Wondering if vitamins for cerebral palsy can help reduce some of its symptoms?
Many people with cerebral palsy have some sort of feeding problem, so it’s difficult for them to receive all their essential nutrients. Taking vitamins can be an effective way for them to supplement their nutrition.
This article will go over 7 essential vitamins for individuals with cerebral palsy.
Best Vitamins for Cerebral Palsy
Researching vitamins can be overwhelming, so we saved you some time and put together a list of 7 supplements that will boost brain function and help heal the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain development in babies and the maintenance of brain function throughout life. It can be found in fish oil or flaxseed supplements.
DHA is a type of omega-3 that regulates nerve growth and has neuroprotective effects.
Children with cerebral palsy who have learning difficulties may benefit from omega-3, as it helps improve cognitive functions like learning and memory.
Studies also suggest that omega-3s may help with joint and bone health, which is definitely a plus for impaired movement.
2. Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D can make a huge difference in the bone health of children with cerebral palsy.
Due to feeding difficulties, many children with cerebral palsy don’t eat enough and are at risk for malnourishment. This leads to weak bones that are susceptible to fractures.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, and calcium is essential for strengthening the bones.
Nervous tissues use energy from calcium to stimulate nerve impulses and regulate muscle contractions, so the mineral is essential for not only bone health, but also movement.
Over 75% of individuals with cerebral palsy experience spasticity, which is when their muscles continuously contract, making it difficult to move and eat properly.
Magnesium can help reduce spasticity and increase range of movement by relaxing the muscles and promoting nerve function.
Magnesium can also help CP patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease and other digestion problems. It is used in laxatives, heartburn and upset stomach medications to relieve constipation, relax the muscles in the digestive tract, and neutralize stomach acid.
Just like calcium, magnesium is essential for bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is potent in antioxidants, which helps combat free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can cause or worsen depression and memory loss.
Vitamin C enhances the synthesis of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter that improves focus and energy.
It’s also crucial for maintaining bone health because of its involvement in gene regulation that can influence bone development.
Zinc plays a huge role in the brain and affects a variety of different functions like learning, memory, and mood.
It promotes communication between neurons and regulates neurotransmitter activity.
Because children with cerebral palsy are prone to learning difficulties and mood swings, ensuring that they are not zinc-deficient can help boost their cognitive abilities and reduce emotional outbursts.
Many children with cerebral palsy are prone to digestion problems. Probiotics can help increase healthy bacteria in the gut and promote digestive health.
The gut and brain are connected through biochemical signaling. This is why people feel their stomachs churn when they’re anxious.
Good bacteria levels in the gut allow for the production of neurotransmitters that can improve mood and brain function.
In fact, 99% of serotonin (the ‘feel good’ chemical) is made in the digestive tract.
7. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with memory loss, depression, weak muscles, digestion problems, and irritability. Coincidentally, these conditions are very common amongst people with cerebral palsy.
Vitamin B12 keeps nerve cells healthy by helping form the cell’s myelin sheath (a protective covering for axons).
It also helps promote neurotransmitter signaling to help regulate mood, stress response, and prevent memory loss.
Vitamins for Cerebral Palsy Should Not Replace a Healthy Diet
Vitamins for cerebral palsy should be used in addition to a healthy diet, not in place of one.
If your child has difficulties chewing, consider blending their food so that they can just swallow it.
People can get all their essential nutrients through foods, so supplements should really only be taken when necessary.
Be sure to only take the recommended doses. The body can only utilize so much of a certain nutrient and too much can harm the liver.
Vitamins won’t miraculously cure your child’s spasticity or heal their brain damage. Instead, they’ll help make up for the nutrients lacking in their current diet.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand what vitamins will be best for your child’s cerebral palsy and how to properly use them. Good luck!