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What Are Phospholipid
Deficiencies In Autism?

By Rachel Evans

The word phospholipid might not be something you are familiar with, but if you have a child with autism, it could be a useful term to understand. Studies suggest that children with autism are lacking in essential fatty acids that are crucial for proper brain function and development.

 By measuring the amount of these fatty acids in the plasma phospholipids (otherwise known as the blood cell surface or membrane), some believe the information found will reflect neurological disorders in children with autism. The research is pointing towards phospholipid deficiencies in autism cases.

Phospholipids are essential for brain activity. It can be described as wax-like substance found in the membrane of the body’s red blood cells. In simple terms, this is how fat moves in and out of the blood cells.

Though we have been told for many years now that fat is ‘bad’, some fats are essential for the proper working of the body and the brain. When there is an imbalance, there can be a knock on effect to behaviors and thought processes.

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Though this problem is just now being associated with autism, it has also been associated with many other psychiatric disorders like Rett’s Syndrome and ADD.

Continue reading to discover more about the link between phospholipid deficiency and autism and to sign up for the free Autism newsletter below.

Fatty acids make up as much as 20 percent of the brain, and as you can imagine, are essential for proper brain function. Autism is not the only condition that is related to phospholipid deficiencies.

It is suspected that this deficiency also accounts for problems with attention deficit disorder and even with dyslexia and dyspraxia. Because the body can not produce these fatty acids that are needed, the source has to come from outside of the body.

The most common deficiencies associated with phospholipids in relation to autism and other problems are the decrease of polyunsaturated fats. There is also a notable increase of saturated fatty acids.

This imbalance can lead to problems with cell homeostasis and the metabolism of fatty acids. Researchers who discovered that this might be linked to autism said that it might open a new door to understanding where autism comes from biologically. This might help with treatments for autism in the future.

While it appears that deficiencies in phospholipids might be a determining factor in many conditions, the treatment options are somewhat unclear. If you are concerned about phospholipid deficiencies in autism, you should talk with your doctor to see what new research and theories have been presented to them.

 It may be that filling this nutritional void might help with some of the problems that these children face. It may not solve problems, but it could help children better use the skills they do have when facing autism and daily life.


About the author - Rachel Evans. For information and to signup for a Free Newsletter about Autism please visit The Essential Guide to Autism