Monday, May 9, 2011

MTHFR and autism

I have MTHFR on my mind again. My mom recently tested positive for both of the two most common MTHFR gene polymorphisms (677/1298). Which wasn't a huge suprise since she has fibromyalgia. Her positive test confirmed my suspicions that the MTHFR gene polymorphism is one of the root causes of the chronic health problems experienced by our extended family. I spent a little bit of time on pubmed this weekend doing some more research. I have a collection of fascinating articles that are "must reads" for those dealing with autism, anxiety, and other MTHFR related issues. SO interesting.

A post from a new-to-me blog that offers info on MTHFR:

What I found very interesting is that the MTHFR protocol that Dr. Rawlins is using to treat my mother is similar to the biomedical treatment protocol for autism. Here is a site where Dr. Rawlin's brother put some links to Dr. Rawlins work. The second link on the site is a very informative powerpoint presentation.

Also, for more info on MTHFR see my previous post here.

Here is the methylfolate I use. You can find the active form of B12 at any health food store, just make sure that it starts with "methyl". Sublingual drops and tablets are the most effective. We also have this around.

Friday, March 11, 2011

glutathione and asparagus

Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. Our bodies need glutathione in order for our detoxification pathways to work properly. We need glutathione to flush out toxins, pollutants, heavy metals, etc. from our bodies. Children on the autism spectrum (including ADD/ADHD) are usually low in glutathione. Those with the MTHFR gene polymorphism are also low on glutathione. Most chronic diseases are associated with low glutathione levels.

Here are some links to some must read articles about glutathione:

Asparagus contains more glutathione than any other food. As such, it is often recommended for children on the autism spectrum (see above article). Also, tylenol depletes the liver of glutathione, and has been implicated as a cause of autism. According to one study, children under five who receive tylenol after the MMR vaccination are 6 times more likely to develop autism than those who did not. Read about it HERE (seriously, click on this one), and HERE (pdf). Do not give your children tylenol (acetaminophen) before or after their immunizations!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

vitamin K2

There is a lot of buzz about vitamin K2 in the world of health and nutrition. Vitamin K2 is a lesser known nutrient, yet one that is vital for bone and cardiovascular health. Vitamin K2 is responsible for making sure that calcium is deposited in our bones and teeth, and not in arteries and soft tissues.

Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin that is manufactured by the beneficial bacteria in the intestines. If you have digestive/gallbladder problems, candida, chronic use of antibiotics, or adhere to a fat-free diet, you are most likely deficient. Signs of deficiency include:

-bruising easily
-bleeding excessively (nosebleeds, gums, menstruation)
-kidney stones

Immediately after reading about Vitamin K2, I started to think about it's connection to autism. Most children on the spectrum have intestinal candida and most likely don't have enough beneficial bacteria to produce vitamin K2. Or they are allergic to most of the dietary sources. I found an amazing paper:

Vitamin K Deficiency as a Cause of Autistic Symptoms (pdf)

The author proposes that unregulated deposition of calcium in the autistic child causes many autism symptoms, and that vitamin K2 deficiency is the culprit for calcium oxalate crystals found in autistic children.

Here are some links to other great articles on vitamin K2:

Vitamin K2 Controls Removal of Calcium from Arteries
Why Probiotics are Essential to Vitamin K, and Why You Likely Need More of Both
Weston Price studies on Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2: Putting Calcium Where it Belongs

Since I am not a fan of liver, I have been trying to eat more egg yolks, fermented foods, and organic animal fat to avoid vitamin K2 deficiency. My favorite new find is THIS sauerkraut. You can find it in the refrigerated section. It is naturally fermented and tastes really good. When I make it myself it doesn't turn out very well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

food dyes, preservatives=behavioral problems, low IQ

We cut out all artificial food dyes, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, chemicals, etc. out of our diet a long time ago. The hard part about this change is that we stick out like a sore thumb when it comes to preschool, parties, social functions, holidays, etc. But I don't care. Knowing what I know about these chemicals and their negative effects on growing bodies, I honestly feel like it would be child abuse to feed these things to my children.

Click HERE to read about about the feingold program. Dr. Feingold was an allergist who started making connections between food/chemical sensitivities and behavior way back in the 1960's. A must read if you are dealing with ADHD, ear infections, asthma, OCD, bi-polar, sensory deficits, eye deficits (nystagmus), headaches, stomachaches, skin disorders, etc.

