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During the first month of life, newborns do not know that a world beyond themselves exists.

As children grow, so do their interactions with the world. But in some instances, a child’s ability to interact with the environment and people stays limited.

This severe behavioral problem is known as autism.Autistic children are extremely withdrawn and tend to live in their own fantasy worlds.

They are often unable to express themselves verbally, and do riot make eye contact.

According to studies performed by the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, autistic children tend to have weak immune systems, which causes decreased resistance to infections, particularly upper respiratory and ear infections, as well as autoimmune problems.


Studies indicate that autism may be the result of adverse reactions to childhood vaccinations.

Dr. Alan Cohen, an environmental physician from Connecticut, notes that high levels of autism and attention deficit disorder did not occur until the mandatory use of childhood vaccinations, and suggests that “here may be a connection between certain vaccines and the onset of these conditions.

According to Dr. Harris Coulter, author of DPT.’ A Shot in the Dark, the diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus vaccine plays a major role in the start of this problem. Medical journals document the fact that DPT can cause mild or severe encephalitis, which can then result in a variety of disorders, from autism to hyperactivity to severe mental retardation.

Hyperreactivity to vaccines can lead to immune system problems, causing some children to have increased sensitivity to infections.

As a result, autistic children are commonly given repeated courses of antibiotics, which, in turn, cause a whole cascade of problems that ultimately exacerbate their condition.Antibiotic overuse can lead to an inability to properly digest nutrients, known as malabsorption syndrome.

What happens is that antibiotics destroy healthy bacteria in the gut, with a concomitant proliferation of yeast.

The resulting imbalance can cause the digestive tract to become more permeable, allowing partially broken down proteins to leak into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, these foreign substances travel to the brain and secrete toxins.

These cause inflammations that produce autism or other psvchological disorders.

Many autistic children suffer from food allergies.

Certain foods produce inflammatory compounds that travel to the brain and cause brain allergies, which are manifested as psychological disorders.Food allergies are actually easily tested for and treated; sadly, though.

This is an area often neglected by mainstream medicine.

Autism can be related to biochemical abnormalities.

Autistic children may be low in sulfur amino acids, which are needed by the liver for detoxification.

When these amino acids are absent, the liver is unable to effectively purge harmful molecules taken in from the air, food.

And water. As a result, poisonous substances reenter the bloodstream and circulate to the brain.

Where they can then cause behavioral, focusing, and memory problems. Children with autism also tend to suffer from heavy metal toxicity.

Hair analysis and other tests that detect this problem often show that autistic children have excessive amounts of antimony, aluminum, arsenic, lead, and cadmium.

This may be related to the disordered sulfur chemistry. Just mentioned, which prevents heavy metals from being excreted from the body. Supplying sulfur amino acids can sometimes eliminate this problem.

Autistic individuals tend as well to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly shortages of zinc, selenium, vitamin and magnesium.

Fortunately, it is easy to test for these problems and to correct them.

Sometimes autism is the result of subclinical hypothyroidism, a problem detected not by blood tests, but by temperature. If low body temperature is accompanied by cold hands and feet, dry skin.

And memory and concentration problems, subclinical hypothyroidism may be at the root of the problem.


Orthodox medicine approaches autism from a psychiatric perspective, and treats patients accordingly, with behavioral modification programs and medications. Although autism does manifest as a psychological disorder, the brain is a physical entity, whose functioning can be significantly improved through nutritional therapies.

Environmental physicians—d0ctors who study the relationship between patients and their environment—see positive changes when nutritional protocols are followed.

While exact recommendations should be made by a medical professional, and based on sound tests.

Some general guidelines can be offered.


Autistic children should be eating a variety of fresh foods that are free of additives and preservatives.

A diet of organic food assures that what is eaten is pesticide-free.

This is important for anyone, but especially for these children who have difficulty eliminating toxins.

In addition, autistic children are often low in vitamin B6 and magnesium, two nutrients that, when given as supplements, can produce vast improvements. Several studies show that between 30 and 40 percent of autistic children respond to B6 replacement.

The herb ginkgo biloba is good for anyone who needs to enhance brain functioning because it strengthens circulation to the brain.

Ginkgo’s effects are further amplified by the addition of coenzyme Q10, an enzyme that gets more oxygen to all parts of the body, particularly the brain. Dimethyl glycine, an over-the-counter vitamin-like compound that is taken sublingually, has a similar effect.

Bee pollen can be wonderful for improving focus, if the child is not allergic to bee stings.

It is especially high in B vitamins, which are essential for good mental health. Vitamin E with selenium aids circulation, as do choline and inositol. Moreover, vitamin C, an effective free radical scavenger. builds the immune system and improves circulation.

Research suggests that the amino acid L-glutamine is helpful for anyone with mental and emotional problems.

Autistic children can benefit from papaya and pineapple enzymes to a degree when there are digestive problems related to a difficulty in breaking down protein.

Autism caused by subclinical hypothyroidism can be corrected with a natural thyroid medicine, available by prescription, called Armour Thyroid, while garlic, citrus seed extract, and caprylic acid can help keep down the growth of yeast.

For the latter problem, nontoxic antifungal medications, such as Nystatin or Difiucan, can also be of benefit.

Most autistic children can benefit from a multivitamin and from essential fatty acids, found in flaxseed oil or fish oil. It is important to remember that children need smaller doses of nutrients than do adults.

Exact amounts depend on the age and size of the child, and supplement intake should be prescribed and monitored by a health practitioner, but here we can offer general ranges for daily doses:

Vitamin B6—5O to 200 mg, although some physicians prescribe more

Magnesium—2O0 to 300 mg

Zinc picolinate—2O to 40 mg

Selenium—10O to 200 mcg

Calcium—20O to 500 mg

Vitamin E—20() to 800 IU

What to Avoid

Pollutants, and food additives and preservatives, should be avoided as much as possible.

Foods containing yeast and mold should also be avoided in the diet of the autistic child because yeast overgrowth in the intestinal tract can lead to worsening of the condition.

Autistic children must also stay away from any foods that provoke brain allergies.

Often there is a sensitivity to gluten, found in grains, and to casein, the main protein component of milk and milk products.

Other common foods that produce allergies include corn, soy products, eggs, tomatoes, beef, and peanuts.

The specific foods responsible for causing reactions can be detected through food allergy tests.

Treatment Summary

Eating organically grown fresh foods is especially important for the autistic child, so that chemicals added to foods will not set off unwanted brain reactions.

Nutrients that can improve brain function include vitamin B6, magnesium, the herb ginkgo biloba, coenzyme Q10, dimethyl glycine, bee pollen, and the amino acid L—glutamine.

See also: Allergies

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