The Role of Glutathione in Autism

The Role of Glutathione in Autism


The Role of Glutathione in Autism



Autism Glutathione


The Autism Society of America (ACA) reports that as many as 1.5 million Americans are considered to have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASDs), and sadly the numbers are on the increase at the rate of 10-17% (USDE, 2009). Our children are serving as warnings and they experience little control over their fate.


Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social and communication disabilities and stereotypical patterns of behavior. While the underlying reasons for autism are unknown, recent research reveals that autism may result from interactions between environmental, genetic, and immunological factors with oxidative stress as a mediating link (Kern & Jones, 2006). Recently, decreased glutathione levels and increased oxidative stress were also shown in children with autism (Geier & Geier, 2006).


The Link Between Autism Glutathione


The role of glutathione in autism may be significant for many reasons. As a parent of a child diagnosed with ASDs, you may be asking yourself why and how the synthesis in Autism of glutathione in your child’s brain can significantly contribute to or reduce behaviors and characteristics associated with ASDs. Return now to the innocent image of the canary singing in the mining cave. In the last century, the amount of toxins, especially mercury, globally poison and pollute our air supply from industrial, domestic, occupational and medical sources (Owhadi & Boulos, 2008). In utero and from the moment a child is born, he ingests mercury (either continuously or during a one-time trauma) which hinders glutathione syntetase (an enzyme), which ultimately leads to decreased levels of glutathione. In simple terms, this exposure has been shown to be linked to neurological symptoms associated with the decreased ability for the body to detoxify itself: delays in physical growth, diminished locomotive ability, and exaggerated behavioral and emotional responses.


Another Autism Glutathione link – Research has shown that high levels of mercury which cannot be excreted build up in the brain. In one study, when participant babies had their first haircuts, the hair samples showed very small amounts of mercury. This means, for these children, the cellular and neurological systems within the body and brain could not expel the toxins because there were decreased levels of glutathione, hence exhibiting symptoms associated with ASDs.


The role of autism glutathione (in ASDs) and its contribution to oxidative stress is an emerging concept related to the diagnosis and treatment of ASDs, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia (Owhadi & Boulos, 2008). Preliminary treatment results indicate the use of methyl B12 administration has shown improvement of behavioral and physical symptoms, and because of very mild side effects and ease of use (subcutaneous), this appears to be a safe approach in subgroups of children with autism (Kern & Jones, 2006).


The Autism Glutathione Treatments


Other promising treatments targeting the role of glutathione in ASDs is through the administration of chelation therapy during which toxins are extracted from the body through a process which removes all heavy metals from the blood thereby decreasing the chance of continued neuronal cell death or brain damage attributed to toxicity and oxidative stress in the brain.


Whether your child has recently been diagnosed with ASDs or you are seeking the most up-to-date information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of ASDs, it is prudent and well-advised to seek alternative, non-invasive, and progressive means of managing physical and behavioral symptoms, perhaps leading to successful intervention and cessation of ASDs in your child.


Autism Glutathione References


Geier, D. A., & Geier, M. R. (2006). A clinical and laboratory evaluation of methionine cycle- transsulfuration and androgen pathway markers in children with autistic disorders. Hormone Research, 66(4), 182-188. doi:10.1159/000094467


Kern, J. K., & Jones, A. M. (2006). Evidence of toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult in autism. Journal of Toxicology & Environmental Health: Part B, 9(6), 485-499. doi:10.1080/10937400600882079


Owhadi, H., & Boulos, A. (2008). Bistable equilibrium points of mercury body burden. Journal of Biological Systems, 16(1), 139-150.


US Department of Education. Digest of education statistics. Retrieved from



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Posted on February 21, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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