Click HERE to read about a study in the Lancet (Brittish medical journal) that links food dye and preservatives to behavioral problems.

And lastly, click HERE to read about a study in the New York school system that examind IQ scores before and after artificial dyes, flavorings, and preservatives were removed from school lunches. There was a 14% increase in IQ after these things were removed from the lunch offerings.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I have been doing a lot of research on the MTHFR gene polymorphism. Apparently around 35% of the population has this genetic mutation. Those that have this gene problem cannot convert synthetic folic acid (which is in everything!) into the active form --L 5 methyl-tetrahydrofolate. People that have this gene polymorphism don't clear heavy metals well. They have an increased risk of cancer (especially breast, colon, and gastric), and have a susceptibility to addiction. Around 98% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have at least one of the MTHFR gene mutations.

The following conditions are associated with the MTHFR gene polymorphism: cardiovascular disease, stroke, peripheral neuropathy, still births, pre-eclampsia, neural tube defects/cleft lip, depression, anxiety, IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, dementia, migraines, schizophrenia, parkinson's, miscarriage, and infertility.

The biggest problem with this gene mutation is the inability to detoxify heavy metals. Symptoms of heavy metal overload include: social deficits, withdrawal, OCD, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, aggression, tantrums, fibromyalgia, colon/pancreatic cancer, liver/kidney problems, hair loss, premature graying, rashes, poor concentration, etc...

Here are some excellent resources for further reading:

MTHFR treatment

MTHFR related health problems

Mark Hyman article on Folic Acid

Video lecture on MTHFR by Neil Rawlins, MD

List of MTHFR resources (also from Neil Rawlins, MD)

Dangers of folic acid supplementations (by Dr. Fuhrman)

Pub Med Studies on:

autism, autism, autism, psychiatric disorders, breast cancer,

A slide show from Kenneth Bock, M.D. on Autism/ADHD/Allergies/Asthma:


Oh, and the active form of folate is available online and in specialty pharmacies, but it is hard to find. There are several prescriptions with active forms of the B vitamins, such as Meta NX, Deplin (folate for depression), and Cerefolin (often prescribed for alzheimers and fibromyalgia). There is a prescription prenatal vitamin with methylfolate called Neevo.

Here is a discussion about real folate.

Here is an article linking folate blood levels to IgE allergies. Of course.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

chocolate cookies

My mom came to visit last week and bought me a copy of Living Without magazine. I have always wanted a copy, but could never rationalize spending six dollars on a magazine. I've changed my mind. It is a wealth of information/recipes and I will be a loyal subscriber from here on out. All of the recipes are gluten/dairy-free and sweetened naturally. I tried out the vegan chocolate cookies today, and they were amazing. My family ate the whole pan before I could take a picture. Here is the recipe...

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup palm, turbinado, or sucanat sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (i used 1/4 cup white bean, 1/4 cup tapioca, 1/4 cup sorghum)
1/4 cup flax meal
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine coconut oil, sugar, applesauce, cocoa powder, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, flax meal, xanthan gum, baking soda, cloves, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Place heaping tablespoons of batter on greased cookie sheet (i didn't grease mine and they came off just fine) about two inches apart, pressing down gently on each with the palm of your hand. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate cookies sheet 180 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool before removing from sheet.

Other articles I found very interesting in the current issue were about hidden corn allergies (symptoms most often include headaches, fatigue, irritability, joint pain, IBS), gluten ataxia, and the latest research on food allergies/intolerances.

Monday, January 17, 2011


If you or someone you know suffers from autism spectrum disorder, ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any neurological or psychiatric disorder, then THIS article is a must read. It is about the Gut And Psychology Syndrome. So fascinating.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

got clay?

My mother and sister-in-law recently did a candida cleanse. I wanted my husband to do it (I can't while nursing), so I had her send me the list of ingredients. One of the ingredients was bentonite. After buying it at the health food store, I quickly realized that is was liquid clay. The side of the bottle touted it's ability to detox harmful substances in the body. Skeptical, but intrigued, I began my internet investigation.

