ANTIDEPRESSANTS AND AUTISM: WHAT’S THE LINK?
For the record and in case you were not aware, DEPRESSION falls into the same category of diseases as CANCER, DIABETES, ARTHRITIS, and HEART DISEASE — INFLAMMATORY DISEASES. Add to this the fact that several major medical studies recently linked ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS taken by mom to AUTISTIC OFFSPRING, and you can see why people are concerned about autism — particularly considering that roughly 10% of our population is taking an antidepressant medication; mostly SSRI’s, the majority being women. Let me hit you with these three studies that all came out this month (results of all studies discussed today are cherry-picked for time and space).
- A European study done by French and Italian researchers was published in this week’s issue of JAMA Pediatrics (Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders According to Period of Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis) saying, “Several studies have examined the links between prenatal exposure to antidepressants and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children…. There is a significant association between increased ASD risk and maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy; however, it appears to be more consistent during the preconception period than during each trimester….” This review was a meta-analysis of numerous previous studies.
- Just a few days ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded in a study called Association Between Serotonergic Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children, that “In the 2837 pregnancies exposed to antidepressants, 2% of children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The incidence of autism spectrum disorder was 4.51 per 1000 person-years among children exposed to antidepressants vs 2.03 per 1000 person-years among unexposed children per 1000 person-years. Although a causal relationship cannot be ruled out, the previously observed association may be explained by other factors.” Maybe it can, but that’s a whole lot of explaining to do.
- The other study, also from earlier this week and also published in JAMA (Associations of Maternal Antidepressant Use During the First Trimester of Pregnancy With Preterm Birth, Small for Gestational Age, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Offspring) concluded that while “first-trimester exposure to antidepressants was associated with a small increased risk of preterm birth,” it was said to not be associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, if you took a peek at the raw data from this Swedish study you would notice that babies exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy developed autism at a 5.3% clip as opposed to 2.1% rate for those not exposed. That, folks, is approximately a 150% difference that was whittled away by confounders.
What’s the point? The point is that as always, the results seen when studying DRUGS, TESTS, and MEDICAL PROCEDURES are all over the place; some showing them to be safe and effective, while others declare them worthless and dangerous.
I’ve already shown you that GUT HEALTH is directly related to DYSBIOSIS. A recent study confirms this and goes a bit farther. January’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders (Antidepressants, Antimicrobials or Both? Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis in Depression and Possible Implications of the Antimicrobial Effects of Antidepressant Drugs for Antidepressant Effectiveness) concluded in a study that was a joint effort between universities in Brazil and the University of Texas that….
“At present, drugs belonging to new classes of antidepressants still have antimicrobial effects. Dysbiosis of gut microbiota was implicated in the development or exacerbation of mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder (MDD). Based on the current interest in the gut-brain axis, the focus of this narrative review is to compile the available studies regarding the influences of gut microbiota in behavior and depression and to show the antimicrobial effect of antidepressant drugs.
MDD is associated with changes in gut permeability and microbiota composition. In this respect, antidepressant drugs present antimicrobial effects that could also be related to the effectiveness of these drugs for MDD treatment. Both antidepressants and antimicrobials present neuroprotective/antidepressant and antimicrobial effects.”
Excepting rare cases, the last sentence is not completely true. To see just how false it can be, you must understand what dysbiosis is, how it occurs, and what it does to the brain (click on the previous link and start reading). Although ANTIBIOTICS are certainly used to treat certain types of dysbiosis-induced infections (C. DIFF and H. PYLORI immediately come to mind), they also happen to be the chief cause of said dysbiosis as well.
Let’s be real with each other for a moment — the authors clearly say that (I’m simply moving words around), “the respect [reason] that antidepressant drugs are effective is because it changes gut permeability [Leaky Gut Syndrome] and microbiome [dysbiosis]“. This is an absurd assertion. All of these are associated with developing autism, not curing autism.
