Vitamin C is a water-soluble micronutrient.

During infancy, vitamin C deficiency is diagnosed exclusively in children fed plant-based formula, in children with oral aversion, autism, restricted diets, and cerebral palsy. Stress levels have been found to be above normal level in autistic individuals. Few studies have shown that intake of vitamin C helps in lowering stress levels. One double-blind, placebo-controlled study has explored the effectiveness of Vitamin C as a therapy for autism. It was specifically directed at Vitamin C's involvement in the regulation of dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter, and did indeed show a decrease in stereotypic behaviors. Another research report demonstrated that doses of vitamin C may help in GI and sleep issues in autistic children.

For most people, vitamin C is thought to be harmless. However, tolerance for vitamin C can vary. Therefore, you should watch your child carefully for signs of an upset stomach or diarrhea. Check with your child’s pediatrician before starting with any supplement.

Key sources:

  1. Dolske, M. C., Spollen, J., McKay, S., Lancashire, E., & Tolbert, L. (1993). A preliminary trial of ascorbic acid as supplemental therapy for autism. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 17(5), 765–774.
  2. Malhi, P., Venkatesh, L., Bharti, B., & Singhi, P. (2017). Feeding Problems and Nutrient Intake in Children with and without Autism: A Comparative Study. Indian journal of pediatrics, 84(4), 283–288.
  3. Siva Sankar, D.V. (1979). Plasma levels of folates, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and ascorbate in severely disturbed children.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 9(1), 73-82.
  4. Adams, J.B., & Holloway, C. (2004). Pilot study of a moderate dose multivitamin/mineral supplement for children with autistic spectrum disorder.  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10(6), 1033-1039.
  5. Deshpande, C., Dhir, A., & Kulkarni, S.K. (2006). Antagonistic activity of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on dopaminergic modulation: Apomorphine-induced stereotypic behavior in mice. Pharmacology, 77(1), 38-45
  6. “Vitamins and Supplements | Interactive Autism Network.”, Accessed 15 Mar. 2022.