Updated: Oct 27
Oh October! How I love you! The changing color of the leaves, the crisp cool air, the family friendly fall activities, and Down Syndrome Awareness Month! I'm well aware that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'll definitely be posting about this soon but today let's talk about Down syndrome (DS).
As a parent of a child with DS and a naturopathic doctor, I find it both fascinating and overwhelming at times to weed through all the research on what may help individuals with DS.
Unfortunately, medicine hasn't yet caught up with research when it comes to providing the best for individuals with DS. When's the last time you went to your child's health care provider and they recommended CoQ10 for DS?
Since the dogma of medicine refuses to acknowledge that our kiddos with DS can live a more fulfilling life with a little help from some special supplements, I decided to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month by introducing you to 21 supplements that may help improve your child with DS's life!
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I've written about coQ10 for DS before here because of how powerful this body made molecule is for Down syndrome health. CoQ10, is an antioxidant made in the body that helps reduce free radicals and produce energy.
People with DS tend to be lower in coQ10 production than typical individuals. Supplementing with coQ10 may help reduce free radical damage, help with DNA repair, and improve energy levels in people with DS. [1,2,3]
This super supplement is essential for DS health. Glutathione is considered the master antioxidant I've covered the benefits of glutathione here and especially for Covid, here but glutathione may help improve your child's health overall, Covid or not.
Glutathione helps reduce oxidative damage and improve liver health. Even typical individuals may benefit from taking a glutathione supplement.[4,5]
I haven't written much about the power of polyphenols for Down syndrome and this is something that I have to change! Resveratrol is phytochemical found in grapes and red wine. It has been found to improve mitochondria impairment in brain cells in the animal model of Down syndrome.
This may lead to an increase in cognition and the growth and creation of new mitochondria, the energy producing powerhouse of the cell.
In the class of supplements, Epigallocathechin-gallate or EGCG has been studied in individuals with DS. Caretakers who gave EGCG to their loved ones with DS characterized them as less severely disabled.
Watch this quick video about EGCG and its potential health benefits for people with DS.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that is essential for thyroid health. Unfortunately, many individuals with Down syndrome tend to have thyroid issues. While having an extra chromosome undoubtedly plays a role in thyroid dysfunction in DS, so does a lack of selenium.
Studies show that people with DS tend to have lower selenium in the bloodstream than their typical counterparts. Introducing selenium into your child's supplement line-up could improve thyroid health and reduce oxidative stress.
6. Bacopa monnieri
Bacopa monnieri is one of my favorite herbs for Down syndrome. I've extolled the virtues of bacopa before on this blog here and here and I don't think I'll ever stop. That's because it acts as powerful antioxidant, a thyroid supporting herb, and a