ONE CAUSE OF AUTISM IS NO MYSTERY: DESTROY GUT HEALTH AND YOU DESTROY PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
The cool thing about PubMed and similar research databases is that they are easily searchable. When you start doing searches and comparing this disease to that disease, you start to see some common threads. Sugar dysregulation (whether diabtetes or PRE-DIABETES) is one of those. Another is Dysbiosis (a fouled up MICROBIOME).
Although you can find similar material all over my site (HERE is one example), below are the results of some recent studies showing how intimately related the whole Gut Health thing is to mental health, including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). And BTW, IT’S TRUE that antidepressants act as antibiotics.
- The January issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (Gut Microbiota, Bacterial Translocation, and Interactions with Diet: Pathophysiological Links between Major Depressive Disorder and Non-Communicable Medical Comorbidities) revealed that, “Persistent low-grade immune-inflammatory processes, oxidative and nitrosative stress, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation are integral to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder. The microbiome, intestinal compositional changes, and resultant bacterial translocation add a new element to the bidirectional interactions of the gut-brain axis; new evidence implicates these pathways in the patho-aetiology of major depressive disorder. In addition, abnormalities in the gut-brain axis are associated with several chronic non-communicable disorders, which frequently co-occur in individuals with major depressive disorder, including but not limited to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Gut dysbiosis and the leaky gut may influence several pathways implicated in the biology of major depressive disorder.” The chief pathway mentioned? Activation of the immune system in the form of inflammation. In case you have not yet figured out that Depression is inflammatory and inflammation is largely controlled by your microbiome, which is largely controlled by what you eat, HERE and HERE are some links.
- Late last year, the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design (Intestinal Dysbiosis, Gut Hyperpermeability and Bacterial Translocation: Missing Links Between Depression, Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes) concluded what I stated in the opening paragraph of this section — that all diseases are really one big fouled up mess, fed by EPEGENETIC TRIGGERS, fueled by SUGAR / CARBS, and intimately related to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (intestinal permeability). “The comorbid prevalence of major depressive disorder with obesity and type II diabetes reflects the existence of a subset of individuals with a complex common pathophysiology and overlapping risk factors. A number of factors link major depressive disorder to metabolic-associated disorders, including: higher rates of shared risk factors such as poor diet and physical inactivity and biological elements including increased inflammation; insulin resistance; oxidative and nitrosative stress; and mitochondrial dysfunction. All of these biological factors have been extensively investigated in the pathophysiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as depression. In this review, we aim to: (1) overview the epidemiological links between depression, obesity and type 2 diabetes; (2) discuss the role of synergistic neurotoxic effects in depression comorbid with obesity, and type 2 diabetes; (3) review evidence of intestinal dysbiosis, leaky gut and increased bacterial translocation, in the pathophysiology of depression, obesity and type 2 diabetes; and (4) propose a model in which the gut-brain axis could play a pivotal role in the comorbidity of these disorders.” The point of their study was to show that new drugs are needed to treat this mess. As nice (and easy) as that would be, these health issues are largely lifestyle-related and must be dealt with as such.
- Just last month the Annual Review of Neuroscience published a study called The Microbiome and Host Behavior, in which they concluded, “The microbiota is increasingly recognized for its ability to influence the development and function of the nervous system and several complex host behaviors. We further assess evidence linking dysbiosis of the gut microbiota to neurobehavioral diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder and major depression.” There it is again folks, from just last month — the relationship between microbiome, autism, and depression — something I was talking about in 2013 (HERE). Now do you understand why I continue to put such a huge emphasis on FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS, even though I don’t do them in my clinic, or personally know anyone who does?
- Last summer, the journal Molecular Psychiatry published a study called Gut Microbiome Remodeling Induces Depressive-Like Behaviors Through a Pathway Mediated by the Host’s Metabolism in which they stated, “Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the result of complex gene-environment interactions. According to the World Health Organization, MDD is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The gut microbiome is an increasingly recognized environmental factor that can shape the brain through the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Moreover, from clinical sampling, the gut microbiotic compositions of MDD patients and healthy controls were significantly different with MDD patients. Fecal microbiota transplantation of germ free mice with ‘depression microbiota’ derived from MDD patients resulted in depression-like behaviors. This study demonstrates that dysbiosis of the gut microbiome may have a causal role in the development of depressive-like behaviors.” In other words, put feces from depressed mice into normal mice and they become depressed. They’ve done the same thing transplanting feces from depressed humans into normal mice, creating depressed mice (HERE).
