The Nemechek Protocol diet is a simple treatment for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders. Several reviews by parents declare that their children have noticeably improved within a short time. Learn more about the protocol….
“For autism patients, miracles are happening.”
This bold quote comes from a video blog post on Dr. Paul Nemechek’s website.
Nemechek is the creator of the Nemechek Protocol and diet.
If the above quote is true, this is very promising for the parents of the one in 88 children in the United States with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
According to mainstream medical opinion, the cause of ASD is unknown. But what is known is that since the 1990s, rates of ASD have skyrocketed. Is it because of environmental factors? Or it is simply because doctors are more aware of the disorder?
One doctor in particular—Nemechek—believes he knows the root causes of ASD and other developmental diseases.
Who is Dr. Nemechek?
Dr. Paul M. Nemechek is a classically trained internal medicine doctor and doctor of osteopathy, or D.O. for short. He is a former HIV researcher and internal physician. He is also the creator/founder of The Nemechek Protocol for Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Nemechek’s specialty is the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The well-being of the ANS is crucial for the brain’s communication with cells, organs, bodily functions, and inflammation.
Nemechek believes everyone can improve their health or even reverse a disease. The way to do that is by restoring ANS function.
What Does the Nemechek Protocol And Diet Treat?
According to Nemechek’s website, in addition to ASD, the protocol may treat the following:
- Digestive and intestinal issues
- Developmental delay
- Sensory processing disorder
- Asperger syndrome
- Multiple system atrophy
What Does Dr. Nemechek Say Causes Autism?
Cytokines are a protein produced by cells. They aren’t necessarily bad. They help the immune system produce an inflammatory response when an injury occurs.
However, this response can get out of hand. According to Dr. Nemechek, inflammation from over-active cytokine activity prevents brains from developing correctly.
Another reason kids have developmental delay is because of cumulative damage to the brain explains Dr. Nemechek. This damage is often a result of frequent head injuries, even minor ones.
In a normal child, the brain heals within a couple weeks after they hit their head. But in a child with ASD or other developmental delay, there’s a build up of damage. Therefore, out-of-control inflammation prevents healing.
Nemechek also explains that emotional trauma such as frightening events can also damage brain cells. Inflammatory damage, he adds, is also caused by infection, surgery, fractures, and vaccines.
At birth, the human brain contains 100 billion neurons. The number of neurons should go down starting in early childhood. By 18 years of age, the human brain should have 50 billion neurons.
Why is this important?
Nemechek explains that in children with ASD and developmental disorders, certain brain cells (microglia) do not “prune” correctly. Kids with ASD have too many brain cells. And many of these brain cells are damaged.
This lack of brain-cell pruning, the doctor claims, is the reason why developmental delays occur. However, certain interventions such as speech therapy can improve the pruning rate.
The Nemechek Protocol and diet was created to increase brain cell pruning. The doctor claims his method reverses brain and autoimmune injuries.
How Does The Nemechek Protocol and Diet Work?
It rebalances intestinal bacteria and nourishes the brain. This action can reverse the key features of autism and developmental disorders, according to the doctor’s website.
Nemechek claims his method is safe, simple, and inexpensive. It uses natural ingredients.
The simple strategy on the doctor’s website is this: If you fix the brain, then you fix the body.
How does Nemechek go about fixing the brain? Through brain surgery?
Nope. Nemechek’s supposed miracles for autism don’t tinker directly with the brain. Rather, the protocol improves brain function by improving the health of the gut.
Linking brain damage to vaccines, as Nemechek states on his website, is highly controversial. However, there’s no denying that there’s a direct correlation between brain and digestive function.
And here’s how the Nemechek protocol heals gut health….
Bacteria in the intestines produce something called “propionic acid.”
Having too much of this acid, Nemechek suggests, is the reason why children with ASD express certain behaviors. The doctor explains that this acid acts like valium and LSD.
In other words, propionic acid can make kids appear sedative. It also explains their strange behavior. Nemechek says animal studies clearly show that high propionic acid leads to the development of antisocial behaviors, increased sensitivity to sound, light, and touch, as well as gait abnormalities.
And in human studies, he adds, it’s been shown that children with autism have very high concentrations of propionic acid within their tissues.
And what’s the cause of excess inflammation in the gut that produces this propionic acid?
Nemechek blames it on eating too many foods with omega 6 fatty acids. Think: vegetable oils as well as corn and soy-fed meat. Nemechek says studies reveal brain damage in animals fed a corn and soy-rich diet.
Olive Oil And The Nemechek Protocol
Is eliminating corn, soy, and other vegetable oils the simple solution for curing autism?
For some parents, this claim is probably outrageous because many young kids diagnosed on the spectrum hardly eat anything with Omega-6s. In fact, some kids with severe autism will only stomach yogurt and select few other foods that don’t have high Omega-6 content.
