This month’s book club is:
-Patrick M. Nemechek & Jean R. Nemechek
Welcome to our second Book Club! Thank you for voting on this month’s book. If you’d like to vote for next month’s book, please join my email list here.
The Nemechek protocol:
It has three components
- Olive oil
- Fish oil
Very simple. So let’s understand it. This book is a great book for beginners. However, the top of the cover reads, “Fact # 1: Miracles do happen.” This is probably what I disagree with most in the book.
Regaining the health and happiness of your child is not a miracle.
What’s the definition of a miracle? It’s something that is surprising, that’s not explained by science, and therefore it’s the work of a divine being.
This is not a miracle, having your child be healthy is not a miracle.
It might feel like it, but published science in the U.S. says that 9% of those in the U.S. heal completely from autism. And this is the work that I do with parents. We focus on science. It’s not a miracle. It’s good science. So let’s get started.
Why is it called a protocol?
And the reason is: It’s not going to work for everybody. For the people whose symptoms and the science align directly with the protocol, it’s going to work fantastically. But if your child has more symptoms than just what’s addressed by this protocol, then likely they’ll get better, but not fully.
And for some people who try this protocol, it doesn’t work and it could make things worse. And that’s because what the protocol does and what that child needs are very different. So it’s a great beginner’s book. I certainly would recommend getting a copy of it. Here’s a link to order it on Amazon.
The one thing that is really great about this book is it starts off with a glossary. If you’re new to autism and some of these words and abbreviations will be new to you, so that’s a great place to start.
The core focus of Nemechek Protocol: Bacterial overgrowth
Bacteria that should stay in the large intestines migrate up into the small intestines, and that’s when you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth SIBO. And this protocol really focuses on addressing that. That’s the science. That’s the first aspect of the science for this protocol.
And then it shifts to brain health and decreasing brain inflammation. And that’s how the protocol is getting results. That’s the science behind the protocol.
Slipping into Autism
There’s a chapter here and it talks about slipping into autism and what’s discussed here is the Clostridia family. Clostridia is something that is found commonly in children with autism. Not every child with autism has Clostridia, but many do. And so when there is Clostridia, they produce propionic acid, which then can really impact developmental health.
This is a way that bacteria in the gut can influence brain development in a not positive way. If your child tested positive for Clostridia then this would certainly be a good book to pick up and at least understand some more of the science behind what’s going on.
And I do like there are a few parts in this book where Dr. Nemechek talks about the catching-up process – developmentally. When these health issues are addressed – different infections, overgrowth, a variety of health concerns – when they’re addressed the child can be much healthier and begin to experience life differently.
Then there is this glorious period of learning and catching up developmentally, academically, and socially. And it’s natural. It’s not something that you have to put a lot of effort in and have a lot of different therapies and do 60 hours of therapies. No, it’s this catching up period where learning is fun for the child and it’s absolutely glorious.
So he does touch upon this throughout the book in certain spots.
And I think it’s really great for parents to read that and to say wow, Ok, this slipping into autism is something that everybody talks about, right? Like, “Oh, my goodness, all right, now we have autism”, but what can happen to get on the other side of that isn’t talked about much.
When a child gets healthy and happier and catches up developmentally, that actually is a part of autism. But how many parents don’t get to experience that? So it’s good to see it written down in black and white.
You could hold this book in your hands and say, “Wow, Ok, yes, slipping into autism is something that occurs. But there is something on the other side that many parents have experienced.” So I really like that aspect of the book. Not many books touch upon that.
What is The Nemechek Protocol?
Three things: fish oil, olive oil, inulin. If the child is over 10, then instead of inulin, he prefers to use prescription medication to address the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Let’s look at a definition for autism based upon his words:
“Autism is the consequence of excessive brain inflammation, in addition to toxicity from the overproduction propionic acid, from intestinal bacterial overgrowth.”-Dr. Nemechek
So he feels if you target the intestinal bacterial growth, reduce that, then brain inflammation will naturally decrease.( i.e., when you decrease the source of the inflammation). And then he also has fish oil and olive oil to help with brain health. So that’s his overall protocol.
Two phases of Nemechek Protocol
The first is the reduction of propionic acid by reversing bacterial overgrowth. And then the second phase is the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines production and really focus more on brain health. So you can see it’s a simple approach. And if your child has a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, this is a great approach.
If your child does not have that as an issue, then you likely will not see much of an effect, at least from the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth aspect of this protocol. Your child might get some benefit from increasing healthy fats and stuff like that, of course, but you won’t see that drastic change like some kids do.
What is inulin?
Ok, let’s talk about inulin because this might be new to some parents. To quote from the book here:
“Inulin fiber does not kill intestinal bacteria. Instead, it works like a fertilizer. Inulin fiber nourishes the healthy bacteria that rightfully should be living in the small intestine. The invading bacteria from the colon are not nourished by inulin.”-Dr. Nemechek
So that’s his approach to resolving this bacterial overgrowth. You give more inulin and it will feed the bacteria that are supposed to be in the small intestine and basically starve out the bacteria that should not be in the small intestine. So that’s how he resolves the SIBO.
Dr. Nemechek prefers the children take DHA Fish oils in pill or liquid form. There are some gummies, but he really prefers the pills or the liquids. And there are two brands that he recommends:
Oils to avoid
The next part of the protocol is to avoid certain oils. So things like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, the oils that are high in omega six, which are inflammatory. Obviously, you don’t want to give something that’s inflammatory when that is the problem. What’s acceptable in this protocol, for healthy fats, is
canola oil, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil. That is the healthy fats that he prefers children eat.
He doesn’t go into much more diet changes. He does say how gluten-free is a good thing, but that’s not really part of his protocol.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
And the third aspect of his protocol is the extra virgin olive oil. He prefers it to come from California. And he recommends this olive oil as part of this protocol to reduce systemic inflammation.
And that is a very simple protocol. So it’s three things. You can buy the book and those three supplements/ingredients probably for $60 or so. It’s a very cost-effective way to start.
This book does answer different questions like,
“What happens if my child is experiencing symptoms from starting the insulin?” or
“How much should I start off with?” or
“What’s the ultimate dose?”
And the last thing about this book that is really nice is it has a chapter about prevention. So sometimes parents are asking questions or soon to be parents are asking questions:
“What can I do before pregnancy to ensure the health of my child?” Or
“What can I do while I’m pregnant to make sure we don’t have these issues to deal with once the baby is here?”
So he does go into that a little bit.
I think this is a great book for a beginner.
Getting your child back to their health is not a miracle.
It’s science. There’s published science out there to understand and guide you and your doctor.
And the most important step is aligning the science with your child’s symptoms so that whatever you do, whatever treatment you do, is going to address their symptoms based on science. So I certainly enjoyed this book. I think it’s a great reference for people to have, but…
It’s not a miracle, it’s science.