- At the end of 2015, the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Antibiotic Exposure and the Risk for Depression, Anxiety, or Psychosis?) came to the conclusions basically seen in the study’s title — “Changes in the microbiota (dysbiosis) were suggested to increase the risk of several psychiatric conditions through neurologic, metabolic, and immunologic pathways. Recurrent antibiotic exposure is associated with increased risk for depression and anxiety.” That last sentence sort of slams the door on using antibiotics to treat MDD as one study suggested earlier.
- The February 2015 issue of the European Journal of Pediatrics (The Intestinal Microbiota: Its Role in Health and Disease) said that, “An “imbalance” of the microbiota, frequently also called “dysbiosis,” has been associated with different diseases in recent years. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some infectious intestinal diseases such as Clostridium difficile colitis feature a dysbiosis of the intestinal flora. Whereas this is somehow expected or less surprising, an imbalance of the microbiota or an enrichment of specific bacterial strains in the flora has been associated with an increasing number of other diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and even psychiatric disorders such as depression or multiple sclerosis.” You can find any number of similar studies on my site as none of this is new information — even the stuff on AUTOIMMUNITY (MS included).
- The December 2014 issue of Inflamopharmacology (The Gastrointestinal Tract Microbiome, Probiotics, and Mood) said that, “Mental health is closely linked to physical health. Depression is highly prevalent worldwide and a major cause of disability. Furthermore, a largely neglected area of research activity has been the role of live probiotic cultures that contribute to repairing dysbiosis (and leaky gut barrier abnormality) in the gastrointestinal tract. In this commentary, we build a hypothesis that in addition suggests that gastrointestinal tract metabolites that are elaborated by the microbiome cohort may provide novel and significant avenues for efficacious therapeutic interventions for mood disorders.” Again, these studies are all about developing drugs to alter your Gut Health. The cool thing I’ve shown you over and over again is that you can largely do this via diet (HERE).
- Last January’s issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Gut Microbiota in Autism and Mood Disorders) put the icing on the cake by concluding that, “The hypothesis of an important role of gut microbiota in the maintenance of physiological state into the gastrointestinal system is supported by several studies that have shown a qualitative and quantitative alteration of the intestinal flora in a number of gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal diseases. In the last few years, the importance of gut microbiota impairment in the etiopathogenesis of pathology such as autism, dementia and mood disorder, has been raised. The evidence of the inflammatory state alteration, highlighted in disorders such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, strongly recalls the microbiota alteration, highly suggesting an important role of the alteration of GI system also in neuropsychiatric disorders. Up to now, available evidences display that the impairment of gut microbiota plays a key role in the development of autism and mood disorders. The application of therapeutic modulators of gut microbiota to autism and mood disorders has been experienced only in experimental settings to date, with few but promising results. A deeper assessment of the role of gut microbiota in the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as the advancement of the therapeutic armamentarium for the modulation of gut microbiota is warranted for a better management of ASD and mood disorders.“
- Others: The truth is that I could have gone on almost ad infinitum here as there were dozens upon dozens of similar studies from the past decade.
What’s the point — especially when I already have a number of posts specifically on aluminum as related to Gut Health (HERE and HERE)? Only that the aluminum that is readily found in medications (including vaccines) is bad news (HERE is a list of the toxic cocktail that vaccines contain, straight from our government’s own CDC). One of the things on this list is mercury in the form of something called THIMEROSAL.
I recently saw an article saying that mercury was the most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet — 500 times more toxic than whatever was in second place (I can’t remember). But because many of the children’s vaccines have removed the Thimiserol without any sort of reduction in AUTISM RATES, many are saying the the problem is not an added metal. They’re likely wrong.
