Food Allergies and Autism

The following article, “Parents Explore Diet and Autism” was reported by The Houston Chronicle regarding food sensitivities and allergies to foods containing Gluten and Casein as they relate to Autism. “Very nasty, very foul odor and full of undigested food particles,” said Houston resident Michelle Groogan of her then 18-month-old son’s bowel movement. “It was the classic autism poop.” Garrett was diagnosed with autism when he was 2, and Michelle Groogan began researching ways to ease her son’s digestive issues, which she felt were autism-related. It wasn’t long before she came across the Gluten Free Casein Free, or GFCF, diet.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Casein is the protein in cow’s milk, as well as all mammalian milk. “It was very overwhelming,” Groogan said. “I mean, everything has gluten and dairy in it.” Groogan said health food stores and grocery stores such as Whole Foods make it easier to find GFCF foods, but it comes with sticker shock. She spends about $75 a week on Garrett’s food, the same amount she spends for food for the rest of the family. “We had nothing to lose by trying it,” Groogan said. “Within a few months we started seeing normal stools. When his digestive system was feeling better, we noticed he picked up more language.”  Garrett, now 6, has been on the diet for more than three years. “It certainly hasn’t healed him completely,” Groogan said, “But we’re not ready to stop the diet any time soon.” Katherine Loveland, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Center for Human Development Research at...

Dr. Andrea Dobrich at BioVeda of Charlotte Comments on Study Showing Hepatitis B Vaccine Triples Risk of Autism

Dr. Andrea Dobrich, D.C. discusses a study showing Hepatitis B vaccine more than triples an infant boy’s risk of developing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in her BioVeda of Harrisburg, NC blog: A new study has shown that giving Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn baby boys more than triples their risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. An abstract of the study was published in the September, 2009 issue of the respected journal Annals of Epidemiology. In it, Carolyn Gallagher and Melody Goodman of the Graduate Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University Medical Center, NY, wrote that, “Boys who received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD compared to later- or unvaccinated boys.” The authors used U.S. probability samples obtained from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 1997–2002 datasets.  The conclusion states that: “Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine had a 3-fold greater risk of ASD.” The authors also noted that an earlier study by them found that hepatitis B vaccination was associated with receipt of early intervention and special education services. The new study used a different database than their earlier study, and they found same results, suggesting a validation of their findings. Dr. Andrea Dobrich of Bioveda of Harrisburg (just outside of Charlotte, NC) comments: Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological disorder that affects how a child develops (see previous article on the autism basics).  According to WebMD: Autism isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom. It ranges in severity from a handicap that limits an otherwise normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care. Autism is...

Vitamin D and Health

Vitamin D is produced in our bodies through sun exposure; as such, many people experience Vitamin D deficiency during the winter months.  The Vitamin D Council offers the following information related to vitamin D, immunity and health: The high rate of natural production of vitamin D3 cholecalciferol (pronounced koh·luh·kal·sif·uh·rawl) in the skin is the single most important fact every person should know about vitamin D—a fact that has profound implications for the natural human condition.  Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more. Vitamin D’s influence on key biological functions vital to one’s health and well-being mandates that vitamin D no longer be ignored by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health. SUNSHINE AND YOUR HEALTH If well adults and adolescents regularly avoid sun exposure, research indicates a necessity to supplement with at least 5,000 units (IU) of vitamin D daily. To obtain this amount from milk one would need to consume 50 glasses. With a multivitamin more than 10 tablets would be necessary. Neither is advisable.The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure—50 times more than the US government’s recommendation of 200 IU per day! HOW TO GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D There are 3 ways for adults to insure adequate levels of vitamin D: Regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring,...

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