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Autism, Healthy Living Magazine, Health

Autism, Healthy Living Magazine, Health

A recent study suggests that the environment’s role in autism could be more meaningful than previously believed.

78% increase in autism spectrum disorder since 2007
1 in 88 children suffer from ASD
Mecp2 name of gene linked with ASD

A recent study from the University of California at Davis’s Medical Microbiology and Immunology lab and its Rowe program in Human Genetics shows that autismlike symptoms can be created through epigenetics, impact of the environment on gene expression.

Low-level prenatal exposures to a common flame retardant used in couches, pajamas and other consumer products resulted in autism-like symptoms in the offspring of genetically susceptible mice. The offspring had impaired memory and learning skills similar to a human condition called Rett syndrome.

The polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) chemical exposure interacted with the weakened genetics of the mothers to produce impaired offspring.

The gene mutation is linked to Rett syndrome, an ASD that affects more girls than boys, altering social and behavioral communication. The exposure of the female mice with the genetic mutation occurred before, during and after pregnancy. These mice were genetically engineered to have a damaged MECP 2 gene, the one associated with autism, causing impaired social interactions, learning and memory. Patients with Rett have similar MECP 2 damage. The females were fed tetrabromidiphenal ether (BDE-47), a type of PBDE thought to be the most prevalent in human blood, and the doses were similar to human exposures such as those found in human post-mortem brain samples.

Known ASD risk factors include:
• Age at conception (higher risk among older parents);
• Premature birth, low birth weight;
• Drug use during pregnancy.
The new study suggests low level exposures are related to autism-like symptoms.

Detoxification Aid

Detoxification needs seem to be ongoing. Supplements with certain Lactobacillus and other bacterial strains that repopulate the gut provide novel enzymes and peptides known to breakdown toxic chemicals and provide antioxidants.

Chlorella, a chlorphyll-rich microalgae, can help remove dioxin, a study shows.

Two bacterial strains Bifodobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei are known to help break down bisphenol A (BPA), a xenoestrogen toxic to the neurological system found in plastic can linings and plastics based on experimental studies. Probiotics “…reduced the intestinal absorption by facilitating the excretion of BPA and may suppress the adverse effects of BPA on human health.”

One report from the 2009 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that kimchi’s bacterial strains could degrade the reproductive intoxicant chlorpyrifos used as an insecticide in homes and around cattle (until it was discovered they became sterile). All of it disappeared by day nine. The same combination degraded diazinon (sprayed on rose and golf courses), parathion and methyl-parathion.

The antioxidants glutathione, superoxide dismutase and cysteine also play a role in assisting the liver’s uncoupling of toxic free radical producing chemicals. Bacterial strains produce antioxidants.

One detox spray formula for adults and children combines bacterial strains with chlorella and phytoplankton. It is used by parents seeking alternatives in the nutrition field for their children’s behavioral needs because it can be sprayed and doesn’t need to be swallowed. It is absorbed sublingually and found to supplement beneficial bacteria. Parents report their children responding with improved interactive behavior and measurable amounts of toxic chemicals excreted in urine (when taken to a laboratory for analysis as several parents have done and reported on).

The need for detoxification and its principles was adopted in 2001 by the Defeat Autism Now (DAN) protocol that health professionals developed to help the community deal with the emerging issue of environmental chemical toxins.

Woods R, Vallero RO, Golub MS, Suarez JK, Ta TA, Yasui DH, Chi LH, Kostyniak PJ, Pessah IN, Berman RF, LaSalle JM. Long-lived epigenetic interactions between perinatal PBDE exposure and Mecp2308 mutation. Hum Mol Genet. 2012 June 1;21(11):2399-2411. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds046. E-pub 2012 Feb 15.
Zuo RY, Chang J, Yin QQ, Wang P, Yang YR, Wang X, Wang GQ, Zheng QH. Effect of the combined probiotics with aflatoxin B1-degrading enzyme on aflatoxin detoxification, broiler production performance and hepatic enzyme gene expression. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 July 2. pii: S0278-6915(13)00423-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.06.044. [E-pub ahead of print.]
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