Just last evening I watched part V of the seven part documentary called THE TRUTH ABOUT VACCINES, which had a great deal of information on aluminum, with several physicians saying what I wrote about less than a year ago — that ALUMINUM IS THE SMOKING GUN in ASD and issues similarly related Gut Dysfunctions. Here is a short transcript from the documentary.
DR. PAUL THOMAS (PEDIATRICIAN): In 2001, at least here in Oregon, we had this huge push — and I think it happened nationwide for pediatricians, to move the Hepatitis B Vaccination from teenagers to newborns. And I remember when they made that push I was saying to myself this makes no sense. You catch Hepatitis B from sex and IV drug use. Babies don’t do that. Well, they could catch it from the mother. That’s true; that’s the only way a baby can get Hepatitis B is if their mother’s got it.
The babies in my practice — to this day I haven’t had a single mom with Hepatitis B. That’s how rare it is. Go to the CDC website and they say it’s, oh, 1 in 100 moms have Hep B. But even that; I think it’s less than that, depending on where you live I suppose. But even that, we’re injecting a huge toxic dose of aluminum into a newborn on day one of their life, for a vaccine they don’t need. And you might ask, well, how’d they talk you into doing that?
Because I remember walking down the halls of the hospital talking to a couple fellow pediatricians saying, “can you believe this — we’re supposed to give the Hepatitis B to newborns?” And they were saying well, they’re saying that we might develop a population immune to Hepatitis B — that we can eradicate it. Sounded good.
INTERVIEWER: The herd immunity concept.
DR. PAUL THOMAS: Yeah yeah, and I couldn’t argue with it because it hadn’t been tried, and I’m a pro-vaccine pediatrician. You know, vaccines are the best thing we can to to protect children. So we did it. In 2002 in our office, we made this huge shift and started not only giving all the newborns their first Hep-B in the hospital, at two months get your second dose, and at six months, get your third dose, on top of the already fairly busy [vaccine] schedule.
And we were catching up the other kids, so my own kids were in that catch up phase, they were past the infant stage but they weren’t teenagers. So, a lot of Hepatitis-B vaccines being done at that point. And that was the same time we took thimerosal out of the [childhood] vaccines. And I just — I just think about that because when people talk about the autism rates that have continued to go up, some of the studies have said there was no change in the autism rate when we stopped thimerosal, so therefore, it wasn’t the thimerosal. Yeah, but we added the Hep-B — a huge huge increase in dose of that neurotoxin right at the same time.
DR THOMAS: Aluminum. It is vital that we start looking at aluminum content of vaccines the same way we did for mercury because we are far exceeding the safe doses. This is what has bugged me since 2001.
Dr. Thomas went on to show that the amount of aluminum in the first Hep-B shot alone puts a newborn ten times over what is considered to be the “safe” amount of human exposure for aluminum — in one single vaccination on the first day of their life.
