Cod liver oil (CLO) is an omega 3 fatty acid that also contains vitamin A (VA) and vitamin D (VD)
Cod liver oil contains omega 3 fatty acids which are sources of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The body cannot make PUFAs and it is for this reason, they are termed “essential fatty acids”. PUFAs include arachidonic acid, DHA, and EPA which are all required for brain development. Research shows that essential fatty acids (EFAs) improve symptoms in ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia and autism. EFAs provide fuel for your child’s mitochondria which also results in significant improvements in fine and gross motor skills.
Visual Motor Planning In Autism:
It is important to note that fine motor skills include visual tracking and expressive language. There are A LOT of tiny muscles that need to cooperate to allow our eyes and mouths function properly. Visual processing and verbal communication depend on ATP which is produced by your child’s mitochondria. Research has identified that children diagnosed with autism have mitochondrial impairments. While Medical treatment of mitochondrial concerns, regardless of the cause, results in dramatic improvements in communication, motor skills, social interaction and cognitive performance. Healthy fats are the key to improving mitocnondrial production of ATP.
Neuroinflammation / Brain Inflammation in Autism
Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation as well as acting as a carrier for fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat soluble vitamin deficiency is very common for children diagnosed with autism. In fact, the lower a child’s levels of vitamin A and vitamin D, the more severe their autism symptoms are. Neuroinflammation or brain inflammation is a hallmark of autism. Inflammation is a medical concern that improves with the CORE 4 biomedical treatments including cod liver oil.
Visual Processing in Autism
Cod liver oil tends to concentrate in the brain and retina of the eye making this biomedical treatment extremely important for visual processing. In this informative Ted Talk, Dr. Pawan Sinha details his groundbreaking research into how the brain’s visual system develops. Sinha and his team discovered that children with autism have impaired “dynamic tracking”. Dynamic tracking is a visual motor skill that relies on ATP and vitamin A. Cod liver oil helps improve ATP production and provides much needed VA to the visual processing centres. Autistic children need medical treatment to repair their ability to integrate visual information making many, if not all, of their visual symptoms medically treatable and reversible.
Research by Dr.Meg Megson
Researcher and paediatrician Meg Megson, MD, (4) showed in multiple case studies that cod liver oil directly impacts visual and sensory processing of autistic children. This is because CLO is a natural source of cis-form vitamin A. Using therapeutic doses of the cis-form of VA reconnects retinoid receptors in the hippocampus which are commonly uncoupled by environmental toxins. Vitamin A also helps to repair G proteins that are easily damaged by toxicants in the air, land, water and in our food.
Treatment with cod liver oil treats side glancing, looking out of the corners of eyes, looking closely at objects, spinning and visual self-stimulating behaviours. Visual processing is essential for both social skills and communication. Children need to look at other people’s mouths to learn how to mouth their own mouths. Repairing visual processing impairments is critical to supporting age level cognitive skills including focusing.
Visual Issues in Autism are Medical and Treatable
A person with impaired dynamic processing will use repetitive actions or “behaviours” to help them process and integrate visual information. The entire brain changes when the visual processing is damaged or impaired. Treating visual symptoms in autism with cod liver oil is essential in biomedical treatment. If left untreated, children and adults with autism will continue to try to repair the problem through visual “stimming” behaviours and activities. I cannot emphasize enough how important this aspect of biomedical treatment is in terms of improving quality of life and improving developmental potential.
If children cannot process the world visually, they a literally off in their own world. Treatment of dynamic information processing leads to visual integration and finally, visual recognition. This is the key to autism recovery!
References for Cod Liver Oil and vitamin A information:
1). Parris M. Kidd, PhD. Autism, An Extreme Challenge to Integrative Medicine. Part II: Medical Management. Altern Med Rev 2002;7(6):472-499.
2). Carlo Agostoni. Role of Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the First Year of Life.
2008. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 47:S41–S44
4). Megson MN. Is autism a G-alpha protein defect reversible with natural vitamin A? Med Hypotheses. 2000 Jun;54(6):979-83.