FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Intro: "The epidemic of autism in children in the United States may be linked to the typical American diet. The study explores how mineral deficiencies - affected by dietary factors like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - could impact how the human body rids itself of common toxic chemicals like mercury and pesticides."

High-fructose corn syrup is an ingredient found in many American food products. (photo: Tanya/MommyGoggles)
High-fructose corn syrup is an ingredient found in many American food products. (photo: Tanya/MommyGoggles)



Study Links Autism With Industrial Food, Environment

By Katie Rojas-Jahn, Renee Dufault, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

19 April 12

 

he epidemic of autism in children in the United States may be linked to the typical American diet according to a new study published online in Clinical Epigenetics by Renee Dufault, et. al. The study explores how mineral deficiencies - affected by dietary factors like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - could impact how the human body rids itself of common toxic chemicals like mercury and pesticides.

The release comes on the heels of a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimates the average rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among eight year olds is now 1 in 88, representing a 78 percent increase between 2002 and 2008. Among boys, the rate is nearly five times the prevalence found in girls.

"To better address the explosion of autism, it's critical we consider how unhealthy diets interfere with the body's ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, and ultimately our risk for developing long-term health problems like autism." said Dr. David Wallinga, a study co-author and physician at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

Commander (ret.) Renee Dufault (U.S. Public Health Service), the study's lead author and a former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) toxicologist, developed an innovative scientific approach to describe the subtle side effects of HFCS consumption and other dietary factors on the human body and how they relate to chronic disorders. The model, called "macroepigenetics," allows researchers to consider how factors of nutrition, environment and genetic makeup interact and contribute to the eventual development of a particular health outcome.

"With autism rates skyrocketing, our public educational system is under extreme stress," said Dufault, who is also a licensed special education teacher and founder of the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute (FIHRI). As part of the current study, the authors found a 91 percent increase in the number of children with autism receiving special educational services in the U.S. between 2005 and 2010.

Key Findings:

  • Autism and related disorders affect brain development. The current study sought to determine how environmental and dietary factors, like HFCS consumption, might combine to contribute to the disorder.

  • Consumption of HFCS, for example, is linked to the dietary loss of zinc, which interferes with the elimination of heavy metals from the body. Many heavy metals like mercury, arsenic and cadmium are potent toxins with adverse effects on brain development in the young.

  • HFCS consumption can also impact levels of other beneficial minerals, including calcium. Loss of calcium further exacerbates the detrimental effects of exposure to lead on brain development in fetuses and children.

  • Inadequate levels of calcium in the body can also impair its ability to expel organophosphates, a class of pesticides long recognized by the EPA and independent scientists as especially toxic to the young developing brain.

"Rather than being independent sources of risk, factors like nutrition and exposure to toxic chemicals are cumulative and synergistic in their potential to disrupt normal development," said Dr. Richard Deth, a professor of Pharmacology at Northeastern University and a co-author of the study. "These epigenetic effects can also be transmitted across generations. As autism rates continue to climb it is imperative to incorporate this new epigenetic perspective into prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies."

The picture of how and why a child develops autism is a complicated one influenced by many different factors. The authors of this study have given insight into the complex interplay between several of the factors that may lead to the development of this debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder. In order to curb the epidemic of autism in the U. S., continued analysis of the impact of the industrialized food system and exposure to environmental toxins on ASD must be key areas of research moving forward.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. iatp.org

The Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute (FIHRI) is a non-profit organization devoted entirely to food ingredient safety, education, and research. foodingredient.info

Additional study authors:

Raquel Crider, PhD
Shepard University

Roseanne Schnoll, PhD
Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences
Brooklyn College of City University of New York

Walter J Lukiw, BS, MS, PhD
LSU Neuroscience Center and Department of Ophthalmology
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+25 # Mamazon 2012-04-19 08:48
And yet they continue to push High Fructose Corn Syrup at us in almost every manufactured "food." Bottom line -- grow your own vegies, eat raw organic fruits and vegies, cut way back on meat and sugar and dairy and wheat and carbs... Hydrate yourself with clean water! Do enema to clean your colon and get a massage to keep your lymph system flowing! Good health is not something given to us -- we earn it everyday by caring for ourselves.
 
