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How Nutrition, proper specific Hydration, Inflammation and Body Flora Affect Autism By Keith David Kantor, PhD



Until now, a majority of studies of gut microbiome in autistic individuals have mainly focused on pathogenic bacteria, some of which have been associated with alterations in brain function. In one case, for instance, it was seen that gram-negative bacteria containing lipopolysaccharides can induce brain inflammation and cause high levels of mercury to accumulate in the cerebrum.Specific foods that can help fight inflammation include: Hydroxide rich alkaline water Heart healthy nuts Nut butters and seeds like walnuts, pumpkins seeds Heart healthy oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil Antioxidant rich produce, including berries and dark leafy greens.
How Nutrition, proper specific Hydration, Inflammation and Body
Flora Affect Autism
By Keith David Kantor, PhD
Autism- a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in
communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract
Let's examine the symptoms of Autism. Although the exact cause of Autism is unknown, ongoing
research has made progress in the treatment and therapy for autistic children.
A delay in learning to talk, or not talking at all. A child may seem to be deaf, even though
hearing tests are normal.
Repeated and overused types of behavior, interests, and play. Examples include repeated
body rocking, unusual attachments to objects, and getting very upset when routines change.
There is no "typical" person with autism. People can have many different kinds of behaviors,
from mild to severe. Parents often say that their child with autism prefers to play alone and
does not make eye contact with other people. Some young adults with an autism spectrum
disorder (ASD) are more likely to never see friends, never get called by friends, never be
invited to activities and be socially isolated. (3)
Please also note that some autistic children are affectionate and social! Nonetheless, many
people with autism do indeed have a social appetite. They yearn for connection with others.
We need better ways of supporting positive social connection and of preventing social
Autism may also include other concerns such as:
Many children with autism have below-normal intelligence, but show extreme intelligence in
specific subjects like math, art, and comprehension.
Teenagers with autism often become depressed and have a lot of anxiety, especially if they
have average or above-average intelligence. The controlled environments of school aged
teens are not ideal for autistic teens.
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Some children may get a seizure disorder such as epilepsy by their teen years.
Inflammation response genes perpetually switched on in autistic
Inflammation effects Autism in many ways, one of them being the insulin mechanism. Excess
inflammation can cause carbohydrate and sugar cravings, leading to poor insulin regulation thus
stimulating the opiate receptors in the brain and triggering addictive behaviors along with
detrimental health consequences. (10) Excessive sugar consumption especially from processed
sources can amplify negative autistic behaviors. A pregnant woman with gestational diabetes is
also associated with increased risk of autism developing in the unborn child. (12)
In the latest study, researchers found the brains of people with autism have inflammation response
genes that are perpetually switched on. Microglial cells "police" the brain for threats and
pathogens, the researchers say. After analyzing the brains, the researchers discovered that in the
brains of individuals with autism, the microglia were constantly activated and their inflammation
response genes were turned on. (11)
Physical Brain Structure and Autism
The bottom line is that we can now effectively model idiopathic ASD using a cohort of individuals
selected by a clear endophenotype. In this case, brain volume," said senior author Alysson R.
Muotri, PhD, associate professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine departments of
Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. "And early developmental brain enlargement can
be explained by underlying molecular and cellular pathway dysregulation, leading to altered
neuronal cortical networks." (1)
The characteristics and causes of ASD are diverse and not entirely known -- facts that have made
it difficult to fully uncover relevant genetic, pathologic and cellular factors that might be broadly
shared. One distinct pathophysiology or disordered process is the occurrence of macrencephaly in
some children with ASD, which is characterized by early neuronal overgrowth and abnormally
enlarged brains. Macrencephaly occurs in the first three years of life and precedes the first clinical
signs of ASD. Approximately 20 percent of ASD individuals have macrencephaly.