OK; we can all agree that aluminum is bad. The question now becomes, what do we find in peer-review concerning aluminum and its relationship to mental cognition, depression, autism, neuro-inflammation, etc, etc? Be aware that a few of the studies mentioned here are by the University of Vancouver research team of Shaw & Tomljenovic. (skim or skip this section altogether if studies bore you)
- Last June the journal Morphologie (The Toxicity of Aluminum in Humans) said of aluminum, “We are living in the ‘aluminium age’. Human exposure to aluminum is inevitable and, perhaps, inestimable. Aluminum’s free metal cation is highly biologically reactive and biologically available aluminum is toxic.“
- I’ve previously shown you that hundreds of drug studies echo the same finding — that UNDERREPORTING SIDE EFFECTS is epidemic, with researchers concluding that only about 1% of the ADR’s (Adverse Drug Reactions) are ever reported. A 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics (Pharmacovigilance of Vaccines) revealed what we’ve known for years when they fingered aluminum as one of the culprits. “The Pharmacovigilance is based on “spontaneous reporting” of ADRs to the Pharmacovigilance Regional Centre (PVRC) which establishes a relationship between each drug taken by the patient and the ADRs occurrence. This method is crucial to generate alerts, but under-estimates the real frequency of ADRs (1 to 10% of severe ADRs are reported). ADRs can be specific, related to the antigen of an attenuated alive virus vaccine (lymphocyte meningitis after anti-mumps vaccine) or non-specific, related to a component different from the antigen (aluminium hydroxide involved in the “macrophagic myofasciitis”…“
- A group of ten Belgian researchers, neurologists, and physicians summed up this debate in a study published in a 2005 issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (Vaccine Safety Controversies and the Future of Vaccination Programs). “In the years following the hepatitis B vaccination/multiple sclerosis controversy, a number of new issues regarding vaccine safety have been raised, in some cases leading to more debate and confusion. Against this background, an international group of experts was convened to review the current points of view concerning the use of thimerosal as a preservative and its potential risks; the suggested link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and acute lymphoblastic leukemia; the alleged association between aluminum-containing vaccines/macrophagic myofasciitis and general systemic complaints; a possible link between vaccination and autoimmune pathology; and a hypothetical link between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism.” These are a few of the debates. Just realize that if you are a researcher who comes up with findings that don’t line up with the standard medical line — that vaccines are safe for your babies — you’ll be lucky to find work in the industry ever again.
- After looking at mercury in an almost identical study five years earlier (and concluding it was seen in urine and hair analysis of autistic children), a study (Heavy Metals and Trace Elements in Hair and Urine of a Sample of Arab Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder) published in a 2011 issue of Medica: A Journal of Clinical Medicine, had this to say about aluminum. “International discussion has ocused on neurotoxins such as mercury and lead, suggesting that these and other toxic metals contribute to the development of the disorder. By comparing the ASD Group to the Control Group, we found a statistically significant difference in the mean hair levels of arsenic, cadmium, barium, cerium and lead, and in the mean hair levels of magnesium and zinc. There were also statistically significant differences in the mean urine levels of aluminum, barium, cerium, mercury, and lead. Bradstreet’s case-control study found that children with autism excreted 3.1 times more mercury into their urine and Adams documented that urine samples of autistic children showed extremely high baseline aluminum.“
- Just last August, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinsonism (Natural and Synthetic Neurotoxins in Our Environment: From Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) to Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD) concluded that, “The earth’s population of 7.4 billion continues to live in an increasingly toxic environment filled with multiple-natural and synthetic bioactive chemicals, compounds and biologicals that can adversely affect human health and well-being. A high proportion of these bioactive agents, often at very-low and physiologically-realistic concentrations, are toxic to the structure and function of the human central and peripheral nervous system. Interestingly, certain chemical compounds (such as glyoxalates) and aluminum (as, for example, in the vaccine adjuvant aluminum oxide or the common food additive aluminum maltolate) have been implicated in the development of several human neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease and autism spectrum disorders. Indeed aluminum’s widespread mobilization into our biosphere may place all of humankind at a heightened inflammatory status thereby increasing general risk for the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, autism spectrum disorders, and other progressive neurodegenerative disorders with an inflammatory component.” It doesn’t really matter where it’s coming from, aluminum is causing some serious problems.
- A 2013 issue of the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (Administration of Aluminium to Neonatal Mice in Vaccine-Relevant Amounts is Associated with Adverse Long Term Neurological Outcomes) stated that, “Our previous ecological studies of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has demonstrated a correlation between increasing ASD rates and aluminium (Al) adjuvants in common use in paediatric vaccines in several Western countries. The correlation between ASD rate and Al adjuvant amounts appears to be dose-dependent and satisfies 8 of 9 Hill criteria for causality. These current data implicate Al injected in early postnatal life in some central nervous system alterations that may be relevant for a better understanding of the etiology of ASD.“
- A 2013 issue of Science Reports (Estimation of Autistic Children by Metallomics Analysis) revealed that, “The incidence rate of mineral deficiency was highly observed in infants aged 0-3 year-old. In contrast, 339 (17.2%), 168 (8.5%) and 94 (4.8%) individuals was found suffering from high burden of aluminum, cadmium and lead, and 2.8% or less from mercury and arsenic burden. These findings suggest that infantile zinc- and magnesium-deficiency and/or toxic metal burdens may epigenetically play principal roles as environmental factors in autistic disorders. Recently, epigenetic alteration of gene expression by environmental factors is considered one of key events in the pathogenesis of genetic diseases. In conclusion, this preliminary study demonstrates that many of infantile patients diagnosed with autism have been suffering from marginal to severe zinc- and magnesium-deficiency and/or high toxic metal burdens of aluminum, cadmium, lead and so on, suggesting that these mineral disorders may epigenetically play principal roles as environmental factors in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders.” In other words, aluminum, wherever it’s coming from, is now being seen as one of the many “EPIGENETIC TRIGGERS” of chronic neurological illness, including ASD.
