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  • Writer's pictureAllissa Gaul ND

Pesticides in Mom Increase Autism in Kids

A month or two ago, a journal article amongst the many that I am reviewing caught my eye. Actually it did more than catch my eye. I might of actually had a moment of loud swearing and righteous self-talk. Yes, it was that bad.

The article that provoked this response from my normally equanimous self was from the Finnish PreNatal Study of Autism that clearly stated that "the odds of autism among offspring were significantly increased with maternal p,p'-DDE levels that were in the highest 75th percentile". Let me interpret for you what that implies -- this means that toxins have a clear association in this study with the development of autism in children. DDE is a metabolite of DDT. DDT is a pesticide that has been banned in most Western countries for decades and in Canada since 1985. Because it is fat soluble, it is highly biopersistent. A woman will have a load from her mom and her mom's mom all the way down the maternal line. So in those generations that had high exposure to DDT an amount of it was stored and then is part of the materials with which you build your baby's body.

Now, this might seem like something I may have already told you at some point if you are a patient! But here's the thing -- there is NOT much good research that shows this type of association. I was blown away that this wasn't front page news. (But of course, it was not.)

What does this mean? It means that we should very seriously take a look at maternal pesticide loads and detoxification status both before (and even during) pregnancy. Fat soluble toxins can be removed from the body with some targeted effort.

At Resonance Wellness, pre-conception care always includes an evaluation for how likely you are to need active detoxification prior to pregnancy. If you are already pregnant, there are some gentle and effective methods to safely remove toxins.

If we have an autistic child, this clarifies that detoxification improvement is likely important and necessary. This study did not show the effect of pesticide detoxification on the autistic child, but detoxification has been part of autism protocols in naturopathic medicine for as long as I have been practicing.

This study does not show that all children are affected, of course. There is more than one factor in the susceptibility and cause of autism.

But we should all really consider how important it is to come into the production of kids with optimal body condition.


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