Heavy Metals and Autism

The issue of heavy metals as a major contributing factor in the development of Autism is a hotly debated issue. There are research papers published to support both viewpoints. However, most "Defeat Autism Now" doctors and parents of autistic children will overwhelmingly report improvements in these kids when their load of heavy metals is reduced. The Autism Research Institute (ARI) conducted a survey among parents of children with Autism. Out of 324 respondents, 76% reported improvements in the children when their heavy metal burden was reduced.

More recently, increasing evidence is emerging to support this data. Medical research is showing that children affected with Autism commonly have genetic variations (called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs) involving the methylation cycle. This cycle produces methyl groups, which are needed by the body to perform a number of functions.

Methyl groups allow the body to excrete heavy metals, fight viral infections, regulate certain neurotransmitters, and prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer among others. These SNPs allow heavy metals to accumulate in the body. They also allow chronic viruses to take hold in the gut and brain of autistic children resulting in inflammation, bowel disturbances and cognitive deficits.

Removing Heavy Metals without Chelation

While many Defeat Autism Now! physicians use chelating agents, we have concluded that chelation should be reserved as the last step to be used only when other less invasive, less costly, and potentially more effective approaches have failed. In our medical practice, we have found that the first step in the treatment of heavy metals should involve assessing the methylation cycle with blood/genetic testing. We can then intelligently design the right nutritional program to support the methylation cycle and thereby address the first block impeding the body from excreting the heavy metals. The next step is identifying and treating the underlying chronic viral and bacterial infections.

Current studies show that as many as one in five children with Autism may have a concurrent chronic lyme infection. An even higher percentage have chronic viral infections. It is essential that these infections be addressed next. There is emerging evidence that both of these infections independently can lock the heavy metals in the body.

In doing fecal/urine testing before and after these steps, we have found that many children begin spontaneously to excrete heavy metals without resorting to chelation. What is most impressive to us is the large amount of metals we find the body excreting many times for up to 6-12 months. The most gratifying part is the improvements we see as the child goes through this process.

Common Sources of Heavy Metals:

The following is a short list of common exposure sources for heavy metals:

  • Aluminum - Cookware, Al containing baking powder, antacids, and antiperspirants.

  • Arsenic - Seafood (esp. shellfish), pesticides, and mattresses (anti-mold agent).

  • Antimony - Flame retardant in clothes/mattresses, tobacco, and solder/metalwork.

  • Cadmium - Seafood, tobacco, and phosphate fertilizers.

  • Mercury - Seafood (shellfish & large fish), dental "silver" amalgams, fungicides and paints.

  • Lead - Paints, ceramics, solder, and old plumbing.

  • Nickel - Cocoa, dental materials, nuts, and hydrogenated oils.


role of mercury

The Role of Mercury in the Pathogenesis of Autism


Environmental Mercury Release, Special Education Rates, and Autism Disorder: An Ecological Study of Texas

Autism and EMF:

The following articles discuss Autism and EMF. The first link will direct you to two articles "Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link" Parts 1 and 2. Please note that we cannot post the entire article due to copyright laws. The second link directs you to the page where you can purchase the articles.

2b emf1

Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a Pathophysiological Link (Part 1)

Although autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are defined behaviorally, they also involve multileveled disturbances of underlying biology that find striking parallels in the physiological impacts of electromagnetic frequency and radiofrequency exposures (EMF/RFR).

2b emf2

Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a Pathophysiological Link (Part 2)

For more information and references on the harmful effects of EMFs go to www.bioinitiativeprogram.org