But Nemechek doesn’t exactly claim this. His protocol isn’t only for kids with ASD. The program is for all types of developmental disorders. Nonetheless, the doctor does offer a simple solution for blocking inflammation caused by excess Omega-6 consumption: extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil contains an Omega-9 fatty acid, oleic acid. But again, one criticism of this recommendation could be this:
How do you get a child with autism that will hardly eat anything to consume olive oil?
On top of that, the Nemechek Protocol and diet also calls for Omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically, it calls for the omega-3, DHA. DHA is one of the three omega-3 fatty acids. DHA is abundant in animal tissues such as wild salmon.
Again, how can a parent get their fussy child to put down olive oil and salmon? One solution is to mix a tablespoon of olive oil and DHA liquid supplement in yogurt.
Autonomic Recovery Program Diet
Remember, the autonomic nervous system controls gut-brain function. Dr. Nemechek believes autonomic dysfunction can also be blamed on a condition called “SIBO.”
SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. With SIBO, bacteria reside in the small intestine instead of living in the colon and large intestine. SIBO causes high levels of propionic acid.
Remember propionic acid? The overproduction of this acid leads to the characteristic features of autism.
This excess bacteria in the small intestine causes leakage of pieces of bacteria into the immune cells. This condition, known in natural health circles as “leaky gut” , is what triggers excess inflammation and autoimmune disease.
Inulin & The Nemechek Protocol
The Nemechek Protocol diet offers a simple fix for SIBO: inulin.
Inulin is a prebiotic fiber. And when young children are given inulin, an “awakening” may result.
An awakening is when the brain starts pruning. In other words, the brain is able to heal. Consequently, propionic acid levels shrink.
This is good news for the parents who have seen results following this protocol.
However, because of the healing, anxiety and irritability can often occur. This, says Nemechek, is not the result of the inulin, but rather the effect of removing propionic acid.
Within 4-8 weeks, the doctor says that many times, brain dysfunction goes away. Recovery starts to happen.
However, Nemechek says that for teenagers, inulin isn’t as effective. Instead, using the antibiotic Rifaximin is better. It sweeps bad bacteria in the small intestine without harming good bacteria in the colon.
Nemechek advises against using probiotics, vitamins and most supplements. These get in the way of recovery, he argues, adding that some supplements may cause further harm.
In essence, the cornerstone of the diet is simple: extra virgin olive oil, high-quality fish oil and inulin. And no processed omega-6 fatty acids.
Awakening With the Nemechek Protocol
Once the gut bacteria is balanced and no longer residing in the small intestine, awakening can occur. At first, it may seem like a child’s symptoms are worsening. The child may appear more anxious and sleep quality is worse.
More disturbingly, there’s a tendency for self-harm. A child experiencing an awakening can be more aggressive. They may even be a flight risk.
What causes these behaviors is anxiety from a specific stress hormone, explains Nemechek.
The doctor implies that although this period will be challenging, eventually behavior will improve.
Nemechek Protocol Reviews
What do parents of children with ASD and other developmental disorders think? Do the doctor’s methods work? Can a child be cured?
According to some reviews, the results have been spectacular. Here are a few positive reviews from the doctor’s website:
“I wanted to thank you so much for all your hard work and research. My son is 2.5 and he is making great gains in his speech and engagement since beginning the protocol 6 weeks ago.
“My 7 year old son who has ADHD/SPD/Anxiety Disorder has been on protocol since 7/24/18. Doses are 1/2 tsp inulin, 1/2 tsp ultimate omega, and 1.5 tsp evoo (California Ranch cooc). We saw immediate improvement and he did fantastic the first 4 months of school this year. The school could not believe the change in behavior….”
“My son is four years old, we have been using the protocol for four days, I can see the results, son is present, has great eye contact and laughs a lot.”
Parents are advised to first read the Nemechek Protocol book before implementing any diet changes. Currently, there are 91 reviews of the book on Amazon. Almost 90% of the reviews are 5-star, including a snippet of this one:
“This book and the community around the Nemechek Protocol has helped us manage some major issues (food sensitivities, anxiety, anger, tantrums, rage, chronic fatigue, b12 deficiencies and more), which were unresolved by other methods (Biomed, supplements, diets etc) for years. For autism families, this is the single most important resource they’ll need to change the course of their lives.
Other reviews claim that the doctor’s program has improved Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Nemechek’s website offers advice for other conditions as well, such as heartburn, headaches and PTSD.
Nemechek Protocol: Conclusion
There’s no doubt that some parents will not have success with the program (such as this mom who stopped using the protocol). And no doubt that many in the mainstream medical community regard the doctor’s program as illegitimate.
However, the doctor backs his program through scientific proof.
If you are thinking about following the program for yourself or someone in your family, first read the Nemechek Protocol book.
Network with other parents who have followed it. Do as much research as you can. Then, and only then, decide if the program is right for you (or your child).
Looking for more natural remedies to help with other developmental disorders? Check out our article on natural remedies for ADHD to try along with this protocol.
What do you think of the Nemechek Protocol Diet? Leave a comment….