- In November of 2011, the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (Do Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants Contribute to the Rising Prevalence of Autism?) concluded that, “Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are serious multisystem developmental disorders and an urgent global public health concern. Dysfunctional immunity and impaired brain function are core deficits in ASD. Aluminum, the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, is a demonstrated neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulator.” This is what ADJUVANTS are supposed to do — stimulate immune responses in the form of inflammation, frequently causing neuro-inflammation. “Hence, adjuvant aluminum has the potential to induce neuroimmune disorders. When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, two key points ought to be considered: (i) children should not be viewed as “small adults” as their unique physiology makes them much more vulnerable to toxic insults; and (ii) if exposure to aluminum from only few vaccines can lead to cognitive impairment and autoimmunity in adults, is it unreasonable to question whether the current pediatric schedules, often containing 18 aluminum adjuvanted vaccines, are safe for children? By applying Hill’s criteria for establishing causality between exposure and outcome we investigated whether exposure to aluminum from vaccines could be contributing to the rise in ASD prevalence in the Western world. Our results show that: (i) children from countries with the highest ASD prevalence appear to have the highest exposure to aluminum from vaccines; (ii) the increase in exposure to aluminum adjuvants significantly correlates with the increase in ASD prevalence in the United States observed over the last two decades; and (iii) a significant correlation exists between the amounts of aluminum administered to preschool children and the current prevalence of ASD in seven Western countries, particularly at 3-4 months of age.“
- Four years ago in July, Immunologic Research published a study called Aluminum in the Central Nervous System (CNS): Toxicity in Humans and Animals, Vaccine Adjuvants, and Autoimmunity. In it they concluded that, “We have examined the neurotoxicity of aluminum in humans and animals under various conditions, following different routes of administration, and provide an overview of the various associated disease states. The literature demonstrates clearly negative impacts of aluminum on the nervous system across the age span. In adults, aluminum exposure can lead to apparently age-related neurological deficits resembling Alzheimer’s and has been linked to this disease and to the Guamanian variant, ALS-PDC. Similar outcomes have been found in animal models. In addition, injection of aluminum adjuvants in an attempt to model Gulf War syndrome and associated neurological deficits leads to an ALS phenotype in young male mice. In young children, a highly significant correlation exists between the number of pediatric aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines administered and the rate of autism spectrum disorders. Many of the features of aluminum-induced neurotoxicity may arise, in part, from autoimmune reactions, as part of the ASIA syndrome.“
- Three years ago, Biomed Central’s Environmental Health journal published a study called A Comparison of Temporal Trends in United States Autism Prevalence to Trends in Suspected Environmental Factors in which they concluded, “Diagnosed autism prevalence has risen dramatically in the U.S over the last several decades and continued to trend upward as of birth year 2005. The increase is mainly real and has occurred mostly since the late 1980s. Most of the suspected environmental toxins examined have flat or decreasing temporal trends that correlate poorly to the rise in autism. Some, including lead, organochlorine pesticides and vehicular emissions, have strongly decreasing trends. Among the suspected toxins surveyed, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, aluminum adjuvants, and the herbicide glyphosate have increasing trends that correlate positively to the rise in autism.
