Autism Insights

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Biochemical Effects of Ribose and NADH Therapy in Children with Autism

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Publication Date: 22 May 2011

Journal: Autism Insights

Citation: Autism Insights 2011:3 3-13


Objectives: Several studies have previously indicated that children with autism often have abnormalities in methylation, glutathione redox, and mitochondrial function. A common feature of these abnormalities is that they are affected directly or indirectly by levels of ribose, reduced Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH), reduced Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADPH), and Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP). The objective of this study was to investigate the possible biochemical effect of ribose therapy and NADH therapy on children with autism.

Design: In a pilot study, ribose was administered orally to eight children with autism for two weeks, and NADH was administered orally to another group of eight children with autism for two weeks. Children were ages 3–9 years with clinical symptoms of low energy and/or low muscle tone. Eighteen biomarkers related to methylation (including S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)), glutathione (including the reduced form, GSH, and the oxidized form GSSG), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and folic acid and were measured at the beginning and end of the therapy.

Results: The NADH group had significant improvements in levels of ribose-5-phosphate, GSH, NADH, NADPH, and SAM. The Ribose group had significant improvements in ribose-5-phosphate, NADH, ATP, and folic acid. There was no significant change in GSSG in either group after two weeks.

Conclusions: This small study suggests that both NADH and Ribose therapy results in some improvements in biochemistry, and may be beneficial for treating children with those abnormalities. Larger studies are recommended.




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