that the average person weighted 150 lbs should eat about 60 grams of protein every day with moderate activity.

How to Measure the Protein

Sources of the protein can come from animal or plant. Lean meat, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds and legumes all provide good quantity of protein.

In general, 10 ounces of steak provides around 60 grams of protein, 10 ounces of chicken breast has around 70 ounces of protein while 10 ounces of fish has between 50-80 grams of protein. Some seeds and legumes have compatible amount of protein too. 10 ounces of pumpkin seeds or cashews has around 50grams of protein while soybean has higher protein than steak.

Carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits all have some level of protein. Some protein from the fruits like pineapples, papayas, bananas and kiwifruit are digestive enzymes that can help break down the protein in the body.

Supplements that Help with Protein Issues

There are 3 main reasons that an autistic individual might be recommended by a health provider to take some supplements for the issues related with protein.

  • Protein Supplements to Help Protein Deficiency- If the protein deficiency is caused by protein intake, protein supplements like protein powder or protein bars might be an alternative way to enhance the nutrient. Make sure to use proper amount and high quality ones so the body doesn’t take too much protein or sugar. Check out the whey powder on Iherb.com.Whey Protein as Supplement
  • To Help Digest Proteins-People with autism may have trouble digesting protein because their body doesn’t produce enough enzymes to digest the protein. Digestive enzymes supplement particularly the ones focus on protein might be recommended. The best digestive enzyme supplements to help digest proteins are EnzymeMD, DigistWell, Enzyme Ultra.
  • Supplements for Allergy-As we explained earlier, most allergies are caused by protein. For food -related protein allergy, the “friendly bacteria” probiotics supplements are most natural way for the treatment. Altough there are some other supplements to help reduce the symptoms of the allergies, make sure to ask the doctor about supplements for the right choice.

Make Friend with Protein

Protein is a complicated matter that sometimes is beyond human control. We need protein, but we don’t like the problems caused by protein. People with autism can use protein for their health benefits with right protein management. They can achieve this through healthy diets with proper protein or taking supplements to help body absorb protein better.

An autistic individual will enjoy a better quality of life when protein becomes a good friend to their body.

We will appreciate your protein stories if you can share them with us.

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