The copywrited material on this site is distributed without profit for those who have an interest for research or educational purposes.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond fair use you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Anti-Mercury Apparel
Show your support for
removal of thimerosal
from vaccines
Autism is Reversible
We are non-profit, focused
on truth We are parent-led
and parent-funded
Heart Puzzle Apparel
Proceeds go to support
charitable autism media
Unlocking Autism
Autism awareness
apparel show your

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Answer to Autism? An American Doctor Believes the Disorder is Linked to Diet. Eleanor Cowie Finds Growing Support for the Theory

By Eleanor Cowie

FOUR years ago Dr Lorene Amet lost her six-year-old son. Until then Lloyd had been a lively, talkative, inquisitive and intelligent child. But in what seemed an instant, he had withdrawn into a world of his own. To his mother's horror, Lloyd had developed the mystifying, isolating disorder of autism. "To this day I don't know what triggered it;

I'm still trying to figure that out, " says Amet, a neuroscientist who lives in Edinburgh. "His learned behaviour, his ability and desire to communicate, read, draw - all his motor skills were lost. Before, he was able to ask me questions, use the past tense, dress himself, share things with me - what he liked and disliked. Then, suddenly, it was all gone. It was as though he was lost somewhere."

Lloyd started displaying the classic autistic traits of avoiding eye contact, flapping his arms, and yelling and screaming on a near- constant basis.

He was unable to speak, read or sit still, and showed extreme sensitivity to sound and light. "Even the sound of his own wee when he was at the toilet was too much for him. He'd scream and shout and have his hands stuck over his ears, " says Amet.

But Lloyd and Lorene's lives were to be transformed by the theories of a little-known American doctor, Professor Jaquelyn McCandless, who has turned on its head the conventional approach to autism. McCandless, who is speaking at a conference organised by Action Against Autism at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh on October 15, is convinced many autistic children could be helped by ensuring their brains receive adequate nutrition.

There are almost 7000 autistic children in the UK and 121,500 children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Asperger's syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) come under this catch-all term.

In other countries, most notably the US, the situation is even worse, so much worse, in fact, that American ASD specialists have described it as an "epidemic". That term may have the ring of hyperbole about it but the facts do appear to substantiate it.

Earlier this year, the Centre For Disease Control and the American Academy of Paediatrics announced that one in 166 children had been diagnosed with autism, compared to one in 2000-2500 15 years ago.

Yet in spite of its growing prevalence, much about autism is unknown, chiefly what causes it and whether it is possible to recover from it. Autism is still considered, by and large, to be an incurable behavioural disorder caused only or primarily by genetic factors.

Thus treatment protocols rarely advise anything other than behaviour modification, or educational therapies aided by mood- controlling drugs such as Prozac, or stimulants such as Ritalin. However, for a growing number of international specialists associated with campaign group Defeat Autism Now! (Dan) there are several problems with this position.

McCandless is one such doctor. A leading ASD specialist, she believes that the increase in cases cannot be down to genetics alone. "Epidemics are not genetic, " she says.

As grandmother to an 11-year-old autistic girl, and the author of Children with Starving Brains: AMedical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder, she has studied and treated hundreds of autistic children.

McCandless argues that it is a complex syndrome based on physiological and biochemical disorders that have, as a common end point, the cognitive and emotional impairment associated with autism.

"In otherwords, these are medically ill children who can be greatly helped medically, behaviourally and cognitively by proper diagnosis and treatment of their underlying medical conditions, " she writes.

Speaking ahead of her trip to the UK, McCandless insists she does not rule out a genetic predisposition to autism. She says: "In the old days it was thought to be 'cold mothering' [caused by a lack of parental affection], but it stuck in everyone's mind that autism was a genetic disease.

"It's true that there is a genetic factor. If one in 166 kids do have autism, then there has to be a genetic factor, but millions of dollars have been spent looking for one magic gene. It is thought at this time that there are 16-20 genes involved so it's not one - they're going to search forever. They're not going to find one gene because it is an extremely complex illness and the immune system is so complex."

