World Autism on the Rise: April is Autism Awareness Month

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.1

The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls.1

There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.

A new government survey of parents suggests that 1 in 45 children, ages 3 through 17, have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is notably higher than the official government estimate of 1 in 68 American children with autism, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2

“The 1 in 45 estimate is not surprising and is likely a more accurate representation of autism prevalence in the United States,” comments epidemiologist Michael Rosanoff, Autism Speaks director for public health research. “This means that 2 percent of children in the U.S. are living with autism. The earlier they have access to care, services and treatment, the more likely they are to progress.”

Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences.3 There is reason to be concerned about high levels of exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment. For this reason, Autism Speaks continues to support research to better understand the effects of chemical exposures during pregnancy, as there is preliminary evidence that pesticides may increase the risk of autism. Although researchers cannot confirm that avoiding exposure to pesticides or any specific chemical can reduce autism risk in a child or future child, they do say that exposure to toxic chemicals during pregnancy or early infancy poses a general threat to future health. High lead exposure has been shown to lower IQ scores. Certain endocrine disrupting chemicals have been linked to birth defects. So it’s reasonable for parents to take reasonable steps to avoid these exposures.4

Scientists also have been reporting links between the composition of bacteria in the gut and autistic behavior. A review of more than 150 papers on ASD and gut bacteria found that since the 1960s, studies show that restoring a healthy balance in gut bacteria can treat ASD symptoms.5

Dr Qinrui Li of Peking University, China says, “The environmental factors include the overuse of antibiotics in babies, maternal obesity and diabetes during pregnancy, how a baby is delivered and how long it is breastfed. All of these can affect the balance of bacteria in an infant’s gut, so are risk factors for ASD. Efforts to restore the gut microbiota to that of a healthy person has been shown to be really effective. Our review looked at taking probiotics, prebiotics, changing the diet – for example, to gluten- and casein-free diets, and fecal matter transplants. All had a positive impact on symptoms such as increased sociability, a reduction in repetitive behaviour, and improved social communication: all hugely beneficial to the life of an ASD sufferer.5

A Nikken Wellness Home can help create a healthy environment with clean water, organic nutritional supplements and effective Sleep Products. Here are just a few success stories:

Carla P. says, “My son James was diagnosed with autism before he turned three. Over the years, we made progress, but James still had difficulty sleeping and this child would get up and roam all over the house, turn on lights, turn on TVs with loud volume, and go into his brothers’ rooms and wake them up. It disrupted the entire household. I decided to try a Kenko Mattress Topper on his bed.  It still amazes me. He continues to sleep every night, and he is now making progress through the day because of this good sleep he is getting.

“He has had other positive effects from Nikken products, and if I didn’t experience this myself, I would have never believed it.  The best part was how non-invasive all of these products are. Autism is like a puzzle, and you are always seeking the right pieces that fit.  Well, I definitely found some of the biggest pieces to help my son.  It didn’t cure him, but his quality of life is so much better. And isn’t that ultimately what we all desire?”*

Lorri from Alberta, Canada says, “After two weeks of sleeping on the Kenko Sleep System, Brody was sleeping well and this good sleep has helped him function better during the day.  Brody wears the magnetic insoles and necklace during the day to help him feel more relaxed and calmer.  After using all of these magnets, his behavior has also improved. Now, a year later, I can’t believe it! Wow oh wow, it’s wonderful stuff! Everyone notices such a huge difference in him.”*

Beth says, “My cousin’s adopted son is a five-year-old who is autistic. He has always been a high energy, non-speaking autistic child. Since the day he was put on the large Kenko PetPad and the insoles in his shoes, he has calmed down considerably. When my cousin unwrapped the PetPad, he walked up to it and wrapped his arms around it. It seemed to immediately ‘soothe’ him and help him feel more relaxed and calm. He now goes to sleep at regular hours, remains calm throughout the day and is able to function better as a result of the Nikken products. Nothing else in his life has changed, only the addition of Nikken products.”*

Gretchen T. says, “I worked with a woman with a 21-year-old autistic son. She used the Kenko Sleep System for him because he had never been able to sleep an entire night in his life. He would wake up several times. He would also pull his covers over his face, which made his mother very nervous. From the first night on the system, he slept all night long and never pulled the comforter over his face, and was more relaxed. So she then tried the PiMag water with him. He always hated drinking water and would only take a few sips. The first glass of PiMag water he was given, he drank right down and even asked for another one. Was she ever delighted!”*

Do you know someone with a child who is on the spectrum and might benefit from a Nikken Wellness Home? You could be the one who helps improve lives with Active Wellness!

