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Anti-inflammatory diet/supplements for neuro-inflammation

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  • Anti-inflammatory diet/supplements for neuro-inflammation

    Hello everyone,

    Here is the short version of my question: What would an aggressive, comprehensive diet/supplement protocol to reduce neuro-inflammation look like? Would it be ketogenic?

    Here is the backstory:
    My 5-year-old son is autistic. He has been primal for over a year (including very strict gluten and casein free) and has benefitted greatly, but still has many problems. These include extreme verbal stereotypy, which is basically constant repetition of nonsense phrases/sounds, along with an almost complete inability to focus. I have been working with a specialized nutritionist who suspects yeast, but her aggressive probiotic approach has had no effect. I want to start looking further outside the box, and have read recently about the role of neuro-inflammation in autism. I have also read that ketogenesis can have anti-inflammatory effects and improve the brain’s use of energy. In addition, I know of one study (blogged about by Emily Deans) in which a ketogenic diet improved autistic symptoms (although the sample size, 30 kids, was small).

    I definitely want to try an aggressive, anti-inflammatory approach to see what affect it would have. I know that he should stay primal and that I can continue to give him fish oil, but other than that I am not sure what the specifics should be. Robb Wolf has an “auto-immune protocol". Would an anti-inflammatory protocol be similar to that? I tried sending my question to Robb’s podcast but it wasn’t selected, and Mark states specifically on his site that he doesn’t answer questions that relate to specific conditions. I googled “anti-inflammatory diet” and came up with Dr. Weil, which doesn’t seem primal/paleo at all. Then I googled “anti-inflammatory diet for autism” and got a bunch of vegan hits—yikes! So, I thought this might be a good place to start. Any guidance any of you could offer me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks! Mary

  • #2
    I'm not an expert on autism but I have done a ton of research into ketosis for epilepsy (which I have) and the two conditions often overlap. There is a lot of help and support about structuring a ketogenic diet particularly aimed at parents of kids who need it at the website.

    I hope this can help.


    • #3
      A lot of people have great results with variations of SCD/GAPS. You mentioned your son is eating strictly primal - however there are still things "allowed" in primal that may be hindering improvement - such as starches (like potatoes or even properly soaked/sprouted beans) that are difficult for a damaged gut to break down properly. I would look into getting rid of any and all forms of starches or even "double" sugars (disaccharides).

      Gradually go heavier on your ferments & bone broths. Stick to simple sugars only, and even then I'd be careful with (24+ hr cultured) yogurt, fruit, and nuts.

      Best of luck to you!


      • #4
        Evolutionary Psychiatry: Autism and Ketogenic Diets

        Maybe you haven't seen this. Hope it helps.


        • #5
          The reason anti-inflammatory drugs work is they actually alter the balance of fats in your body to what it is supposed to be. You can do this with diet. Go look up what Mark says about fats and oils and work with that. This will be the right balance of fats. You need oils from olives and other healthy sources, a good balance of O3 and O6 fats, fats from things like avocados and nuts and fats from animals. You need the O3 to be pretty close to equal to O6, or at least the O6:O3 no more than 2:1.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


          • #6
            I have been looking at where the Keto diet has been applied therapeutically,
            We all know of epilepsy,
            Alzheimers trials have ben done with promising results and it is being applied there now,
            Parkinsons trials are also being done,
            The autism trial that you mentioned was done in Malta,
            There was some non controlled trials done with MS which showed some success, but there are many different MS diets which vary from low fat - high fat.
            From my readings I think you are on the right track, but there is very little info.
            Definately look at the GAPS Diet, she has looked at the Autism side and there are some Vids on you tube of individuals who have used this protocol with good results, but as we know these results don't always apply universally.
            Coconut Oil and Medium Chain Triglycerides seem to be a very common factor there as a beneficial addition to diet.
            Good luck with it and would be good to hear back of your progress.
            "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"


            • #7
              if he has yeast issues then it would make sense to aim more ketogenic and limit the starches if possible. What probiotics did you use? At what age did you intervene with diet? My son was born "different" and was nonverbal until I got him off of dairy and gluten, just before 2 1/2---doctors kept telling me it was still normal that he wasnt talking and only grunting---I dont think so. He spoke in sentences within weeks of changing his diet. I used heavy probiotic intervention as well and saw some benefits from that. He adheres well to his diet, nearly 8 now, and really self limits any GFDF treats.
              Check out my blog on nature and nurture!


              • #8

                Did you find a particular brand of probiotic worked better than another? Any input would be greatly appreciated.