 
+12 # NanFan 2012-04-19 11:12
Quoting Mamazon:
And yet they continue to push High Fructose Corn Syrup at us in almost every manufactured "food." Bottom line -- grow your own vegies, eat raw organic fruits and vegies, cut way back on meat and sugar and dairy and wheat and carbs... Hydrate yourself with clean water! Do enema to clean your colon and get a massage to keep your lymph system flowing! Good health is not something given to us -- we earn it everyday by caring for ourselves.


And stop smoking U.S. blended tobacco products, the smoke of which, when spewed into the environment, releases over 4,000 chemicals. Among those chemicals are cadmium, arsenic, and mercury, all listed above.

Second- and third-hand smoke from these products HEAVILY, negatively affects children, and for the rest of their lives. And if the mother smokes, or anyone in the house or around her does with consistency when she's pregnant, well...you get the drift.

Why, oh, why are we allowing these manufacturers to produce products with deadly additives in the first place?

We get what we give and do unfortunately.

N.
 
 
+19 # KurtLaw 2012-04-19 08:54
As a parent of an ASD child, I am grateful for timely information like this. It sickens me how children are fed garbage food. I'm going to follow up on my son's diet.
 
 
+3 # maveet 2012-04-20 14:44
Dr Natasha Campbell-McBrid e, neurologist and mother of an autistic child who she cured with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet, offers this understanding of what occurs in children after weaning. HFCS is only one of many toxic elements.


"[a] weaning diet based on wheat and pasteurized dairy products, processed dairy and dry powders… feed abnormal flora in the gut. So the child ends up with... abnormal gut flora. The gut becomes a major source of toxicity. The toxins start flowing into the blood stream and get distributed around the body. They get into the brain and cause brain dysfunctions. That is how learning disabilities develop...


…Every personal care product the mother exposes herself to, makeup, perfume, domestic cleaning chemicals, chlorinated swimming pools, processed foods with hundreds of chemicals—they will all go into the baby, so our babies are already born with a toxic load. If the child is less toxic the child will be far more robust and have a better constitution; if the child is more toxic then the child will be far more vulnerable. And depending on the genetic makeup and many other environmental factors, different children will manifest a different set of symptoms: some will be diagnosed with autism, others with ADD, others with terrible mood swings, or obsessions, or depression, etc."
 
 
0 # maveet 2012-04-20 14:45
Part 2
There are dozens of blogs written by parents (mostly moms) detailing their trials and successes with this diet to repair the gut and detox the body. Best of luck with your child.
 
 
-4 # unitygroup 2012-04-19 09:43
it's interesting to note that the most obvious smoking gun in the room, the american vaccination schedule, is being totally ignored, while this study tries to determine why american children have a greater incidence of autism than italy, or any other country, for that matter. well, there's a reason. the united states has the highest vaccination rate in the world, purportedly for health reasons. yet, we are listed as 34th in mortality for children. see this abstract:

http://www.rescuepost.com/files/gr-autism_and_vaccines_world_special_report1.pdf

up until 1980, the usa requested (which is the proper term, you cannot mandate something we actually have the power to refuse) 10 vaccines for children til age 5. beginning in the 1980s, that number increased tremendously. now it is 36 vaccinations til 5. interestingly, at the same time, the autism rate skyrocketed in this country, but not necessarily in other countries.
 
 
-1 # reiverpacific 2012-04-25 16:25
Quoting unitygroup:
it's interesting to note that the most obvious smoking gun in the room, the american vaccination schedule, is being totally ignored, while this study tries to determine why american children have a greater incidence of autism than italy, or any other country, for that matter. well, there's a reason. the united states has the highest vaccination rate in the world, purportedly for health reasons. yet, we are listed as 34th in mortality for children. see this abstract:

http://www.rescuepost.com/files/gr-autism_and_vaccines_world_special_report1.pdf

up until 1980, the usa requested (which is the proper term, you cannot mandate something we actually have the power to refuse) 10 vaccines for children til age 5. beginning in the 1980s, that number increased tremendously. now it is 36 vaccinations til 5. interestingly, at the same time, the autism rate skyrocketed in this country, but not necessarily in other countries.

Interesting point -in addition to the information in this article. Don't po-poo this folks; the only time I had the flu' in the last fifteen years was the time I was vaccinated for it. It's all for profit, innit!?
 