- Although the debate over where the aluminum is coming from continues, the October 2015 issue of Behavioural Neurology (Assessment of Hair Aluminum, Lead, and Mercury in a Sample of Autistic Egyptian Children: Environmental Risk Factors of Heavy Metals in Autism) revealed that, “The increase of ASDs prevalence cannot be fully explained by advances in diagnostics or sudden genetic shifts. There is a growing consensus among scientists and clinicians that ASDs ensue from an interaction between biological vulnerability factors and environmental or iatrogenic insults.” HERE is what the word “iatrogenic” means. “This points to the importance of environmental factors and raises the possibility of an etiological role for toxic exposures: either prenatal, postnatal, or in some cumulative pattern that combines the effect of maternal, gestational, and infant exposures. Genetically, children with autism may be less able to detoxify toxic environmental agents, and this inability may predispose them to suffer neural damage consistent with autistic behavioral traits. On comparing between the levels of lead, mercury, and aluminum in hair of the autistic patients and the controls, the levels were significantly higher among cases than controls. In agreement with these results were Fido and Al-Saad in Kuwait, Al-Ayadhi in Riyadh, and El sheshtawy in Egypt.“
- I’ve warned parents of the HPV GARDASIL vaccine in the past. Here is one of many reasons as published in last July’s issue of Immunologic Research (Behavioral Abnormalities in Female Mice Following Administration of Aluminum Adjuvants and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Gardasil). This Israeli study, from a group of ten researchers, neurologists, and physicians at the University of Tel-Aviv, said that, “Vaccine adjuvants and vaccines may induce autoimmune and inflammatory manifestations in susceptible individuals. To date most human vaccine trials utilize aluminum adjuvants despite much evidence showing that aluminum in vaccine-relevant exposures can be toxic to humans and animals. We sought to evaluate the effects of aluminum adjuvant and the HPV vaccine Gardasil versus placebo on behavioral and inflammatory parameters in female mice. Anti-HPV antibodies from the sera of Gardasil and Gardasil + Pt-injected mice showed cross-reactivity with the mouse brain protein extract. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed microglial activation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus of Gardasil-injected mice. It appears that Gardasil via its aluminum adjuvant and HPV antigens has the ability to trigger neuroinflammation and autoimmune reactions, further leading to behavioral changes.” HERE is what microglial activation is all about.
- OTHERS: Believe me when I tell you that this list of studies could have easily been almost-book length. Now to the question everyone should be asking — do antidepressants, particularly SSRI antidepressants, contain aluminum and if not, why are antidepressants being linked to autism?
WHY ARE ANTIDEPRESSANTS BEING LINKED TO AUTISM?
As I revealed via the very first study discussed today, we have known about this link between antidepressant medications and autism for a very long time. It could simply be due to their antibiotic effects as I spoke of earlier. But could there be a link to aluminum? Let’s start looking a aluminum in common medications.
A 2003 study from Drug Safety (Aluminum in Over-the-Counter Drugs: Risks Outweigh Benefits?) might help us begin to answer that question. According to the authors, three Swiss Pharmacy Professors, in the last five decades ‘Science’ has gone from believing that aluminum was a safe and rather inert additive to any number of meds — particularly antacids — to realizing that, “aluminium can act as a powerful neurological toxicant and provoke embryonic and fetal toxic effects in animals and humans after gestational exposure.” Where might pregnant women be exposed to aluminum?
Many women are exposed to aluminum not only from things like aluminum cans, aluminum foil, aluminum cookware, under-arm deodorants, cosmetics, etc, etc, but via medications and as a vaccine adjuvant that is a part of virtually all vaccines (DR. FUDENBERG ON THIS TOPIC). I also found many (many) studies saying that medicines are not uncommonly contaminated with aluminum (HERE is an example).
Going a bit further, any number of medicines (antacids are the worst offenders) also contain aluminum (HERE is a list). Beyond this, the coating of many antidepressant pills are colored with something called Aluminum Lake — an aluminum-based dye. Drugs.com says of Aluminum Lake.
