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Glutathione and Autism

I first heard of glutathione while reading the book, “Healing and Preventing Autism” by Jenny McCarthy and Jerry Kartzinel. Although my son doesn’t have autism, I have found that many treatments that are known to help autistic children also help my son (who has a diagnosed immune disorder).

An entire chapter in McCarthy and Dr. Kartzinel’s book describes the importance of glutathione, how it is the most important substance that our body produces to help our immune system fight infections. It’s the body’s most important antioxidant and the body’s most powerful detoxifier. Glutathione chelates heavy metals like mercury (i.e., binds to heavy metals, so that they can be removed from the body). Most autistic children are low in glutathione (I’ve read that autistic children have 50% less intracellular glutathione than other children), which is why they have so much trouble detoxifing vaccines, medications, environmental toxins, toxins in food and why they have so much trouble fighting infections and diseases. Read a Talk about Curing Autism article about detoxification, glutathione and autism here.

Dr. Kartzinel discusses how many autistic children come from “poor methylating families”, meaning families that tend to have a difficult time producing glutathione (i.e., the overall function of the methylation pathway is under genetic control). Poor methylating families have a family history of depression, bipolar disease, schizophrenia, suicide, constipation, attention deficit disorder, alcoholism and, of course, autism. See also this list of diseases and illnesses that are linked to low glutathione levels. Furthermore, the methylation pathway is sensitive to environmental toxins, such as mercury. So a person who is exposed to a toxin (like mercury) who is already undermethylating (i.e.,  under producing glutathione) will have an even more difficult time detoxing when exposed to such toxins. It turns into a vicious cycle.

Glutathione can be taken intravenously, transdermally or through a nebulizer. Note that supplementing directly with oral glutathione is generally not effective because studies have found that glutathione does not survive the digestive process. Furthermore, supplementing with oral glutathione can result in a yeast outbreak and gut imbalance. Injections are only minimally useful, since glutathione cannot enter into the cells themselves. It must be manufactured inside the cells (when the necessary components are available.) As Dr. Kartzinel explains, methyl B12 injections and supplementing with trimethylglycine (TMG) or dimethylglycine (DMG),  folic acid and N-acetyl-cysteine can increase glutathione levels. Read Dr. Kartizel’s blog post about the methylation process, glutathione and autism here.

When I first read about glutathione, I knew that both my son and I needed to increase our glutathione levels (given that we have a history of diseases within our family that indicates that we are poor-methylators), but it sounded so complicated to do. When I found out about Dr. Keller’s Original Glutathione Formula, a supplement that is known to increase intracellular glutathione levels, a voice within me told me that it was a significant supplement that could help many individuals (including autistic children).

Dr. Keller’s Original Glutathione Formula is an easy and effective method to increase intracellular glutathione levels. This supplement contains N-acetyl-cysteine as well as other ingredients that have been proven to increase glutathione levels by an average of 292%. Some individuals have been giving it to their autistic children, with some amazing results (like this mom here).

Additional reading

  • read these scientific papers about autism and glutathione here.
  • a general article about the link between Parkinson’s disease and autism [i.e., low glutathione levels] here.
  • Scientific paper: “A clinical trial of glutathione supplementation in autism spectrum disorders” here.
  • Low natural killer cell cytotoxic activity in autism: the role of glutathione, IL-2 and IL-15. “We conclude that that 45% of a subgroup of children with autism suffers from low NK cell activity, and that low intracellular levels of glutathione, IL-2 and IL-15 may be responsible.”
  • Mercury and autism: Accelerating Evidence? “The process of cysteine and glutathione synthesis, which are crucial for natural mercury detoxification, are reduced in autistic children, possibly due to genetic polymorphisms [13,30]. Therefore, autistics have 20% lower plasma levels of cysteine and 54% lower levels of glutathione, which, among others, adversely affect their ability to detoxify and excrete metals like mercury”
  • Biomarkers of environmental toxicity and susceptibility in autism. “Significantly decreased plasma levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), cysteine, and sulfate were observed among study participants relative to controls. The transsulfuration abnormalities observed among study participants indicate that mercury intoxication was associated with increased oxidative stress and decreased detoxification capacity.”
  • read an article by American Healthcare Foundation about glutathione and autism here. “A study performed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine suggested that excessive cellular oxidative stress may be a factor causing autism. In the study, researchers measured plasma glutathione and its metabolic precursors in 95 autistic children and 75 children without autism. It was found that levels of glutathione are significantly lower in autistic children than in the children without autism.”

The information described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Dr. Keller’s Original Glutathione Formula does not cure or treat any disease or illness. It simply gives your cells the nutrients they need to produce more glutathione, which in turn helps every cell function better.

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