 
+9 # unitygroup 2012-04-19 09:48
Pt 2--regarding vaccines as a potential link to autism-- if you examine a different cohort in this country, the amish, who do not vaccinate their children( and i suppose also do not eat our typical high fructose corn syrup laden diet), autism is virtually non-existent, nada, zilch, perhaps where it once was for the rest of the country, 1 in 10,000. so, while i appreciate this study, letting us know there may be a problem with our children's ability to eliminate various heavy metal and pesticide residue toxins in our foods (which, if you really want to be sickened, is revealed in great detail in the film "food, inc"), we should be at least equally concerned about where those toxins actually came from. the biggest source by far--vaccines.
 
 
+5 # propsguy 2012-04-19 13:32
i don't know why you got negative marks. autism is complex and probably lots of factors contribute- vaccines and the diets of the parents before conception.
weston price noted that in all cultures, parents ate special foods in the months BEFORE conception to prepare their bodies (sperm too!) for the event.
only in america!
 
 
+10 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-19 18:58
There are several reasons that vaccinations are being ignored. The primary one is that it has been shown conclusively that vaccinations have nothing to do with it. Your post saying that America has the highest vaccination rate in the world is false. Most countries in Europe where vaccinations are free or close to it have higher rates of vaccinations. In Australia there was a study of thousands of kids that showed that there was no relationship between vaccination and autism. The same thing happened in either Denmark or Sweden where they found by looking through the medical records of the kids that again the rate of autism among vaccinated and nonvaccinated kids was the same. In California the rate of autism has been rising as the rate of vaccination has been falling.

The main effect of magical thinkers yammering about vaccinations has been the increase in infant deaths due to things like whooping cough because mothers aren't getting their kids vaccinated. But keep on harping on vaccinations. Don't let reality get in your way.
 
 
+2 # colvictoria 2012-04-20 05:25
@Texas Aggie
The research you say that shows conclusively that there is no link between autism and vaccination is done by the same Pharma companies that make the vaccines. There has never been a study that examines the health of vaccinated v/s unvaccinated kids. Also there is not one study that examines the effect of the entire CDC vaccination schedule on children's brains, immune system, GI tract, and other systems.
Don't forget that that the US government has paid out over 2 billion and counting to families whose children have suffered vaccine damage. This includes autism which they call
encephalopathy.
Many children are being harmed by this one size fits all vaccine schedule. For some the toxic load is too much for their little bodies to handle. Their brain gets damages as well as their guts.
Regarding whooping cough there is a mutated form of pertussis going around called b para-pertussis. This mutated form shows up with symptoms exactly like the standard whooping cough. Most hospitals never test to see what strain it is and so the numbers are skewed.
Like antibiotics vaccines also promote the rise in mutated forms of super bugs which will end up harming many children and elderly.
Vaccination does not prevent disease it actually promotes it.
 
 
+3 # byard pidgeon 2012-04-20 13:28
"Vaccination does not prevent disease it actually promotes it."

Right you are...like smallpox and polio?
 
 
+3 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-19 19:13
http://autism.about.com/b/2008/04/23/do-the-amish-vaccinate-indeed-they-do-and-their-autism-rates-may-be-lower.htm

http://stacy-herlihy.suite101.com/autism-among-the-amish-a157559

http://autism-news-beat.com/archives/29
 
 
+8 # maveet 2012-04-20 14:50
Part 1

"...There is a theory that vaccinations are the cause of autism, but they do not cause...these disorders. However, vaccinations have been designed for children with healthy immune systems. We have a growing population of children who do not possess healthy immune systems. They are not fit to be vaccinated. In a child with a compromised immune system, vaccinations cause damage to that immune system, putting the child closer to disaster. In some children they provide the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. In my clinic, about 15 percent of the children started their autistic symptoms after MMR vaccinations and about the same number started after DPT vaccinations....

Now with the whole controversy with vaccinations, I see many autistic children who have not been vaccinated at all because their parents were aware of the harm. But despite having no vaccinations, they are autistic. So vaccinations are not the cause of autism. They just bring the child closer to the problem.
 
