What is vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy?
Vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy involves giving an autistic person large doses of vitamin B6 with magnesium.
Who is vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy for?
Supporters of this therapy say it can be used by any autistic child.
What is vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy used for?
This approach aims to improve communication, social interaction and behaviour.
Where does vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy come from?
This approach is based on a 1960s theory that suggests that some psychiatric disorders, including autism, are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Initially, vitamin B6 was used as a treatment for schizophrenia and was later used with children with ‘autistic syndrome’.
What is the idea behind vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy?
Supporters of this therapy believe that autistic people might have a vitamin B6 deficiency, and that this causes their autism. They claim that taking large doses of vitamin B6 will fix the deficiency, thus curing the autism.
What does vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy involve?
There are no established practice guidelines for this approach. Generally, it’s suggested that people take large doses of vitamin B6 (usually in tablet form) along with magnesium. Magnesium is supposed to help the body absorb the vitamin B6 and reduce any side effects.
The cost of this therapy depends on the vitamin brand used and the dose, as well as how often the vitamins are taken.
Does vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy work?
There have been very few high-quality studies, and more research is needed to say whether this therapy works.
Possible side-effects of giving large doses of vitamin B6 include sensory neuropathy (inflammation or wasting away of the sensory nerves), headache, depression, vomiting and sensitivity to light.
Who practises vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy?
Although vitamins and minerals are available in many health food stores and pharmacies, it’s always best to speak to a GP, paediatrician or dietitian before giving large doses of vitamins and minerals to your child.
You also need a GP or other medical practitioner to test your child’s current levels of these vitamins and minerals.
Parent education, training, support and involvement
If your child is using vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy, you need to ensure your child takes the supplement before each meal for the duration of the therapy. You might also need to take your child for tests.
Where can you find a practitioner?
If you’re interested in vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy, you should discuss its risks and benefits with your GP or a paediatrician or dietitian.
There are many therapies for autism. They range from those based on behaviour and development to those based on medicine or alternative therapy. Our article on types of interventions for autistic children takes you through the main treatments, so you can better understand your child’s options.