Many parents of autism-spectrum children have worked hard to eliminate excess sugar from their child's diet to help reduce poor immune function, yeast overgrowth, and generally to improve overall health. Adults looking for improved health have also turned to the reduction of sugar to lessen their risk for diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. One product that has caught the attention of the health advocate community is Agave nectar which is commonly used as a sugar and honey substitute in teas, health drinks, coffee or cooking items that require sweetening. Agave nectar is now being sold in many health food or specialty markets as a superior sweetening agent often advertised as "natural" or "organic" to appeal to the health conscious individual. The problem is Agave nectar is anything but healthy, and recent evidence suggests that it is a toxic substance on par with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
HFCS has been used for years as a sweetener in many processed food. HFCS is created by chemically altering corn syrup to increase its sweetness. The problem is HFCS is devoid of minerals and other nutrients often found in natural sugars such as fruit, and is a contributor to high triglycerides which predispose to heart disease. For children on the autism-spectrum the consumption of HFCS and Agave nectar the concern is certainly abnormal fat production, but also the increase in inflammation in the body which can weaken their immune system and adversely affect neurological function. In a recent article from food and nutrition researcher Rami Nagel you will learn about the dangers of HFCS and the hoax of Agave nectar as a healthy alternative sweetener. I would recommend avoiding the use of Agave nectar as a sweetener for your autism-spectrum child. It is definitely not a health product. See this link for the article on Agave Nectar.