Methylation and Autism was a big topic at the Autism One Conference and may be a big piece of the puzzle in figuring out why autism is on the rise. I first learned about the methylation cycle when my children began seeing a functional medicine doctor, about 3 years ago. Through testing, the doctor discovered that this pathway was closed to my children and therefore their bodies could not process properly. Among other things, they were not absorbing iron, b-12 and other nutrients properly. And so we began the work of opening this pathway. At that time, our doctor was looking to help our oldest child who just seemed to be getting sicker by the year. She had already been diagnosed with celiac and thyroid disease and showed signs of mitochondrial disease. Her processing issues were getting worse and she was very week. In beginning to open this pathway, we definitely noticed improvements in areas such as emotion and energy.
Recent research has shown that many children on the autism spectrum may infact have this genetic condition, poor methylation. So what exactly is the big deal here? The methylation cycle is actually a series of processes that leads to proper detoxification of the body. In addition, each process in the cycle requires and allows absorption of key nutrients, such as, folic acid, B12 vitamins and iron. We can already see why we would have a big problem if this system is not working properly. At the end of the methylation cycle is the production of glutathione, the strongest naturally produced antioxidant in the body and the antioxidant needed to detox things like heavy metals out of the body. Since the cycle does not work, we can begin to minimally hypothesize that this could lead to a connection as to why many children on the spectrum are found to have high levels of metals in their body.
The research supporting poor methylation in children on the autism spectrum is now being looked at and supported by such Northeastern University and John Hopkins Institute; as well as, the Autism Research Institute. DAN doctors are also creating new treatment protocols to work directly on opening the methylation process and, as I shared, this was a big topic at the Autism One Conference this year.
To learn more about methylation we suggest looking at the following resources.
If you would like more information about non-invasive testing for your child, or yourself, please contact me. We work with a team of functional medicine doctors who use saliva and urine testing to diagnose breakdowns in key processes such as liver, kidney, adrenals, oxidation and many more. The testing is affordable and can be done from your home.