*These testimonials are not paid for or endorsed by Nikken.

1 https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-Fact-Sheet

2 https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/new-government-survey-pegs-autism-prevalence-1-45

3 https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/learn-more-autism/what-causes-autism

4 https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2012/04/06/avoiding-environmental-hazards-during-pregnancy

5 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-06-autism-gut.html\

10 Health Trends for 2018

As we approach the end of 2017, it’s the perfect time to assess some of the health trends for 2018. Here are 10 that dovetail with the Nikken focus on Active Wellness.

1          Less sugar consumption. A recent survey found that 12% fewer adults and 19% fewer children have a sugary beverage like soda or juice on any given day compared to data from 2003.1 See our blog from January 17, 2017

2          Matcha tea. The powdered tea dates back to the 10th century, when Zen Buddhists found that the tea brought them a sense of clarity, focus, energy, and a feeling of well-being. In addition, matcha creates that feeling of being awake but calm. That’s because L-theanine helps lead to relaxation without drowsiness. L-theanine also helps produce dopamine and serotonin, which enhance mood, improve memory, and boost concentration.2 Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix, made with the highest quality of organic matcha tea leaves, launched in 2014.

3          Increase in water intake. People are learning to drink more water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration can cause dizziness, headache, sleepiness and cramping. To help increase water consumption, you can stir in lemon, orange or other sliced/chopped fruit, add mulled herbs for a natural flavor boost, and drink a whole glass of water at each meal.

4          Flexitarian diet. The focus is on incorporating more plant-based food into the diet without completely forgoing meat. Gradually replace some meat and seafood with vegetable proteins. With Kenzen nutritional supplements and the Everyday Weight Management program, it’s easy to focus on a plant-based diet that includes apportioned lean meats.

5     Adaptogenic herbs and spices to help reduce inflammation.3 Inflammation and chronic stress are so talked about now that natural ways to help address them have taken center stage. Adding herbs and spices is a great way to flavor food and increase intake of antioxidants. Nikken nutritional supplements are formulated with adaptogens:

6   Temperature regulating fabric. Large companies have begun touting the benefits of wearing clothes or support garments that keep you both warm and cool. Nikken is one of the few companies that incorporates ceramic-reflective fibers in sleep products and support wraps to help release heat and maintain a comfortable temperature.

7     Fermented food and beverages. “If you’re consuming a diet rich in fermented foods, you’re essentially bathing your GI tract in healthy, food-related organisms,” says food scientist Robert Hutkins, PhD, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln whose lab focuses on the link between fermented foods and human health.4 Kenzen® Clarity contains 100% organic ingredients that are fermented to increase the macro- and micro-nutrients while breaking down food that is difficult to process.

8     Consumption of pulses. Pulses refer to the dry seeds of edible legumes, such as peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. High in protein and fiber while low in fat, pulses are nutrient-dense and help you stay on a plant-focused diet. The primary ingredient in Kenzen Vital Balance® is organic pea protein.

9     “Smart” beds and pillows to help you sleep better. Sleep products have been “numbered,” “angled” and made with memory foam and contouring husks. Ask anyone who has experienced a Kenko Sleep System and you’ll never want to sleep on anything else.

10     Monk fruit. Known as luo han guo in China, where it grows naturally, the Chinese have eaten it for millennia. Now the world has discovered monk fruit as a natural sweetener with zero calories. This expensive ingredient is prominent in both vanilla and chocolate flavors of Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix. Read all about it in our blog.