The researchers reasoned that ASD individuals with macrencephaly likely shared an underlying
molecular and cellular pathology. They created neural progenitor cells programmed from induced
pluripotent stem cells derived from children with ASD. "By genome sequencing, we realized that
some, but not all, carried clear mutations in the Wnt pathway, which is a molecular pathway
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previously implicated in cancer," said Muotri. "Defects on cell cycle control were also obvious from
gene expression on these cells. As a consequence, neural progenitor cells derived from these kids
proliferate faster than controls, explaining the big brain phenotype." (1)
Next, the researchers differentiated the progenitor cells into networks of cortical neurons, the
primary functional cell type of the brain's cortex (gray matter). "We showed that ASD networks fail to
produce inhibitory neurons and found that several receptors and neurotransmitters related to GABA
(an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter) are misregulated on these neurons. We also
showed that the number of excitatory synapses is reduced, leading to functional defects when we
analyzed the maturation of neuronal networks over time. Basically, we detected a lack of burst
synchronization (when multiple neurons fire simultaneously). (1)
The atypical trajectory of cortical/brain development in autism spectrum disorder extends well
beyond young childhood and into late adolescence and young adulthood, a new study
demonstrates. A considerable amount of work has focused on early structural brain development in
ASD utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This body of work has revealed evidence for brain
overgrowth during the early postnatal years that appears largely absent later in development in
ASD. Although several studies of cortical brain structure in adolescence and young adulthood in
ASD have been completed, the vast majority has utilized cross-sectional (i.e., one point in time)
designs. In one of the first studies to examine longitudinal (i.e., following the same subjects over
time) cortical development in ASD during late adolescence and early adulthood, researchers found
an exaggeration of the normal thinning of the cortex that occurs during this age range. Moreover,
this increased cortical thinning was associated with greater executive function problems (based on
behavioral ratings) and ASD social symptoms. This study suggests that the atypical trajectory of
cortical/brain development in ASD extends well beyond young childhood and into late adolescence
and young adulthood. More work is needed to understand brain development during the transition
from adolescence into adulthood and beyond. (2)
Brain Gut Connection and Autism
An Arizona State University research team has found an association between the development of
autism and the diversity of bacteria in our guts. The new finding could pave the way for specific
supplements that will reinforce the gut's microflora (bacterial population). Over half of the children
living with autism exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms, maldigestion (contributing to malnutrition) and
food allergies. The right dietary patterns can affect the gut's microbiome and have a positive impact
on a child's nutrition. (4) The indigenous gastrointestinal (Gl) tract microflora has profound effects
on the anatomical, physiological and immunological development of the host. The indigenous
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microflora stimulates the host immune system to respond more quickly to pathogen challenge and,
through bacterial antagonism, inhibits colonization of the Gl tract by overt exogenous pathogens.
Indigenous Gl bacteria are also opportunistic pathogens and can translocate across the mucosal
barrier to cause systemic infection in debilitated hosts. (5) When cultured strains of Lactobacillus
(L.) reuteri originally isolated from human breast milk and introduced into the water of the high-fat-
diet offspring, we found that treatment with this single bacterial strain was able to rescue their social
behavior," Buffington says. Other ASD-related behaviors, such as anxiety, were not restored by the
reconstitution of the bacteria. Interestingly, the authors found that L. reuteri also promoted the
production of the "bonding hormone" oxytocin, which is known to play a crucial role in social
behavior and has been associated with autism in humans. When we put the bacteria back in the
maternal-high-fat-diet offspring, we could also restore the changes in synaptic function in the reward
circuitry. (7)
Across the board, more research is being done on limiting the use of antibiotics to prevent a
disruption of healthy gut bacteria. Antibiotics have been used effectively as a means to treat
bacterial infections in humans and animals for over half a century. However, through their use,
lasting alterations are being made to a mutualistic relationship that has taken millennia to evolve:
the relationship between the host and its microbiota. Host-microbiota interactions are dynamic;
therefore, changes in the microbiota as a consequence of antibiotic treatment can result in the
dysregulation of host immune homeostasis and an increased susceptibility to disease. A better
understanding of both the changes in the microbiota as a result of antibiotic treatment and the
consequential changes in host immune homeostasis is imperative, so that these effects can be
mitigated. (6)
Until now, a majority of studies of gut microbiome in autistic individuals have mainly focused on
pathogenic bacteria, some of which have been associated with alterations in brain function. In one
case, for instance, it was seen that gram-negative bacteria containing lipopolysaccharides can
induce brain inflammation and cause high levels of mercury to accumulate in the cerebrum. (4)
This nutrition plan will help reduce inflammation while nourishing the brain with optimal nutrients.
It is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Low in processed sugar.
Optimal high quality proteins.
Dye free and chemical pure whole foods are recommended as much as possible.
This plan incorporates:
Healthy fats
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Fiber and optimal macro nutrient breakdowns
This plan will help optimize gut flora balance, and brain function.
