Quackery Exposed: Simple Spectrum Supplement

Simple Spectrum Supplement is a gummy vitamin with Acetyl-l-carnitine, Choline, Coenzyme Q10, Inositol, MSM. MTHF, NAC, Larch Arabinogalactan, Bioperine, and HydroCurc.  These ingredients will be explained. It will be shown why they should not be given to children. Any person should not have a supplement unless they know their body is deficient of that particular nutrient or mineral. Having too much of a nutrient or mineral can be just as dangerous as not having enough.

One red flag was they are supported by Autism Hope Alliance and TACA

I started by asking the seller on their Facebook page to explain why. 

After asking these questions, they private messaged me. I think they did not want our conversation to be for public view. That's what screen shots are for! I asked basic components of a research study. 

They blocked me. I do not think they were amused. The "study" they linked me to was this:

It is not a real study report. There are many missing parts. Anyone who has been in college and has done research, can spot all the holes in this "report." When I challenged it, they blocked me. 

 They said they had appointed functional medicine doctors. Functional medicine is alternative medicine (also called integrative medicine) where they try to find the cause of a disease and use supplements to try to cure. 

Here are the ingredients of this supplement and what they are supposed to do. No supplement is approved or evaluated by the FDA. Please keep that in mind. 

Acetyl-l-carnitine- it helps the body produce energy. It is used to treat Alzheimer's Disease, high blood sugar, alcoholism, depression, fragile x syndrome, sciatica, male infertility and Peyronie's Disease. It does not take a scientist to figure out that typical autistic child does not have any of those problems. Why would anyone put it in a supplement for autistic children? 

Risks: diarrhea, vomiting , nausea, stomach pain, headaches, insomnia, higher blood pressure, lower blood sugar, higher triglyceride, and psychosis for those with bipolar disorder. 

Choline helps with fat build up in the liver, athsma, and birth defects of the spine or brain (neurotube defects). 

Risks: In adults they are sweating, a fishy body odor, gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and vomiting. In children, the risks are increased in severity. 

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring vitamin like substance in the body. It can be found in the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas. It is used for heart failure, congestive heart failure, chest pain (angina), high blood pressure and migraine prevention. What child need that?

Risks: In adults stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can cause allergic skin rashes in some people. It also might lower blood pressure, so check your blood pressure carefully if you have very low blood pressure. THIS SHOULD NOT BE USED IN CHILDREN WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION.

Inisitol is a vitamin type substance found naturally in the body and in plants. It is used for type two diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, compulsive hair pulling, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.

Risks: In adults nausea, headache, stomach pain, fatigue and dizziness. It is possibly safe in children. 

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a chemical found in animals, humans and many plants. People use it to treat arthritis. There has not been enough research to determine its safety. They want to give this to children?
Folate (MTHR) is used for neurotube development during pregnancy. How many pregnant children do you know?
Risks: Nausea, gas, bloating, poor appetite, bad taste, insomnia, feeling depressed or overexcited.
N-acetyl cysteine is used by the body to make antioxidants. It is a prescription drug that is used for acetaminophen  (tylonol) overdoses. It is also used for break up mucus in asthma sufferers. Some people use it as a supplement to protect the liver. 
Risks: Side effects are upset stomach, diarrhea, fatigue and skin rash. Do not take if you have asthma or bleeding problems. It is not for children. 
Larch Arabinogalactan is a starch like substance that is found in many plants. It is found in largest concentration in larch trees. It is used for infections including the common cold, swine flu, flu, ear infections (in children) and HIV/AIDS. It is also used to treat liver cancer and brain condition caused by liver damage (hepatic encephalopathy).
Risks: Bloating and intestinal gas. Not enough research for long term use and children. 
Bioperine (Cardiotek) is used to prevent vitamin deficiency and treat vitamin deficiency. It is mostly used in anemic patients. 
RisksBronchospasm,Difficulty Concentrating, A Feeling Of General Discomfort Called Malaise, A Skin Rash, A Sleep Disorder, Confusion, Decreased Appetite, Depression, Gas, Irritability, Itching, Nausea, Over Excitement, Skin Redness, Swelling Of The Abdomen and Taste Impairment (this is supposed to be given to children by these people?!)
HydroCurc (turmeric and curcumin) spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is used for pain, inflammation from osteoarthritis. The rate of juvenile arthritis is addressed above. 
risk: abnormal heart rhythm. There is not enough research on this. 
All these are ingredients in this "safe supplement." Would you give this to your children? Now that you know what it is, I can guess the answer would be no. 


