Blog: Boost Your Glutathione Levels
by Quinta_Essentia

Autism - a Glutathione and Hormone Disease?

Autism - a Glutathione and Hormone Disease?

Date:   2/2/2009 11:21:31 AM   ( 12 y ) ... viewed 7135 times

fascinating info about the connection between autism, glutathione, and hormones. girls have higher glutathione levels than boys and have much lower autism rates. boys with autism have very high testosterone levels, and testosterone blocks glutathione production.

this doctor used supplements to raise glutathione levels in autistic children and saw improved speech and memory as a result.

►Treatment of Methylation Deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorder By Dr. Anita Bratt, BSc, ND

The frequency of autism is greater in males than females by a ratio of 4:1. Females are known to have higher methionine cycle regeneration and increased glutathione levels compared to males. The increased methylation and antioxidant ability may be a mechanism of protection and contribute to the gender difference in ASD. Recent research has found that children with autism have significantly elevated DHEA and testosterone levels relative to normal reference ranges (Geier and Geier, 2006). Clinical assessments have demonstrated 33% of ASD children exhibit signs of precocious puberty (Baron-Cohen et al, 2005).

Testosterone influences the methylation cycle by blocking the formation of cystathionine and thereby reducing total glutathione, with estrogen promoting the conversion (Geier and Geier, 2006). Studies have found that neurons pre-incubated with estrogen demonstrated substantial protection against thimerosal-induced cell death, whereas addition of testosterone caused a significant loss of neurons exposed to thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative (Haley, 2005). The synergistic toxic effects of mercury and testosterone may impact mercury-sensitive methylation enzymes, such as methionine synthase, and influence the gender disparity in ASD.

Supplementation with folinic acid (800mcg bid) and betaine (1000mg bid) for three months normalized methylation cycle metabolites, including methionine, SAM, SAH, adenosine and homocysteine in a study of autistic children (James et al, 2004). Antioxidant markers cysteine, glutathione and oxidized glutathione also improved but did not reach normal range. With addition of methylcobalamin (75mcg/kg) two times per week given subcutaneously for one month, the study found levels of plasma methionine increased further, and cysteine, total glutathione and oxidized glutathione values were brought into normal range.

In addition to correcting the metabolic profile, improved speech and cognition were noted clinically.

The current recommendation for methylcobalamin dosing is 62.5 mcg/kg of 25mg/mL solution by subcutaneous injection, every 3 days (Neubrander, 2006). This route is thought to provide a more sustained release of methylcobalamin into the bloodstream from the adipose tissue compared to intramuscular injection. Oral or sublingual forms are problematic since many autistic children have significantly disturbed digestion and absorption of nutrients, relating to yeast overgrowth, Clostridia spp. and other bacterial infections, gastrointestinal inflammation, dysfunctional digestive enzymes, and food allergies.

With methyl B12 injection therapy, the most commonly noted changes include improved speech, language expression, socialization, emotional control, personal awareness, and mental processing (Woeller, 2007). Positive changes occur within 5 weeks in 80-90% of ASD children according to clinical evaluation and parental reports. The main side effects are hyperactivity (most common), sleep disturbance (especially when given at night), and increased mouthing of objects, all of which normally resolve within 4-6 weeks of starting the therapy. Compliance is another major issue, as parents are often reluctant to administer vitamin B12 injections.

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