Specific foods that can help fight inflammation include:
Hydroxide rich alkaline water
Heart healthy nuts
Nut butters and seeds like walnuts, pumpkins seeds
Heart healthy oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
Antioxidant rich produce, including berries and dark leafy greens.
Consider gastrointestinal health.
Working with your doctor, you may want to add probiotics (4) to your supplement regimen, along
with the supplement tricycline (which contains berberine, artemisinin, citrus extract, and walnut
hulls). This treatment is designed to improve problems related to leaky gut, a condition in which
damaged intestinal walls release undigested food particles into the bloodstream. Leaky gut is
associated with a range of inflammatory and immune problems including Autism. This nutrition plan
will work best in additional to a support team; it is ideal for those who are under supervised clinical
treatment and therapies of qualified health professionals.
Lifestyle/Environmental Impact
Certain lifestyle trends and habits may contribute to the increase or decline of Autism symptoms.
Poor nutrition, infections, and substance abuse (including cigarette and alcohol use) during
pregnancy may be contributing factors. Substance abuse during pregnancy is believed to affect the
development of the fetus's brain as well. While you can't do much to change genetics, you can alter
your exposure to certain environmental factors that have shown a link to Autism.
However, none of these lifestyle changes are absolutes—experts can't tell you that lowering your
exposure to one particular factor will lower your child's risk. "Evidence about environmental risk
during pregnancy is really at its infancy, so any data-supported hypotheses must be investigated
further as nothing is yet considered a certain cause," says M. Daniele Fallín, Ph.D., director of the
Wendy Kfag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
School of Public Health.
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The key is for pregnant women to take some safe, proactive steps like these that can potentially
protect their babies. We all know that diet and nutrition play an integral part in our health. A major
study conducted by researchers affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found strong links
between maternal diabetes and obesity and the likelihood of having a child with autism spectrum
disorder (ASD) or another developmental disorder. (12)
The authors note that obesity is a significant risk factor for diabetes and hypertension, and is
characterized by increased insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, as are diabetes and
hypertension. In diabetic, and possibility pre-diabetic pregnancies, poorly regulated maternal
glucose can result in prolonged fetal exposure to elevated maternal glucose levels, which raises
fetal insulin production, resulting in chronic fetal exposure to high levels of insulin.
Because elevated insulin production requires greater oxygen use this may result in depleted
oxygen supply for the fetus. Diabetes also may result in fetal iron deficiency. Both conditions can
adversely affect fetal brain development, the authors said. "The sequence of events related to
poorly regulated maternal glucose levels is one potential biological mechanism that may play a
role in adverse fetal development in the presence of maternal metabolic conditions," Krakowiak
said. (12) Maternal inflammation, which accompanies metabolic conditions, may also adversely
affect fetal development. Certain proteins involved in cell signaling that are produced by cells of
the immune system can cross the placenta from the mother to the fetus and disturb brain
Nutrition Plan for Autism
Increase the consumption of brain foods including heart healthy fats like coconut oil,
olive oil, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and avocado.
Avoid Gluten and dairy containing foods. Gluten (found in wheat, breads, pasta,
pasties, crackers) (8) and casein (found in dairy) (9) are two proteins that are common food
allergies and cause gastrointestinal stress.
Experts believe these two proteins can cause problems for those with autism by triggering an
immune response that has an impact neurologically or by causing Gl inflammation and irritation that
leads to an increase of Autism symptoms and behavioral problems.
Pennsylvania State University conducted research to see if children who followed a gluten free and
dairy free diet would see a reduction in their symptoms of autism. They gave a 90-item survey to
387 families who had a child with autism.
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The research from the survey results showed that the children who completely eliminated both
gluten and casein from their diets for greater than 6 months found the greatest benefit. "They saw
an improvement in ASD symptoms such as greater eye contact, engagement, attention span, social
responsiveness and decreased requesting behaviors. These are very promising results and show
the value in giving this diet a try."
The Program has implemented these concepts in addition to the anti-inflammation nutrition plans
that The Program offers.
Food chemicals are not new, but years ago people were only exposed to them sporadically.
Unfortunately, today's population is exposed to harmful food chemicals every day resulting in
inflammation and metabolism disruption.
In order to minimize the amount of chemicals you consume, be sure to purchase quality, all-natural,
additive-free beef, poultry, seafood and produce.
