Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


L-Carnosine: Nutritional Supplement for Aspergers Kids

Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of L-carnosine supplementation in kids with autistic spectrum disorders:

L-Carnosine, a dipeptide, can enhance frontal lobe function or be neuroprotective. It can also correlate with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-homocarnosine interaction, with possible anticonvulsive effects.

We investigated 31 kids with autistic spectrum disorders in an 8-week, double-blinded study to determine if 800 mg L-carnosine daily would result in observable changes versus placebo. Outcome measures were the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, the Expressive and Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary tests, and Clinical Global Impressions of Change.

Kids on placebo did not show statistically significant changes. After 8 weeks on L-carnosine, kids showed statistically significant improvements on the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (total score and the Behavior, Socialization, and Communication subscales) and the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary test (all P < .05).

Improved trends were noted on other outcome measures. Although the mechanism of action of L-carnosine is not well understood, it may enhance neurologic function, perhaps in the enterorhinal or temporal cortex.

What is L-Carnosine?

L-Carnosine is a naturally occurring dipeptide that consists of alanine and histadine.

Where was L-Carnosine developed and how is it currently being used?

L-Carnosine was developed by a leading U.S. Pediatric Neurologist, and was first utilized in his practice. Found to be beneficial to kids diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome, PDD, ADD, ADHD, Apraxia and Epilepsy, the use of L-Carnosine has steadily grown, and is now benefiting kids throughout the United States as well as other countries.

Is there clinical data indicating that L-Carnosine is effective?

Double-blind and Open-label studies have reported improvements in the following areas:

• Auditory processing
• EEG reports
• Fine motor skills
• Language skills
• Seizure frequency
• Socialization
• Speech production

What benefits should parents expect from L-CARNOSINE in autism spectrum disorders?

Although not a cure, L-CARNOSINE may improve receptive language, auditory processing, socialization, awareness of surroundings, and even help fine motor planning and expressive language when compared to placebo. Improvements are usually seen between 1-8 weeks of starting on L-Carnosine.

How can L-CARNOSINE help with epilepsy?

The exact mechanism is unknown, but in open label studies and clinical experiences, L-CARNOSINE has improved some EEG abnormalities and frequency of myoclonic and generalized seizures. L-CARNOSINE has also helped cognitive development in severe epileptics even when EEG or seizure frequency was unchanged. Remember that L-CARNOSINE is only a dietary supplement and not a drug used to treat epilepsy.

What if my youngster is Diabetic?

L-Carnosine is designed to be tolerated by Diabetics, and is compatible with the Ketogenic diet and gluten-casein free diets. It is recommended that you consult with your youngster's physician prior to administering L-Carnosine.

What if my youngster has allergies, sensitivities to certain foods or has been instructed by a physician to avoid specific ingredients?

L-Carnosine contains no yeast, wheat gluten, milk/dairy products, corn, sodium, sugar, starch, artificial coloring, preservatives, flavoring or carbohydrates.

Does L-Carnosine require a medical prescription?

L-Carnosine does not require a prescription; however, it is recommended that you consult with your youngster's physician prior to administering this or any dietary supplement.

What is the recommended dosage for the intake of L-Carnosine?

As a dietary supplement, take 1-2 capsules daily or as directed by a physician. Clinical research in autism spectrum disorders shows that 2 capsules twice daily is an effective dosage. Always consult a knowledgeable physician when using a dietary supplement.

Is L-Carnosine palatable for kids?

L-Carnosine is tasteless and odorless. If preferred, L-Carnosine capsules may be opened and their contents mixed directly into foods and beverages. However, do not mix into very high temperature foods. For example, you can mix the L-CARNOSINE into scrambled eggs once they have cooled off, but do not mix into the eggs while still cooking.

Does L-CARNOSINE have to be given with food?

L-CARNOSINE can be given with or without food.

What are the most common side effects of L-CARNOSINE?

No reports of harmful physical side effects from L-CARNOSINE have been received to date. Background research of prior animal and human experience, plus in over 1000 kids on L-Carnosine since June of 2001, have not shown any adverse liver, blood, kidney, or central nervous system side effects. Behaviorally, too high a dose may over stimulate some patients' frontal lobes which can cause increased irritability, hyperactivity, or insomnia. This has been noted in already manic or hyperactive autistic patients.

What about using L-CARNOSINE with other dietary supplements or drugs?

Supplements: To our knowledge, no other dietary supplements have been studied in a double-blind placebo-controlled manner. Fish Oil, High dose B6, Magnesium, or probiotic or mega vitamin therapies are all unproven. Some high dose vitamins may make kids hyperactive, which may confuse parents if L-CARNOSINE is added.

Drugs: L-CARNOSINE does not appear to alter valproic acid levels. We have not had reports of adverse effects with stimulants, anti-psychotic or SSRI medications. Acetyl-choline esterase inhibitors may over stimulate in combination with L-CARNOSINE, but no physically adverse interactions have been reported. Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and antibiotics are not contra indicated to the best of our knowledge.

Diets: L-CARNOSINE is designed to be tolerated by Diabetics, and is compatible with the ketogenic diet and gluten-casein free diets.

How long does L-CARNOSINE last?

No pharmacokinetic studies have been done to date to determine the half-life of L-Carnosine.

Should usage be interrupted or discontinued during school holidays, vacations, or periodically during the year?

No, it is not necessary nor do we recommend interrupting or discontinuing the usage of L-Carnosine during school vacations, holidays or periodically unless recommended by a physician.

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