Contrasty Image of Child representing Autistic Behaviour.In this post, I will highlight the link between heavy metal toxicity and autism and what you can do to avoid it and potentially help to reduce the symptoms of someone on the autistic spectrum.

Research has suggested that alterations in the functioning of metallothionein protein (MP) is linked to children with autism. The malfunctioning of MP causes impairment of brain development and an over-sensitivity to toxic metals and other environmental toxins.

In a study by Walsh and Osman, abnormal levels of copper and zinc were found in the blood of over 500 autistic patients. This suggests impaired function of MP proteins. These proteins regulate levels of trace minerals, detoxify mercury and other toxic metals in the blood and play a role in nervous system development.

Defective MP during pregnancy or early infancy are consistent with many symptoms of autism. They include:

▪        Abnormal copper and zinc levels in the blood and brain

▪        Impaired neuronal development, especially in the first 30 months of life, which could result in incomplete maturation of the digestive tract and brain

▪        Loss of MPs ability to detoxify heavy metals including cadmium, mercury and other toxic heavy metals

▪        Impaired immune function

▪        Immature digestive tract

Gene regulation is easily affected by environmental and heavy metal toxicity. Toxicity changes affects which genes are turned on or off, especially heavy metal toxicity. Many experts believe the rising autism rates are due to genetics being impacted by a toxic environment.

Further more, research by the University of Texas in 2009, suggested a direct link between mercury pollution and autism prevalence. The study showed that the further away from the pollution, the lower the incidence of autism.

Research by Needleman has also suggested a link between the levels of lead to cognitive development, autism, ADHD and learning disabilities.

When you consider that pollutants such as pesticides, heavy metals, waste from burning coal and petroleum have been found in the blood taken from umbilical cords, it highlights the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and detoxifying correctly in the years leading up to trying to conceive.

Can You Reverse Autism?

I don’t know the answer to this question for sure. But, what I do know is that you can detoxify the body from heavy metals and maximise the effectiveness of minerals and proteins like metallothionein and glutathionine.

So What’s the Next Step?

HTMA Toxic ElementsBefore doing any kind of heavy metal detoxification, it is imperative that you have a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) to identify your baseline mineral and heavy metal levels. From there, if required, you can begin to detoxify heavy metals and supplement any deficient minerals. An HTMA re-test helps to monitor the removal of heavy metals from the body and determines the length of detoxification required.

It would make sense that a removal of heavy metals that affect the function of MP could help to improve the symptoms of autism.

If you would like more information about HTMA and how it might help you or your child, please feel free to contact us @ or telephone 0203 239 2470.