Founding Member Tried To Be Slick

I was contacted by a lady by the name of Heather. She would did not leave the last name on a message. I thought that was a bit odd but I texted her. She told me she was a BCBA that got out of the field because of abusive practices and her husband is in a band. She wanted to partner with autistic led organizations instead of neurotypical led like Autism Speaks. She told me she gave to TACA in the past but that was in the past so I thought she wanted to really be an ally. What she told me sounded like she was. I was wrong.

A few days later I got a string of texts from her:

Text for the visually impaired:

Message by You: I’m sorry i don’t think so. I can’t stand behind something who can’t produce peer reviewed studies. Correlation does not mean causation. Autism doesn’t mean they need probiotics. Please look into the side effects, Friday, May 8 2020, 12:57 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: attachment: Image, Friday, May 8 2020, 12:58 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: New one!, Friday, May 8 2020, 12:58 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: Our supplement doesn't contain probiotics, Friday, May 8 2020, 12:58 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: It's also not just for those on the spectrum at all. It's designed for anyone that might not be getting the best nutrition and is looking to supplement. Just a better product out on the market. Honestly was designed because of my daughters cyclic vomiting syndrome. We're updating the website to make sure it doesn't look like it's just for those on the spectrum because it's not at all but we were getting a lot of people on the spectrum using our product due to very picky eating habits and sensory issues like my daughters!, Friday, May 8 2020, 1:00 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: Our own Dr. Shay has done a lot of research looking at vitamin B deficiency being linked to speech delays., Friday, May 8 2020, 1:01 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: I also don't just do supplements but so much more! Group homes ran by autistics and working with pediatricians on earlier diagnosis- I think early diagnosis is so important and acceptance!, Friday, May 8 2020, 1:03 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: I love any constructive criticism you can give and hope to work together! Don't want to bombard you with text 💙, Friday, May 8 2020, 1:04 PM

Message by ‪(949) 246-9292‬: I just donated because I believe in what you do but think you have us categorized wrong! Would love any other feedback you have or to talk more if you're up to. If not, no worries at all. Take care and stay safe! 😃, Friday, May 8 2020, 2:01 PM

After this exchange, I did tell her that I was not interested. You can see exactly how the exchange went. This doctor that she was talking about is a BIOMEDICAL doctor. Not someone I want my nonprofit to be associated with.

After she told me she was a Co Founder I went on their website and found out exactly who she is.

Her bio on the website is:

Heather Grimaldi, MS is the Founder of Proof Positive ABA Therapies, an organization of highly-trained and compassionate specialists who provide treatment based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, the most widely researched and scientifically validated method known for treating Autism. Armed with empathy, driven by her passion for helping families, and anchored by her own experience as a devoted mother, Heather built Proof Positive ABA Therapies into one of the largest and most respected institutions of its kind. As a behavior analyst and Clinical Director, Heather’s focus was on supporting families and team members tasked with implementing behavior-analytic interventions. Proof Positive ABA Therapies developed individualized treatment plans designed specifically to teach self-help and social skills with a family-focused approach and an emphasis on parent education, distinguishing themselves as trusted and hands-on care providers. In late 2016, the long-running Autism Learning Partners created one of the largest Autism therapy platforms in the U.S. with its acquisition of Proof Positive.

The doctor she was referring to:

Dr. Kristin Shay, DC, MS Functional Medicine, is an experienced healthcare professional and educator who carries a deeply personal passion for functional medicine and the latest developments in the science behind “nutraceuticals” – dietary supplements demonstrated to have physiological benefits. Dr. Shay holds a Doctor of Chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences; a Masters of Science in Clinical Physiology, and a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. As an educator, she has instructed college aged students on a wide array of subjects, including nutrition, anatomy, embryology, and overall health/fitness. Dr. Shay is a licensed Clinical Exercise Specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine. Over the course of her career, she earned professional licensure with the American Heart Association and memberships with a number of esteemed professional organizations, including the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and the American Pregnancy Association. Dr. Shay’s interest in identifying nutrient deficits and dietary supplementation began with her own personal wellness, inevitably extending outward to friends, family, and clients.

I am not happy that she would not disclose this at the beginning of our exchange. I would never have wasted my or her time. Do not lie to me. I find people and I find obscure data. You will be found out.

A Response to My Disgust

So after that whole fiasco, she tried commenting on the blog post:

I will admit that I was really upset when I received these text messages and I did not cross off the number. When I realized it, I fixed that problem because that was not right.  All the other info I found on Simple Spectrum Supplement's website. Everything else is in the public view. 

We did talk about the abusive practices of ABA and the way she made it seem, I thought she was an ex BCBA. 