“Lakes are formed by reacting straight dyes (such as FD&C Green No. 3) with precipitants and salts of which aluminum is often a component. Lakes may be used as color additives for tablet coatings due to their stability, and may also be used for cosmetics such as eye shadows. Its use in coloring foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics may be of quantities allowable by the U.S. FDA. Because lakes are not soluble in water, they often are used when it is important to keep a color from “bleeding,” as in lipstick. In some cases, special restrictions apply to their use.”
Let’s shift gears yet again and talk about fluoride as it relates to both aluminum and antidepressants.
It’s not news that FLUORIDE is bad for your health in any number of ways — particularly as far as destruction of the thyroid and the development of all sorts of cancer are concerned (HERE). Unfortunately, not only are we fluoridating water, it’s a common ingredient in any number of medications (HERE is a list of common drugs that contain fluoride, with an emphasis on antidepressants). In fact, if you throw in the anti-anxiety drugs that contain Fluoride, this list is over 50 meds long. And as for how we got to this point — the point where we are using the byproduct of aluminum manufacturing (fluoride) as a cavity-protectant — HERE is the article for you.
One of the clearest examples of the toxicity of aluminum and its relationship to fluoride comes from the field of dialysis. Numerous studies have shown that the water used for dialysis must be extremely purified, and contain absolutely no fluoride. Why is this? Because exposure to small amounts of fluoride is known to cause people absorb far more aluminum than they otherwise would.
Case in point, a study from a 1998 issue of Brain Research. A news release (Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia — Important New Study Shows Grave Implications From Interaction of Aluminum and Low Dose Fluoride) said of the study, “Aluminum-induced neural degeneration in rats is greatly enhanced when the animals were fed low doses of fluoride. The presence of fluoride enhanced the bio-availability of aluminum causing more aluminum to cross the blood-brain barrier and become deposited in the brain. The aluminum level in the brains of the fluoride-treated group was double that of the controls.” This problem actually has a name — LEAKY BRAIN SYNDROME.
Attorney James Deal wrote an article on his website (Aluminum – Fluoridation and Vaccine Connection: First Case Study to Show Direct Link Between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity) summarizing the situation.
“Vaccines generally contain aluminum, which is there as an adjuvant. An adjuvant boosts or “riles up” the immune system, creating a stronger reaction to the antigen. Aluminum is added to drinking water in treatment plants in the form of alum, where it serves as a flocculant. A flocculant causes dirt to clump so it can be filtered out. The problem arises when the aluminum remaining in the water meets fluoride ion and bonds with it, forming aluminum fluoride.
AlF is a neutral molecule and as such can penetrate the fatty lipid layer of the stomach and the walls of blood vessels. AlF can thus pass from stomach to blood vessels and into the brain. Aluminum itself may not be the major cause of Alzheimers, however, aluminum is always present in the brains of people with Alzheimers. So there is both a vaccine and a fluoridation link with aluminum and the problems it can cause. Aluminum, like fluorine and fluoride, has no use in any human biological process. Neither belongs in the body, and that should serve as a warning to us to avoid both.“
Of all the medical specialties, there is one that stands out above the rest in its degree of complexity and difficulty — neurosurgery. Follow along as retired Mississippi Neurosurgeon / Professor of Neurosurgery, Dr. Russell Blaylock, tells you the history of fluoride as it relates to aluminum — a story that’s at times just about too crazy to believe (Blaylock is one of the world’s foremost experts on the neurotoxic effects of MSG and ASPARTAME).
Realize that when he links intentional fluoridation to Rockefeller’s eugenics programs of a century ago, he’s shooting straight with you — something I briefly touched on in my post on 1910’s FLEXNER REPORT. So, while we have not yet figured out the exact mechanism that maternal antidepressants lead to paternal ASD, we know that there is a link. The information in today’s post should at least get you thinking about the potential effects aluminum might be having on your family. By the way, fluoride is the smoking gun in the whole debate over FLUOROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS (levaquin, cipro, etc) as related to chronic pain and tendon / connective tissue damage.