According to McCandless, one of autism's primary triggers is a direct injury to the gastrointestinal system through over- vaccination and use of antibiotics. The theory goes something like this: once the gut is damaged, it becomes inflamed. The immune system then suffers because the body is unable to absorb nutrients from food. In addition, there may be an infection within the gut itself caused by a yeast infection.

The gastro illness manifests itself in the child suffering regular bouts of constipation or diarrhoea or a combination of the two - problems autistic youngsters commonly experience.

She says: "Children are not usually born with injured guts.

"In very early life, children do not have much of an immune system so toxins that enter injure the gut and immune system. The gut is then susceptible to leaking, also absorbs toxic elements that it shouldn't and is not able to take in the type of nourishment that the brain needs. That's why I say these kids' brains are starving. They're not getting the nutrients they need from their food. It is so important to start treating them as early as possible."

But perhaps what is most shocking is McCandless's conviction that the food children eat is "poisoning them". The offending foods singled out are wheat/gluten, milk, soya and sugar. Sugar effectively feeds any yeast infection present in the gut.

She explains: "The large peptides that are in milk, wheat and soy actually leak out from inside the gut to the brain and cause this opioid reaction where the children's feelings are muted, where their pain threshold is very high and they are sort of blocking out the world, almost as though they're narcotised.

"What we have learned is that if we can take these foods away, which are continuing the inflammation of the gut, the children get much better. I have had thousands of letters from parents who have read my book and have had the strength to take away milk, wheat, soy and finally sugar from their children and start their children on a gluten-free/casein-free (GF/CF) diet, and, when they did, their children's health and condition greatly improved.

"Usually within a week of starting the GF/CF diet the kids are making eye contact and the arm flapping has stopped. A lot of doctors are still totally ignorant and have no idea that the food is making the kids sick or that they need nutrients."

Diet is vital for her treatment of children with autism. "First, we heal the gut via the GF/CF diet. Then we get their nutrient levels good, by giving them vitamin and mineral supplements. Only when we have stabilised them do we perform chelation. Chelation is where we use a natural or, in extreme cases, medical substance that binds all the toxins and metals present in a child's body so they can be excreted. After that we give them an anti-viral treatment."

McCandless is evangelical in her belief that parents can make a massive difference to their child's health and recovery, and her research has attracted backing from doctors around the world. The journal, Medical Veritas 2, recently published an editorial on her work and the Edinburgh conference will bring together like-minded biochemists and doctors from all over the world.

Amet is one convert who can testify to the success of McCandless's theories. After a nightmarish 18 months in which she and her son were told to stop wasting the NHS's time, she returned to her native France to consult a Dan specialist.

She then read McCandless's book.

She describes its effect. "It was the most inspiring thing. Reading her book was a turning point for me.

Afterwards I thought, 'I can do this.'

I had taken Lloyd swimming even when it was very difficult. We were getting changed in a cubicle and before I knew it, he had climbed up and on to the wall behind us and was running right across the top of women's changing rooms.

"After that I put him on the GF/CF diet and was restoring his mineral and vitamin levels. Aweek later, we returned to the swimming pool. It was different. When I got out of the changing room he was sitting waiting forme. He had changed himself. He was no longer climbing.

"The way he was holding me in the pool - he wasn't grabbing me as usual. He was feeling me, looking right at me, relating to me, touching me. It was so totally exciting. From then on, he was back and able to be taught again."

Children with Starving Brains by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD, is available from Amazon.

For further information on the Treating Autism conference and practitioner day on October 14 and 15, go to www. actagainstautism. org. uk or call 0141 638 6131.

Source: Herald, The; Glasgow (UK)

Posted by Becca


Evidence of Harm
Thimerosal to blame?
Read the book
decide for yourself
Solve the Puzzle
Autism awareness apparel
Proceeds support autism
media projects
NAA Online Store
National Autism Association
Show your support
become a member today
Victory Store
Autism awareness products
5% of sales donated to
Autism Research Institute