For debunking the supplement: you do not need to be a doctor to be able to find out side effects of different supplements and medication. All you need to know is how to read a pharmacological formulary. I looked up all the ingredients in the formulary. It is mostly probiotic as you see in this blog

TACA pushes biomedical cures. They are a very strong supporter of chelation, which has been very harmful. This type of treatment has even killed children. Chelation is based of the thought that vaccines have heavy metals. This is not true. 

Autism Speaks calls autistic women who advocate the C word.  Has told autistic mothers "they should not have bred." No autistic person I know supports either organization. 

I ran a donation report. As I appreciate your donation, our values do not align with one another. This would not be a relationship that would work. I do appreciate you reaching out. I do not hate her but we do not have the same values. If you would like, please request a donation refund from facebook and we would be happy to return it. 


A Counter Rebuttal to Their Rebuttal

After some time on google, I came across this from Simple Spectrum Supplement. It seems like my analysis has struck a nerve. I am going to break it apart by paragraph. 

Dear Fierceautie.com readers,

We'd like to start off by saying I think we have very similar missions educating families/ people. We started this company because the supplement world was so unregulated. We agree with you that there’s a lot of scary treatment options out there that are quite harmful to say the least and thank you for your time and dedication to these matters! I do think you have us pinned wrong though. This is why we were so passionate about creating a higher quality supplement. Our supplement is not a gummy but unflavored dissolvable powder because that is much more bioavailable and not full of sugars.

They say we have similar missions. Our mission is to support autistics as they are without trying to change them. They want to sell as much as their supplement as possible without consulting an actual doctor. They admit its unregulated because its a treatment. 

We based our product off of research like this.

This study pathologizing stimming by calling it "repetitive behaviors." They ignore the fact that we stim to self regulate. Why would anyone want to stop autistics from stimming when it keeps us regulated. We do not need to become neurotypical. Remember that correlation does not equal causation. There are also many comorbid conditions that autistics are more likely to have. Before doing anything with any supplement, consult your doctor. I cannot stress this enough. 

This is a closed access study but luckily the college I graduated from allowed me access. It is published in Sage Journal. The first phase of this study took place at Duke University. Why is this important? They inject umbilical cord blood into autistic toddlers to "improve behavior." Duke University is known for experimenting on autistic children. One example is injecting umbilical cord blood to try to "improve" their autism. 

Not only did the study take place at Duke University, they took their data using parent report interviews and questionnaires. That is anecdotal evidence with no scientific basis. 

Simple Spectrum Supplement is mentioned nowhere in this study. 

Study is closed access but I downloaded it and it can be found Here

Nutrition is very important for anyone! We want people to feel the best and be the best version of themself. Supplementation is great for everyone! Our supplement is designed for anyone that might not be getting the best nutrition and is looking to supplement- often seen in our picky eaters with sensory issues. 

They say its great for everyone. They do not tell people to have bloodwork done at their doctor's office to make sure they are deficient in what they are selling. They do encourage people to take it blindly. 

We are just trying to put a better supplement out on the market. We understand it’s not always realistic to get your child to take multiple products so it was important for us to create an all in one.

They are treating all autistics as a one size fits all approach. We are all different with different co morbidities. Doctors should always be consulted first. 

 Our supplement is just the highest quality vitamins and minerals in the most bioavailable forms and nothing else- it’s really how all supplements should be! Our mission was to create the kind of nutraceutical supplement we wanted to see available, based on the latest scientific research and free from the extraneous additives packed into so many similar products on the market. 

They fail to say that their "science" is based on functional medicine

We are really trying to change the supplement world and standards by doing things such as third party test (which isn’t the norm but definitely should be), which is why we are working diligently to get insurance to reimburse and have been successful in some cases! We want Insurance to understand how important nutrition is and possible nutrient deficits. 

Insurance does not pay for supplements because it is unregulated by the FDA. 

Simple Spectrum is the highest quality vitamins and minerals in the best forms (most bioavailable) and nothing else! Our supplement provides the nutritional needs of the developing nervous system with extra support for individuals with autism by addressing potential dietary deficits (often seen in children with autism due to picky eating habits and sensory issues) 

Again this needs to be evaluated by a doctor, not just given blindly without knowing what is deficient in the individual's body. 

Our supplement is a high grade nutraceutical typically found in doctors offices. Only the highest quality quality vitamins and minerals are used in our formula- methylated active forms and truly amino acid chelated from reputable country of origins, rigorously 3rd party tested with the highest bio availability and made in the United States. There really isn’t anything like this out on the market at this time other than in clinicians offices and they end up selling our exact product for triple the cost. 

They keep on repeating their supplement is the highest quality. I do not doubt the quality of their supplement. I do stress the importance of being assessed by a doctor to make sure there is a deficiency in a particular vitamin or mineral. Having a combined supplement is not ideal. 

