8 Best Nootropics for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 2023

Updated on January 4, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

Are you looking for natural ways to help manage the symptoms of autism?

If so, this article is for you! We’ll be discussing the best nootropics and natural supplements that can help improve autism.

1. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is a popular nootropic stack that includes B vitamins Choline, and other natural ingredients for brain health. This combination of nootropics has been shown to support cognitive function, focus, and concentration, providing potential benefits for those with autism[1].

By helping to improve cognitive performance and reduce stress and anxiety, Mind Lab Pro can help those with autism to better manage their symptoms. Additionally, the L-Theanine helps to calm the nervous system, while the other ingredients work together to provide an overall cognitive boost.

2. DHA (Omega-3)

Omega-3 fatty acids, or DHA, are one of the most studied nootropic supplements for autism. DHA is an essential fatty acid that is found in certain fish, such as salmon and tuna, and some plant oils. Research has shown that DHA can help improve cognitive and behavioral functioning in children with autism[2]. It may also reduce anxiety and aggression in those with autism.

DHA has also been found to help improve sleep quality, which can be beneficial for those with autism. Additionally, DHA may help improve communication and social skills in those with autism. Thus, DHA is a promising nootropic for those with autism.

3. Sulforaphane

Sulforaphane is a powerful compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Recently, a clinical trial done by researchers in Massachusetts showed that Sulforaphane improved behavior in young men with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)[3]. It is believed to work by inhibiting an enzyme called histone deacetylase (HDAC), which is involved in the regulation of gene expression. This means it can potentially help regulate the expression of certain genes that are associated with autism.

Sulforaphane can also reduce inflammation, which is another factor in autism. It is important to note, however, that more research needs to be done to better understand the effects of Sulforaphane on autism.

4. Carnosine

Carnosine is an amino acid that has been found to have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects in the brain. It is thought to help improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of autism. Researchers suggest that it may help increase the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters that are associated with autism. Studies have shown that carnosine may be able to reduce the symptoms of ASD, such as impulsivity and hyperactivity[4].

In addition, it may help improve communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is important to note, however, that there is not enough research to conclusively prove that carnosine is effective in treating autism.

5. Picamilon

Picamilon is a nootropic that has been studied in the past to help improve autistic behavior. It's made up of niacin, which is a B-vitamin, and GABA, the neurotransmitter responsible for calming the body and mind. Research has found that Picamilon can help improve communication and social skills in people with autism. It can also help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and increase alertness.

However, it's important to note that more research is needed to confirm the effects of Picamilon on autism. Additionally, it's important to consult a doctor before taking any supplements for autism.

6. Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a natural supplement that has been found to have potential benefits for people with autism. It is an alkaloid found in the Chinese club moss plant and is thought to increase levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Studies have suggested that Huperzine A may improve communication, language, and social skills in people with autism[5]. It can also help improve attention and focus, as well as reduce irritability, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Some research has even found that Huperzine A might help reduce anxiety and depression in people with autism. It is important to note that more studies are needed to confirm these findings. If you are considering trying Huperzine A as a treatment for autism, it is important to consult with your doctor as it can have side effects.

7. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that has been shown to have potential benefits in treating autism spectrum disorder[6]. It is thought to work by reducing oxidative stress, which is a major contributor to autism symptoms.

In addition, NAC has been found to be effective in decreasing repetitive behaviors, improving cognitive functions, and reducing anxiety and irritability in children with autism. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of seizures in some patients. While more research needs to be done to confirm its effectiveness, NAC is a promising nootropic for treating autism.

8. L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea and is known for its calming effects. It works by increasing GABA, the neurotransmitter that is responsible for calming down the brain and reducing stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that taking L-Theanine can improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and even improve sleep quality. It has also been found to improve cognitive function and focus in people with autism spectrum disorder[7].

Furthermore, L-Theanine may even reduce hyperactivity and improve social interaction in those with autism, making it a promising potential treatment for ASD.

How Can Nootropics Help with Autism?

Nootropics, or “smart drugs”, are substances that are believed to enhance cognitive function and mental performance. They are typically used to increase focus and alertness, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Some nootropics have also been studied for their potential to help people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies have suggested that certain nootropics can help people with ASD by improving communication skills, reducing aggression, improving social interaction, and increasing learning.

Nootropics have the potential to help people with ASD by improving mental clarity, focus, concentration, and communication skills. While more research is needed to determine the efficacy of nootropics for treating autism, the available evidence suggests that they may have beneficial effects in some people with the disorder. However, it is important to note that these nootropics should only be taken under the supervision of a medical professional and should not be used as a substitute for medication.

What are the Benefits of Nootropics for Autism?

