Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Toxins and ASD

Children with Autism have abnormal detoxification systems = increased risk of damage from environmental insults.
v Food as a ‘neurotoxin’.
v Medications
v Environmental; metals, chemical exposures, mold, fabrics, carpeting, cleaning products (at home and especially at school).
v Why can’t children with ASD detoxify?
v How do we lower the toxic burden?

FOOD: Are we feeding our kids toxins?
food preservatives - food additives - food borne pathogens genetically engineered food - cooking oils - baby food - fluoride in foods - food irradation - aluminum in processed food- artificial sweeteners

12 Key Additives to Avoid and Their Health Risks:
1. Hydrogenated Fats—cardiovascular disease, obesity
2. Artificial Food Colors—allergies, asthma, hyperactivity; possible carcinogen, ADHD, ADD
3. Nitrites and Nitrates—these substances can develop into nitrosamines in body, which can be carcinogenic
4. Sulfites (sulfur dioxide, metabisulfites, and others)—allergic and asthmatic reactions
5. Sugar and Sweeteners—obesity, dental cavities, diabetes and hypoglycemia, increased triglycerides (blood fats) or candida (yeast)
6. Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame K and Saccharin, Sucralose, Fructalose)—behavioral problems, hyperactivity, allergies, and possibly carcinogenic. The government cautions against the use of any artificial sweetener by children and pregnant women. Anyone with PKU (phenylketonuria—a problem of phenylalanine, an amino acid, metabolism) should not use aspartame (Nutrasweet). By the way---Splenda is NOT natural.
7. MSG (monosodium glutamate)—common allergic and behavioral reactions, including headaches, dizziness, chest pains, depression and mood swings; also a possible neurotoxin
8. Preservatives (BHA, BHT, EDTA, etc.)—allergic reactions, hyperactivity, possibly cancer-causing; BHT may be toxic to the nervous system and the liver
9. Artificial Flavors—allergic or behavioral reactions
10. Refined Flour—low-nutrient calories, carbohydrate imbalances, altered insulin production, and for ASD children peptide-opiod effect from products containing gluten.
11. Salt (excessive)—fluid retention and blood pressure increases, beware of non-clumping agents added to table salt—some are chemically derived, others contain gluten.
12. Olestra (an artificial fat)—diarrhea and digestive disturbances, long term effects are UNKNOWN.

Other Concerns:
Food Waxes (protective coating of produce, as in cucumbers, peppers, and apples)—may trigger allergies, can contain pesticides, fungicide sprays or animal byproducts. Plastic packaging—Carcinogenic (vinyl chloride); immune reactions, lung shock…
What can we do?
Begin by avoiding the most questionable additives. Colors and sweeteners are the most common ‘offenders’ for kids with ASD. Make a decision to either cut down on or cut out altogether those food additives that may be hazardous to your child. Although it may seem difficult to change habits and find substitutes for foods your child enjoys, remind yourself that you will be adding to their diet some wholesome new flavors and foods that they may come to like even more.
Avoidance and discrimination are crucial proactive steps you can take to protect your child from toxic overload and promote repair. Changing your shopping and eating routines isn’t something you can easily do overnight. The first step is to sharpen your awareness about what you’re currently feeding to your family.

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