March 16, 2008

Mito/DNA/Autism/GFCF/Glutamate Thoughts From A Food Process Engineer

Now THIS is the kinda thing I was talking about in my fantasy "Responsible Government" piece. Medical professionals hearing the mito/autism news and applying their understanding from other fields to the autism problem! It even has autism gene theory with, get this, real world application that can be of use for helping kids today!

Except in my fantasy she would not have to be posting this to a CNN site, because NIH would have called her when she sent it into them months ago.

Another fascinating Dr. Gupta comment:

Dr. Gupta,

Here is what I wrote to the NIH in January. It still sums up my thoughts. It should be noted that one of the genes for autism discovered last year codes for a MITICONDRIAL aspartate/glutamate carrier.

I am a former food process engineer who believes, because recent studies have implicated genes which code for glutamate synapses in ASD, we should investigate the effects of both INGESTED and INJECTED excitatory free amino acids (glutamic acid and aspartic acid) on children with these autism genes.

If excitatory free amino acids affect ASD children, it would explain both the impact of GF-CF diets AND a vaccine link. Vaccines have free glutamic acid added to preserve the virus. I have created and attached a chart showing where free glutamic acid comes from. It is found in extremely high amounts in processed wheat and dairy products so much so that food manufacturers use these two items routinely to produce free glutamic acid in foods but with a clean label.

Consequently, a child may not improve on a GF-CF diet alone, because it doesn’t limit all potential sources of free glutamic acid like soy. Children are tested at birth for PKU and phenylalanine is limited until the brain is hardwired by the age of 7. Why not treat the predisposition for autism similarly and limit the glutamic and aspartic amino acids in the diets of children with autism genes?

ASD also includes errors of metabolism for sulfur containing amino acids like cysteine. Cysteine is converted to taurine and glutathione by the liver. Taurine regulates heartbeat and osmotic balance as well as bile production and was found to be low after a seizure. In ASD, symptoms include arrhythmias, digestive disorders and a high rate of epilepsy, suggesting that taurine production may be compromised. Glutathione levels are also lower in ASD leading one to conclude that possibly, cysteine metabolism may be responsible for the myriad and seemingly unrelated additional symptoms of ASD. It should be noted that glutamate interferes with the handling of cysteine. When cysteine metabolism is compromised, homocysteine levels may increase. The lower levels of glutathione may put ASD individuals at risk of mercury poisoning, since glutathione helps eliminates mercury from the body.

It should be noted that the NMDA receptors that respond to both glutamate and aspartate are found in the amygdala - part of the limbic system involved in the perception of taste and smell as well as fear. Activating the amygdala in ASD, causes gaze avoidance. ASD children may also over-react to smells and tastes and face to face encounters can overwhelm them with fear. Limiting excitatory amino acids that target the amygdala may help.

Japan consumes more MSG, and fish (a dietary source of mercury) than nearly any other country. Compared to the amount of mercury consumed in fish and the amount of MSG consumed in the diet, the MMR contribution was probably small compared to a typical Japanese diet. In Japan, the MMR vaccine was stopped in 1993. Autism rates still increased. Perhaps in Japan, the diet plays more of a role in autism than the vaccines. Children from other countries with a lower consumption of fish and MSG may find a stronger correlation between vaccines and autism.

New research studies into ASD should include people who are sensitive to the food additives MSG and aspartame. MSG-sensitive persons have reported a distinct lessening of symptoms by using taurine, ibuprofen, CoQ10, Vitamins B6 and B12, carbohydrate, foods high in butyric acid like butter, and Magnesium. Perhaps they share some of the same genes that predispose a child to ASD. New treatment studies should look into these easily available, inexpensive and relatively safe compounds.

Based on what I have observed, here are my recommendations:

1. Treatment of ASD?

REMOVAL of excitatory amino acids (glutamate, aspartate) from VACCINES.
Glutamate and aspartate restricted diet (similar to treatment for PKU) in addition to GF/CF diet.

Supplementation of taurine, glutathione, vitamins B6, C, magnesium, CoQ10.
Increased carbohydrate.

Labeling of free glutamic and aspartic acid on food labels.
Glutamate blockers, anti-histamines and leukotriene blockers for children already suffering or getting vaccinated.

We should calm their surroundings, encourage quiet tasks and less-threatening contact to enhance communication. We need to give them space and not overwhelm them.

2. Diagnosis of ASD?

Test for autism genes preferably AT BIRTH like PKU.

Tests for aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glutathione, taurine, cysteine, homocysteine.

3. Risk factors for ASD?
Autism Genes
Sensitivity to excitatory amino acids
Low taurine, Low glutathione
Sulfite Sensitivity
Vaccination with glutamic acid as a preservative
Damage to the microglia
Overactive immune system
Junk food diet
Aspartame in medications or vitamins or foods
Multiple food allergy

4. Biology of ASD?

Excess CNS sensitivity,

Inability to handle sulfur-containing amino acids,

Overactive immune response linked to Nerve Growth Factor

5. Other areas of ASD research?

Common genes in Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, ALS, MS, and excitatory amino acid sensitivity.

Study persons without ASD who suffer from overactive CNS or neurodegenerative disease and sensitivity to excitatory amino acids. See if they share same genes.

Could Alzhemier’s sufferers simply be ADS children whose brains were hard-wired before damage by the environment?

Thank you for this opportunity to share my ideas on this very important topic,

Please see this webpage that clearly shows why a wheat and dairy based processed food diet may be very harmful to a child sensitive to excitatory amino acids:

HT:Here in HP


Leora said...

Why, Ginger, thanks so much for the hat tip! I'm flattered.

Continue to do great work.

Mark said...

Hi Ginger
that magic seems to be working again... take a look at my youtube clip to see the effect of soya on my boy.
He was strick GF/CF additive and Soya free until the ingredients changed on one of his foods without us noticing. (gfcf pasta)
after about 3 weeks he lost eye contact started toe walking and biting himself.

erin said...

This is so interesting...I'm allergic to sulfur drugs, my ten year old received much mercury and is ASD/SID, and so far my 1 year old has "reactive airway disease" which I just found - asthma to have links to sulfur sensitivities. I think I need the diets too...I had migranes as a child and the only thing we thought might have caused them were a MSG sensitivity (never say a doctor). very interesting ;)

Unknown said...

Hi Ginger, the article stated. "I have created and attached a chart showing where free glutamic acid comes from." do you have this chart? my email is robertmeyer524 at

thanks for sharing the information,