(NaturalNews) A new study published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics reveals that both the Standard American Diet (SAD) and various toxic environmental factors play a definitive and synergistic role in the development of autism. According to the study, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), mercury in vaccines, and agricultural pesticides are among the many cofactors that contribute to the onset of autism spectrum disorders, all of which deserve more attention from health authorities than they are currently getting.
Renee Dufault from the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute (FIHRI) and her colleagues examined how various foods and environmental factors affect the neurodevelopment of children, and particularly how these factors inhibit the body's ability to eliminate disease-causing toxins and heavy metals from the system. Known as "macroepigenetics," this comprehensive approach to disease research offers unique insight into how the human body responds to multiple inputs from diet, environment, and genetics.
What the team discovered is that HFCS, for instance, which is a highly-processed chemical sweetener used in many processed foods and beverages, depletes the body of the natural mineral zinc. And zinc, of course, is responsible for cleansing the body of heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and cadmium, as well as aluminum and other toxins that are known to disrupt proper brain development.
"To better address the explosion of autism, it's critical we consider how unhealthy diets interfere with the body's ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, and ultimately our risk for developing long-term health problems like autism," said Dr. David Wallinga, co-author of the study and physician at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).
HFCS laden with brain-destroying chemicals, mercury
Back in 2009, it was revealed that HFCS is actually a source of heavy metal poisoning as well. The heavy processing required to produce HFCS involves the use of caustic soda chemicals and mercury, two brain-destroying chemicals that end up in the final product fed to millions of American children (http://www.naturalnews.com/025442_HFCS_Corn_Refiners_Association.html).
Ketchup, sodas, juice drinks, breads, crackers, cookies, and many other processed food items are loaded with HFCS, and these items are a staple in many children's diets, including in the meals fed to them at school. So it is no wonder that children's bodies are being overwhelmed by mercury and other autism-related toxins, which is only worsened by the onslaught of neurologically damaging vaccines, some of which still contain mercury, most of them received throughout their early childhood developmental years.
Besides affecting zinc levels, HFCS in particular has also been shown to deplete the body of calcium and other important vitamins and minerals as well. Without these and other critical nutrients, the body is unable to effectively protect itself against the myriad of toxic exposures it faces every single day, which include pesticide residues found on conventional produce, for instance, or flame retardant chemicals found in bedding and clothing.
"Rather than being independent sources of risk, factors like nutrition and exposure to toxic chemicals are cumulative and synergistic in their potential to disrupt normal development," added Dr. Richard Deth, another co-author of the study and Professor of Pharmacology at Northwestern University near Chicago. "These epigenetic effects can also be transmitted across generations. As autism rates continue to climb it is imperative to incorporate this new epigenetic perspective into prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies."
Parents will want to proactively protect the health of their children by helping them to avoid HFCS and all products that contain it, and teaching them to eat and enjoy organic, pesticide-free produce and other whole foods. Feeding children "superfoods" rich in vitamins and minerals, and supplementing their diets with brain-boosting nutrient foods like omega-3 fatty acids, spirulina, and probiotics will also go a long way in protecting these young ones from the continuous onslaught of dietary and environmental toxins that are constantly at war with their brains.