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Autistic Children Accumulate More Toxins Than Non-Autistic Individuals

Our exposure to environmental toxins continues to increase, and the autism population may be the most affected group. Without a proper detoxification process, it will be difficult to decrease the neuroinflammation present in children with autism because toxins may increase the inflammatory process.

In a study conducted on fifty-two autistic children with autism in Saudi Arabia, mercury and lead concentration were measured and compared with non-autistic children. The results of this trial indicated that children with autism had a much higher and significant level of toxic metals like mercury and lead when compared to non-autistic children. Besides, the enzyme glutathione transferase (GST), which is part of the internal detoxification system, was much lower when compared to the control group.

In other words, kids with autism have an impaired detoxification system with low glutathione levels, which may explain the high accumulation of mercury and lead in their bodies.

Green vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts are masterful to promote glutathione activity in the body, increasing the body's ability to get rid of toxins. Other nutrients or food products that help in detoxification may include garlic, curcumin, green tea, Ghee, and fish oil.

Smoothies are an excellent way to add delicious fruits and veggies to our diet.

A Healthy Diet in Autism is Not A Luxury or Desire; It's a Necessity.

David Rivas, RPh, MSc, CCN

Pharmacist and Clinical Nutritionist/Consultant


Alabdali, A., Al-Ayadhi, L., & El-Ansary, A. (2014). A key role for an impaired detoxification mechanism in the etiology and severity of autism spectrum disorders. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 10(1), 1-11.

Hodges, R. E., & Minich, D. M. (2015). Modulation of metabolic detoxification pathways using foods and food-derived components: a scientific review with clinical application. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 1-23.

Jamilian, H., Amirani, E., Milajerdi, A., Kolahdooz, F., Mirzaei, H., Zaroudi, M., ... Asemi, Z. (2019). The effects of vitamin D supplementation on mental health, and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in patients with psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 109651.

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