Clay, it turns out, has been used for medicinal purposes since prehistoric times. Read what wikipedia has to offer here. The Egyptians used it for intestinal problems. It was used for menstrual problems and snake bites in classical antiquity. The British army used it in the early 20th century to treat bacterial food poisoning in India, and cholera in China. Women in indigenous cultures consume clay during pregnancy to help with nausea. Scientific analysis of clays used during pregnancy in Nigeria show that eating as little as 500 mg can satisfy nearly 80 percent of a pregnant woman's calcium needs. In studies conducted by NASA, clay provided the most absorbable form of calcium to prevent bone depletion in space. Indigenous groups in Peru dip their potatoes in clay water before consumption to prevent "souring of the stomach".

What I found most interesting were the modern day claims. It has been used to treat skin disorders, digestive disorders, insect bites, candida, parasites, chronic pain, and more. Studies at the University of Arizona state that some forms of clay can kill salmonella, e. coli, and MRSA. Many people claim that clay is very beneficial in the healing of autism. Miriam Jang, M.D., says "I have put a large number of patients on these clay baths and the levels of heavy metals--mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium have come down dramatically..." (read here)

I have read pages of testimonials on different websites about how clay has cured eczema, acne, inflammatory bowel disease, severe back pain, brown recluse spider bites, bad breath, burns, candida, and much more. At the time I read about this I had three excruciating ant bites on my leg. I usually suffer for at least a week when I get them, and steroid/benadryl/itch creams never help much. I dabbed some liquid bentonite on them and after a minute the itch was gone. After two days of applying the clay I can't even feel them anyone. Which I find amazing.

Since "healing clay" is usually extremely expensive, I contacted a ceramic supply store in Phoenix. I drove out there yesterday and picked up a 50 lb bag of 325 mesh bentonite and gave my children their first clay bath. From what I have read, the 325 mesh bentonite from american colloid company has been tested and is good for baths. I will keep you posted if I notice any positive effects of our "clay detox".

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wheat-free diet cures dyslexia?

Maybe. Here is an article about a school in Great Brittain that had amazing results.

Are food allergies making you fat?

Here is an excellent article about delayed (IgG) food allergies. These are the allergies that don't cause hives, lip swelling, and anaphylaxis, yet cause other serious issues such as digestive problems, weight gain, insulin resistance, fatigue, acne, water retention, anxiety, and more.

My sister-in-law was recently tested for IgG food allergies. She has dealt with things like IBS, eczema, acne, yeast infections, fatigue, and more and wanted answers. She got them today. Read her story here. I wanted to post it in case it could help anyone else in the blogosphere.

And while I am posting personal stories, I thought I would post these links detailing personal accounts from some favorite bloggers about how they discovered they had celiac disease (it takes an average of 11 years to finally be diagnosed).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mast Cells

I first came across the term "mast cell" when I read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine linking mast cell production to pancreatic cancer. My husband lost his father to pancreatic cancer, and I have tried to read as much as possible about it since it is a genetic cancer. Interestingly enough, mast cells are the cells responsible for causing allergic reactions/anaphylaxis. They also cause inflammation. According to all of the scientists' blogs I read, inflammation is bad news. Really bad. Inflammation= autism, digestive diseases (celiac, crohn's, etc), autoimmune disease, infertility, food allergies, Alzheimer's, cancer, etc.

I recently stumbled upon the website of the smartest man in the world. This guy is a genius. He has published a whole stockpile of research linking mast cell production/inflammation to diseases like M.S., cancer, arthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, and autism. His research on autism is brilliant. It should be on the front page of newspapers. I highly recommend sifting through his research. It is separated into categories on his site.

What I found particularly interesting about his research is that quercetin (a bioflavonoid found in skins of apples and red onions) has been found to inhibit the production of mast cells and reduce systemic inflammation. I have long known that quercetin is a natural antihistamine. Many people take it to reduce allergy symptoms. I ran to the store to buy quercetin after reading this study from Iran that claims quercetin effectively quells peanut-induced anaphylaxis in rats. I often give it to my food-allergic four-year-old (along with bromelain for absorption) and have seen pretty dramatic improvements in his behavior.

It makes sense that quercetin can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, and help reduce the symptoms of other diseases rooted in inflammation. If you want to read more about inflammation, here are links to a few of my favorite sites:

cooling inflammation (use the labels to search articles)
dr. sears (the scientist, not the pediatrician)