We sell to clinicians offices around the world but they end up selling our product for much more and our goal is to go straight to families and really save them the cost! Simple Spectrum was designed with our kids with sensory needs in mind and is an unflavored dissolvable powder without gluten, casein, added sugar, soy, binding agents, artificial colors, preservatives, GMOs and dairy. We are so passionate about this product and getting our kiddos the best possible nutrition!

They did make it into a dissolvable powder that does take sensory needs into consideration BUT they do perpetuate the myth of Gluten Free and Casein free diets

We understand that you might not support us due to the use of the puzzle piece and it’s negativity (we don’t think of it as a hate symbol like you do but use it to signify filling nutritional gaps) We Love supporting groups like Autism Speaks, TACA and AHA. We also love supporting those in the autistic community like you but not those that attack businesses that they don’t even know or understand. We understand you don’t like ABA and one of our owners is a BCBA but all ABA is not bad. ABA deals with the principles of reinforcement and is great for any child! We agree with you and there is some bad ABA that can be very robotic- we are all about using a child’s motivation and play therapy!

They understand we don't support them due to use of the puzzle piece and negativity. They dismiss us by saying that they don't see it as a hate symbol. They go on to say they support Autism SpeaksTACA and Autism Hope Alliance. They also are ABA apologists by saying ABA is not "all bad." How dismissive. 

These people do not know me and do not know what I understand or what I don't understand. Remember what happens when you assume. It is not an attack when I use real scientific sources to find my information and not from functional medicine which has been proven to be quackery. 

If someone does have any questions or concerns about our product we recommend speaking with your child’s pediatrician who knows them best and not a blogger😃 We are mainly sold in clinicians offices and were at MAPS (Medical Association Pediatric Special Needs). Most clinicians love our product!

Yes always consult your child's pediatrician. I am a blogger but with medical background. I always say to consult your child's pediatrician first. They can effectively evaluate if you are deficient in something. DO not supplement blindly, it can have dangerous consequences.

They admit they are at MAPSMAPS pushes chelation and other forms of quackery. 



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  5. I bought this. They say its flavourless. They dont tell you it smells like sewerage! So it cant be flavourless if it stinks! What they mean is they dont ADD flavouring to it. Very deceptive. I told them its no good. My son wont take it. He was literally gagging. They sent me another. Same thing. After a week opened it clumped together and stunk. They told me I am not storing it right
    Nope. Stored them perfectly in a dry area with no moisture and kept the lid sealed. Oh and they offer refunds but they dont honour that offer they just send replacements whether u want it or not. The WORST part is if you publicly share your experience they delete it and block you from their page. So ALL their reviews are positive because you cant leave a negative one. Im seriously wanting to find out if legal action can be taken or if there is a consumer watchdog for this because you just cannot get an honest opinion on the product. I cant contact them in their FB page as they blocked me from commenting. These people are crooks.

  6. I,m glad I read this before buying a supplement for my autistic son.

  7. I found this post when trying to research all the ingredients in it, as well. The one that tipped me off was NAC -- I took that very "fringe" when I was pregnant with my youngest based on small studies that said it helped reduce miscarriage. My midwives were VERY adamant I not take it while breastfeeding because there was no research, and they are awesome and research anything I looked into.

    That said, some of the other things here have the research backing it up (COQ10, Insitol, etc.), so I don't know if your take down is fully fair. But seeing that they blocked you is enough to turn me off from buying it!

  8. This was good and you dig deeper. I did buy this unfortunately,but I found it got very lumpy in a months time. I stopped using it even though they are called them and they explained why. They are shipping another bottle but I will not use! It was on Amazon but discontinued. People complained about it with pictures some liked it. It's not for all kids on the spectrum. I purchased it for vitamins my son may be missing. Thumbs down on this product be weary on some products meant for autistic kids.

  9. Wow, Thank you for taking the time to research and write this! I was just about to purchase this for my son's! I can't Thank you enough.

  10. Omg I see this post after a month of giving this supplement to my non-verbal child😭😭😭

  11. thank you for sharing this information. I bought it but my son didn't take the smell and the taste is very strong.thank god reading your research I will not try again thanks very much.

  12. I bought this product months ago for my son, all their reviews on their instagram was “oh my kid now eats more foods”. And I did actually notice that my son does the same, but this past month I’ve noticed his hairs are falling out, and he’s only 3! I feed my son extremely clean, whole healthy foods even down to breads needing to be natural and the only thing I could think of that might be a cause would be this supplement! How deceiving of them and wish I could sue them after reading this article!! Thank you for this research other parents of this growing children deserve to know the truth!


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