 
0 # maveet 2012-04-20 14:50
Part 2

"Next comes the weaning diet based on wheat and pasteurized dairy products, processed dairy and dry powders. These all feed abnormal flora in the gut. So the child ends up with a gut dysbiosis or abnormal gut flora. The gut becomes a major source of toxicity. The toxins start flowing into the blood stream....They get into the brain and cause brain dysfunctions. That is how learning disabilities develop."
Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride
westonaprice.org/childrens-health/gaps

See also my post above.
 
 
+13 # CandH 2012-04-19 12:18
And the giant elephant in the room is Monsanto, who in finding out that bee collapse was their "problem," solved it by doing this: "It appears that when Monsanto cannot answer for their environmental devastation, they buy up a company that may potentially be their ‘experts’ in denying any such link between their crops and the bee decline." http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-bee-collapse-buys-bee-research-firm/#ixzz1sWFa2K7Z
 
 
+1 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-19 18:47
The bee decline seems to be related to an insecticide that Monsanto had nothing to do with. Monsanto is a bad actor, but blaming them for things they didn't do just lets them off the hook for the things they did do.
 
 
+4 # pernsey 2012-04-19 13:19
Yeah and they have these benign seeming commercials that HFCS is no different then sugar so no big deal! Both in large quantities are not good for anyone!

So many foods are now laden with HFCS, sugar, salt, and fat. Whole food is the way to go, grow your own if you have to, but eating this crap will cause so much damage to peoples health. They want to keep us fat and lazy so we have no energy to revolt or Occupy!
 
 
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-19 14:31
Did someone mention food?
(You EAT that stuff?!!??)

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/18-1
Published on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by Common Dreams BP Spill Causing 'Alarming' Marine-Life Deformities in Gulf
Eyeless shrimp and other mutations due to BP chemicals
- Common Dreams staff
Scientists studying the Gulf of Mexico are reporting alarming rates of deformities in marine-life, including 'horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, and eyeless crabs and shrimp'. Findings show that the grotesque mutations are a direct result of chemicals released from the BP oil spill in 2010.
[...]

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30395
Two Years After the BP Oil Spill: IS THE GULF ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSING?

by Washington's Blog
Global Research, April 19, 2012
Washington's Blog - 2012-04-18

The Gulf Ecosystem Is Being Decimated

The BP oil spill started on April 20, 2010. We’ve previously warned that the BP oil spill could severely damage the Gulf ecosystem.

Since then, there are numerous signs that the worst-case scenario may be playing out:
[...]
 
 
+11 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-19 15:09
Isn't capitalism healthful for you, my fellow Americans? You shrink back at even the word "socialism". Mention something good about France or Germany or Scandinavia, and a chorus responds: they are socialists. We want our freedom! OK, we have it! We also have one of the most corrupted political systems on the planet, certainly the worst in the developed world. Not to worry! We are falling out of the developed category. Our new status is under-developin g!
 
 
+2 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-19 18:45
I saw a report yesterday of a study that indicated that being overweight during pregnancy was related to autism in the newborn. The data didn't leave any doubt that the two factors are related, but it isn't immediately obvious whether it was being overweight or some metabolic factor associated with being overweight that was responsible for the child being autistic, or maybe there was some third factor that was responsible for both the mother being overweight and the kid being autistic. So the cause/effect relationship isn't clear, but that there is a correlation was clear.
 
 
+5 # IThinkErgo 2012-04-20 04:18
Research has shown that obesity and parents' age (especially father's age) correlate with autism. No relation has been found with vaccines. Now there's this HFCS connection.
We are getting somewhere in discovering the causes. Good argument for more funding for science!
 
 
+3 # byard pidgeon 2012-04-20 13:32
There are also genetic mishaps that produce offspring with autism, or autism-like symptoms, usually classed with autism. Get the appropriate mishaps together, and the result may be autism.
Parental diets, drug use, underlying conditions can all affect their genetic material. Father's age has been correlated with schizophrenia, hadn't heard the same about autism.
 
 
+5 # fixtroy 2012-04-21 04:31
The title article is misleading. Clearly the study hasn't "linked" autism with anything. That wasn't the intent of the study. Post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning could "link" autism with the rise in the popularity of micro-brewed beer. These type of studies are an important part of determining why autism is so prevalent and there are, most likely, environmental triggers. But headlines shouldn't help folks jump to conclusions when the mechanisms which cause autism are not yet understood.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN