This theory is tricky, because folic acid is something that all women should have while they are pregnant, including the period while they are trying to conceive.
It is proven that a lack of folic acid during early pregnancy can cause birth defects -such as spinabifida and Down’s syndrome. There's been a lot of drama about telling women to take this as a supplement so they can lower the chances of giving birth to a child with birth defects. Some that think this excessive intake of folic acid might be the root cause of autism for some children.
At the same time, doctors suggest a folic acid supplement for some women as a way to ensure they get enough. The result might be too much of a good thing, and the theory that this leads to autism is disturbing. There is a belief that too much folic acid can lead to changes in the fetus on a chromosomal level that in turn may lead to autism.
A woman concerned about her pregnancy might eat enough fruits and vegetables, eat folic acid fortified foods, and then take a supplement to boot. That will inevitably lead to too much folic acid within the system. Please consider discussing your folic acid intake with your physician if you are worried that you are over-doing it. Besides the theory about chromosomal changes, another theory states that too much of this promotes excess brain cell production. When there are too many cells, the connections between the cells essential for function do not form as they should. The theory is that this too could be a cause of autism.
Besides those theories --- that an overabundance of folic acid can cause a change in chromosomes, another theory states that it can also cause brain cells to grow too rapidly, enlarging the brain. This then cuts down on the room within the brain for proper connections between cells to grow. It's theory. Theory.
Q: So, why is it bad for kids in the spectrum?
A: It's my understanding that my child may not be able to handle this particular b vitamin, (B-9) or folic acid. I am now supplementing him with folinic acid. It will not hurt him and neurologists have had an amazing amount of success with patients, including those previously labeled with psychological disorders. Certainly this must apply to motherhood too... (Ha - just kidding!) Those of us who are mothers, understand that once we realized that we were responsible for our little blessing - that a new instinct emerged in us - the mother bear protective instinct! There is nothing that most moms wouldn't do for their kids.
I wouldn't go on Fear Factor and eat bugs to win a million dollars. No way! But - I would if my child was terminal and eating Madagascar hissing cockroaches would cure him. I would do anything, if that were the case.
So... do I think that because I took a ton of B vitamins before and during the pregnancy, including folic acid, I could have prevented Nick's illness?
No, I don't think so - at this time, with what I know and believe. I think that vaccinations played a huge role. I believe the MMR that he received last July... how can I say this?... it put him over what his compromised body could handle. Additionally, I do believe that it was a combination of factors. But - for this blog entry, I will focus on folic acid.
I believe that there is enough evidence to support that Autism is a multifaceted Nutrigenomic disorder (interaction between genes and nutrients). We can affect our genetic code; but - how much? It's unlikely to have changed or mutated in the last 100 years,so - genetics cannot account for the rise in all modern diseases, including Autism, in that short period. According to the US Bureau of Statistics, the incidence of Autism has increased 870% in ten years. And - since genetics have not changed and our diet and food chain have dramatically changed during this time... I believe this may be responsible for some of the increase in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Some. More are:
Nutritional deficiencies along with pre-existing genetic flaws result in sensitive cellular structures. These cells are later exposed to toxic chemicals (immunizations/vaccinations, fluoride), heavy metals (mercury, fillings, etc.) and antigens such as bacteria and viruses , which in turn can be easily damaged and consequently fail to perform their normal functions.
- The introduction of toxic chemicals (antibiotics, heavy metals, pesticides, additives and preservatives) in our food chain.
- The depletion of nutrients in our food due to high intensity farming of the same soil year after year for decades.
- Farming methods that substitute chemical fertilisers for the natural decomposition of organic matter by bacteria. Increased herbicides and pesticides, etc.
- Food processing methods that destroy nutrients.
- The excessive use of antibiotics in babies and children.
- The 20-40X increase of Omega 6 oils in our diet, and a reduction in Omega 3 consumption from fish and the heating of these oils producing trans-fatty acids that damage cell membrane integrity
- Slow prolonged cooking methods that destroy vitamins.
- Microwave cooking that destroys some vitamins and bioflavanoids.
- A change in eating habits in the last 50 years: We have replaced natural nutrient-rich foods, such as organically grown fruit and vegetables, with nutrient-poor and processed foods.
- Chickens that are grown several times faster on a diet laced with antibiotics.
These cells are distributed throughout the body's systems, such as: Immune System, Central Nervous System, Gastrointestinal system, Neuroendocrine and Musculoskeletal systems and others. Consequently Autism has been described as a multi-systemic disorder.
Whew - it's a good thing that I taught Andrew his biology, health and science a few years back. It's amazing what I have had to re-learn while home educating! And here I am again, for a 3rd time, diving into biological functions.
Good News: I believe that with specific supplementation, detoxification and allergen treatment, we will see continued increased healing for Nicolas. We have noticed differences in just 3 weeks.
Looking ahead: I recently discovered the AiA - whichs stand for Allergy Induced Autism and is based waaaaayyyy over in the UK, as in the United Kingdom. I got my hands on an amazing cookbook, from the CEO of the AiA, I believe.
The AiA is a "sister" organization to our US organization called ANDI: American Network for Dietary Intervention.
This website - Autism Medical - explains the relationship between autism and eating dairy and wheat. I've copied, pasted, posted and linked before on this blog about this exact subject; but - here we have it again. This time over in the United Kingdom.
Please, take 2 minutes and read this.
Someday, somewhere and sometime, you will see a child or befriend someone who will need to know this information. Maybe someone has come to your mind already. If so, please send them the link! Oh - and just be their friend.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Sunday Q's & A's
Q: Is Folic Acid bad for me, if it's related to kids in the spectrum? A: No, not at all. We need B vitamins/folic acid and it's found in many fruits and veggies. The latest studies have shown that between 18-20% of the US population cannot metabolize it though. Here's my understanding - that it's a theory, and that in a certain number of people, there is a suspected link between folic acid and autism spectrum disorders: