The Myths and Truths of the Mercury/Autism Connection


Statistics show that autism is the fastest growing developmental disability, now occurring in 1 out of 166 births. The annual cost is $90 billion, and 90% of the costs are in adult services.

Modern Medicine Searches for Answers

In recent years, groups like Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!), started by doctors whose own children suffer from the condition, have done an excellent job of diagnosing what's gone so seriously wrong with millions of children.

They have consistently found a combination of conditions including severe intestinal dysbiosis, systemic fungal and viral infections, mineral deficiencies, abnormal serotonin levels, and an abundance of toxic materials including pesticides and other chemicals, and mercury and other heavy metals.

New attempts to treat autism often focus on the use of supplements and diet to correct the disorder. These same efforts are sometime applied to milder forms on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger's syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Focus on the "Body Ecology" -- The Missing Link

I believe that Body Ecology -- establishing and maintaining the body's inner ecosystem -- is a valuable approach to unlocking the mystery of autism. My theory is that the missing piece lies deep within the intestinal walls and recovery includes conquering systemic fungal and viral infections. While there are many overlapping factors involved, I believe autistic children are primarily suffering from a gut and brain infection that creates neurological dysfunction, a dysfunction that can be corrected with time. Based on successful reports I receive from families who use this approach, I strongly suggest that more research be conducted in this direction.

Here are some of the myths and truths you need to know

Myth: Nothing can be done before or during pregnancy to reduce the risk of autism.

Truth: Both parents can play an important role in preparing for their baby's birth, since the health of both parents contributes to fetal health.

Studies show that the number one determining factor of longevity and quality of health is fetal nutrition. I believe that the ideal approach is for both mother and father to go on a nutrient-dense anti-fungal diet, like the Body Ecology Diet. Fetal nutrition starts with the parents before conception and continues with the mother during her pregnancy. I advise parents to begin the Body Ecology diet six months to two years before conception. This is critical prior to conception because a systemic fungal infection, like candida, can set the stage for autism (see below).

In addition, many infants begin life with the added disadvantage of inheriting weakened adrenals and congested livers from their parents. Cleansing toxins from your body and increasing vital life-force in each parent will help ensure that the fetus inherits more constitutional, pre-natal vitality. This is the greatest gift you can give your baby.

How Systemic Fungal Infection Sets the Stage for Autism

Progesterone levels normally climb during pregnancy and as they climb, blood sugar levels or glucose climbs as well. While this is a natural part of pregnancy, there can be risks if the mother has an undetected, systemic fungal infection or candidaisis. A fungal infection in the body of an expecting mother can become more acute as blood sugar levels naturally go up. All infections in the mother's blood are passed to her baby.

This is why many babies are born with systemic fungal infection. When this happens, yeast is in the baby's gut. Studies show that yeast in the amniotic fluid can paralyze the gut wall, so babies are in turn constipated at birth. This can be serious because the baby won't have the ability to eliminate inherited toxins--including metals, like mercury.

Myth: Autism is entirely mercury-based.

Truth: Mercury exposure may play a role, but it is not the whole story.

Body Ecology teaches that autism begins in-utero, with a fungal infection and the inability to properly detoxify. These are the children who are born at risk for autism because they lack a healthy inner ecosystem at birth.

A healthy inner ecosystem consists of the friendly microflora (good bacteria) that resides in our intestines and keeps us healthy and strong. Babies who lack this inner ecosystem have significantly reduced immunity, since 85% of our immunity is located in the lymph tissue in the gut.

Vaccinations were originally created for people with strong immune systems who had resistance to the pathogens that were injected into their blood stream. Newborn babies have not had time to build strong immune systems. Further, without a healthy inner ecosystem, the immune system will never be strong.

Beware of Systemic Fungal Infection Combined with Vaccinations

A baby's blood-brain barrier isn't formed until six weeks after birth. Before the blood-brain barrier is formed, there is potential for fungus and viral infections to enter your baby's brain.

While more research is needed, our theory is that an anti-fungal diet like the Body Ecology diet is critical for protecting babies from fungal infections.

Many children [who later develop autism] appear to be relatively normal upon birth--until they get the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccination around 18 months. I theorize that upon inoculation with these three live viruses, the mumps portion causes the blood-brain barrier to open. We know this because when a child becomes infected with the mumps virus, blood pressure elevates. Research shows that the blood-brain barrier opens with elevated blood pressure. Swollen lymph glands in the neck and high blood pressure are symptoms of mumps infection, and because the child has an underdeveloped immune system, instead of building antibodies to the live viruses in this vaccination, he becomes infected by the vaccination.

While a child is supposed to develop immunity from the vaccines, a properly functioning immune system is not in place due to the existing fungal infection. The child has no ability to resist the assault from three live viruses: measles, mumps and rubella. (For information on research that found the measles virus in the gut wall of some children following vaccination, see work by Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

Some parents report that their child's behavior has changed after receiving the MMR, and resulting symptoms are suggestive of infection in the brain. When this occurs, the youngster begins to regress in language development and social behaviors.

Based on what I've seen in my BEDROK program, (Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids) our theory makes much more sense than autism as a genetic condition. This understanding can empower parents to make changes that will benefit themselves and their children.

Myth: The gluten-free/casein-free diet is enough.

Truth: While the gluten-free, casein-free diet is a step in the right direction, it's not sufficient without other dietary interventions.

Body Ecology takes the diet to the next level with a protocol for autism that has helped hundreds of children with autism improve: our Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids (BEDROK) program.

Summary of the Body Ecology Protocol for Autism

I believe the key to treating autism is establishing a healthy inner ecosystem. In order to do this, there are several steps recommended for your child's treatment:

Heal chronic and acute bowel dysbiosis, and restore gut immunity;
Correct nutritional deficiencies;
Create energy so the body can begin the process of healing. This is accomplished through a special focus on the adrenals and thyroid;
Conquer systemic viral and fungal infections.
The Body Ecology Diet Goes Beyond

• Gluten-Free/Casein-Free

• We recommend you remove:

• Gluten

• Casein

• Sugar (even natural sugars in fruit, breads and carrot juice.)

• Bad fats - for more information on the risks of bad fats and how to choose high quality fats, read Why The Processing of Consumable Oils Has Devastated America's Health.

Dietary additions, in part:

• Eat plenty of fermented foods and beverages to create a healthy inner ecosystem. Be sure to read Which Fermented Food Starter Should You Use for What?

• Eat plenty of land and ocean vegetables;

• High quality fats - for important essential fatty acids;

• Use a nutrition drink like Vitality SuperGreen to alkalize overly-acidic blood and heal the intestines. Read Are You at Peak Vitality? Answer These Three Key Questions for more information.

• ImmunePro (casein-free) to aid detoxification and increase glutathione.

• Raw egg yolks to nourish the brain and help fight viral infections.

Myth: Autism is a genetic condition that cannot be prevented or treated.

Truth: Recent research has shown that autism is not the genetic condition that it was once assumed to be.

Autism is preventable and even treatable if we understand the multiple causes of the "systemic failure" that occurs with this disorder.

A lack of understanding of the role of our inner ecosystem prevents researchers from unlocking the mystery of autism. If we fully recognized the value of the amazing "subculture" of microflora that our intestinal tracts are designed to support, we would discover the key to preventing and healing this disorder.

The good news is that to a great extent we influence the health of our children. Parents can take positive steps toward creating healthy babies by taking charge of their own health before conception, and by supporting the health of mother and baby during pregnancy.

I encourage any woman who may someday have a baby to receive the free Body Ecology e-newsletter for essential health and dietary insights. Now is the time to start planning for a healthy baby. For those who have children with autism, ADD, and other brain/nervous system related disorders, consider the dietary protocol and Body Ecology newsletter. Many thousands have improved their nervous system functioning with the appropriate diet.


By Donna Gates, Founder of

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