Because Down syndrome stems from a genetic disorder involving an extra copy of chromosome 21, people typically assume that it is inevitable and unchangeable. This is not true. There are many research studies that demonstrate improvement in the symptoms of Down syndrome children through nutritional intervention; increased IQ to normal, reduction of physical symptoms, even changes in facial features.
Scientists know that different genotypes (the genetic constitution) require different nutritional profiles. If we know the biochemical imbalances that exist within different genetic profiles, we can address the imbalances very specifically with diet and nutritional supplementation.
One of the greatest biochemical problems for those with Down syndrome is that they overproduce an important enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD). As two of the needed enzymes are not available, this incomplete cascade begins to build up oxidative stress and damage the brain and body. Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E, lipoic acid, glutathione, and selenium are necessary to reduce the free radical damage. Essential fatty acid supplementation is also important.
Additionally, there is a disruption involving the amino acid s-adenosyl methionine (SAMe). When this methylation pathway is not working, important brain nutrients like folic acid are not useable and many other important systems such as immune, detoxification, and hormonal function are diminished. Therefore, supplementing with nutrients that boost methylation (folinic acid, B6, methylB12), and methyl donors (DMAE, choline, DMG and TMG) provides great benefit.
While initially it seems strange to think you can impact a genetic condition with nutrition, I hope this illustrates why and how it IS so incredibly helpful and important.