As mentioned before consuming foods that will reduce inflammation including a Hydroxide rich
Alkaline water, raw fatty nuts, nut butters and seeds, avocados, dark berries, leafy greens and fatty
fish like wild caught salmon.
The goal of a sound nutrition program working to reduce inflammation and symptoms of Autism is to
eliminate these additives:
Artificial (synthetic) coloring and dyes
Artificial (synthetic) flavoring
Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, saccharin, sucralose)
All natural Stevia leaf extract is fine to use as a safe sweetener
Artificial (synthetic) preservatives BHA, BHT, TBHQ, MSG (also hidden as Yeast Extract)
In further research, some doctors have concluded that while not everyone with ADHD is deficient in
omega-3 fatty acids, the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the diet may be important. For those who
wish to utilize omega-3 fatty acids as a method of modifying behavior, they should use both flax and
seafood sources of these omega-3 fatty acids. DHA — a vital omega-3 fatty acid — is found in
abundance in seafood and fish oil supplementation.
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It's now well accepted that modifying the diet of those afflicted with Autism can greatly help control
the symptoms while improving quality of life.
Foods to include in daily nutrition:
Probiotic rich foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut coconut kefir, miso, tempeh.
Omega 3 fatty acids from walnuts, wild caught salmon, avocados.
Foods to Avoid: coffee, sport drinks/juice, candy, dairy and gluten.
Proper Hydration through Hydroxide Rich Water for Treating Autism
and Inflammation
Acidity and inflammation go hand in hand. By chemical definition, acidity is a problem of too much
hydrogen (H+). Too much acidity in the body can stem from diet, disease, exercise, and other life
style factors. It is generally recognized that excess acidity in the body creates inflammation which
leads to other disease conditions. Acidity causes a lack of oxygen and a lower pH condition in which
pathogens flourish.
Hydroxide (OH-) is a natural hydrogen hunter that does not merely buffer the body against excess
hydrogen but eliminates it by combining with it to form harmless water. That water can then be used
for hydration or eliminated through urination. Here is the formula of the elimination reaction: OH- + H+
= H2O.
Most alkaline waters attempt to help the body buffer acidity by providing alkaline minerals. But this
does not address the underlying problem of excess hydrogen and instead only helps the body
maintain pH balance. Potential hydrogen (pH) balance helps the body but it does not fix the issue.
The main goal of most alkaline waters is pH balance but this misses the point.
A water rich in hydroxide seeks to eliminate acidity by eliminating the excess hydrogen. Most
alkaline waters contain some hydroxide if they claim either to contain negative ions or have gone
through ionization. The problem is most alkaline waters rely more on alkaline minerals to buffer the
excess hydrogen than they use the hydroxide to eliminate hydrogen. This is why it is imperative to
find a hydroxide rich water because elimination is far more effective in restoring balance to the body
than mere buffering.
Benefits of a hydroxide rich water:
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Hydroxide eliminates acidity rather than just buffering the acidity.
Hydroxide produces no toxic by-products. It produces only water which can be used for
hydration or eliminated through urination.
By eliminating excess acidity (hydrogen), it frees up the body’s own oxygen to use for other
biological processes.
Hydroxide restores completely the acid-alkaline balance beyond just pH balance.
Hydroxide helps reduce inflammation by eliminating acidity and not just buffering it.
1-2 c stable
hydroxide rich
Muffins* &
Gluten Free
Chai Protein
muffins* &
SNACK 1-2 c
hydroxide rich
¼ c Almonds
and walnuts
Celery with
almond or
yogurt (none
1 serving
Low sugar
fruit- berries,
apple, plum,
Celery with
almond or
1 serving
Low sugar
fruit- berries,
apple, plum,
¼ c Almonds
and walnuts
LUNCH 1-2 c
hydroxide rich
Black Bean
salad* with
3oz chicken
Berry Salad
Gluten Free
SW Shrimp
and pasta
salad lettuce
wraps or
salad with
Pecan, berry
and arugula
tossed salad
SNACK 1-2 c
hydroxide rich
dairy free
Celery or
apple with nut
butter (no
1 c berries
1 serving
low sugar
¼ c nuts (no
pine or
Celery or
apple with
nut butter
DINNER 1-2 c
hydroxide rich
pepper and
onion pasta
– gluten
with quinoa
or rice
pork chops*
with side
salad and
sweet potato
chicken* with
Citrus Cod*
Filet with
and brown
noodle in fire
tomato meat
with rice
noodles and
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