Nootropics are supplements that can help improve cognitive function and reduce the symptoms of autism. They can help to improve focus, reduce anxiety, and increase communication skills for those with autism. Nootropics can also help to improve overall brain health and cognitive performance. Some of the benefits of taking nootropics for autism include increased memory and learning capacity, improved social behavior, and increased communication.

best nootropics for autism

Additionally, taking nootropics can improve executive functioning, which is important for those with autism. Additionally, nootropics can help to reduce anxiety, aggression, and hyperactivity, all of which can be common in those with autism.

The Safety and Side Effects of Taking Nootropics for Autism

Taking nootropics to treat autism can be a great way to improve overall brain functioning while also reducing the symptoms of ASD. However, it is important to consider the potential side effects and safety risks associated with taking nootropics. As with any supplement or medication, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking nootropics for autism. Side effects of nootropics can vary depending on the individual, and some may have more severe side effects than others.

Common side effects of nootropics include headaches, anxiety, nausea, and increased heart rate. In addition, some nootropics can interact with other medications, so it is important to discuss any medications you are currently taking with your doctor before beginning any nootropic regimen. While the potential side effects and safety risks of nootropics should be taken into consideration, many people with autism find that taking nootropics can be beneficial in improving brain functioning and reducing symptoms of ASD.

How to Choose the Best Nootropic for Autism

Choosing the right nootropic for autism can be a challenging task. There are a variety of different options available, each with its own set of benefits and side effects. It can be helpful to consult with a doctor before deciding on a particular product. A doctor will be able to provide advice on which nootropics may be most beneficial for a particular case and will also be able to monitor any changes in behavior that may occur as a result of taking the nootropics.

Additionally, it is important to consider the safety and side effects of the different nootropics that are available, as some may be more suitable for certain patients than others. With careful consideration and advice from a doctor, it is possible to find the best nootropic for autism that can help improve symptoms and provide benefits for those on the autism spectrum.

Monitoring Autistic Behavior Changes with Nootropic Use

It's important to understand the potential effects of nootropics on those with autism before beginning any supplementation regimen.

To monitor autistic behavior changes while taking nootropics, it’s important to keep track of both positive and negative changes. This can be done in a number of ways, including taking notes before and after each dose, tracking changes in daily activities or tasks, and even having a caretaker or therapist monitor changes in behavior. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects that may occur with nootropic use, as some may cause an increase in autism symptoms rather than a decrease.

It's also important to remember that the effects of nootropics differ from person to person and can vary depending on the individual’s body chemistry and metabolism. As such, it is important to start with the lowest dose possible and gradually increase the dosage if needed. Also, it is a good idea to discuss any changes in behavior with a healthcare professional in order to ensure that any changes are monitored and addressed in a safe and effective manner.

Conclusion: The Pros and Cons of Taking Nootropics to Treat Autism

When it comes to treating autism, nootropics may offer some potential benefits. Nootropics can help improve cognitive function, reduce anxiety, and improve focus, which are all areas that people with autism often struggle with.

However, it is important to note that nootropics should never be used in place of medication or other therapies that are recommended by a physician. It is also important to keep in mind that nootropics may not work for everyone, and it is important to discuss any potential side effects with your physician.

Ultimately, it is important to understand the potential pros and cons of taking nootropics to treat autism before starting any new treatment.

References

References
1Jennings, Laurel, and Raedeh Basiri. “Amino Acids, B Vitamins, and Choline May Independently and Collaboratively Influence the Incidence and Core Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Nutrients vol. 14,14 2896. 14 Jul. 2022, doi:10.3390/nu14142896
2Agostoni, Carlo et al. “The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Developmental Psychopathology: A Systematic Review on Early Psychosis, Autism, and ADHD.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,12 2608. 4 Dec. 2017, doi:10.3390/ijms18122608
3Singh, Kanwaljit et al. “Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 111,43 (2014): 15550-5. doi:10.1073/pnas.1416940111
4Abraham, Debi Ann et al. “Effect of L-Carnosine in children with autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.” Amino acids vol. 53,4 (2021): 575-585. doi:10.1007/s00726-021-02960-6
5Wong, Jennifer C et al. “Autistic-like behavior, spontaneous seizures, and increased neuronal excitability in a Scn8a mouse model.” Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 46,11 (2021): 2011-2020. doi:10.1038/s41386-021-00985-9
6Lee, Tsung-Min et al. “Effectiveness of N-acetylcysteine in autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry vol. 55,2 (2021): 196-206. doi:10.1177/0004867420952540
7Hannant, Penelope et al. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised-designed GABA tea study in children diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions: a feasibility study clinical trial registration: ISRCTN 72571312.” Nutritional neuroscience vol. 24,1 (2021): 45-61. doi:10.1080/1028415X.2019.1588486
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