Autism Rising, More on Mercury’s Role and Epigenetics

For many years I have been concerned that the mercury that children receive in the womb from the mother’s fish consumption, is a contributory factor to the autism epidemic and the Attention Deficit epidemic that we have now in the US. It is estimated that one in six children now have a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Many naysayers say this is NO autism epidemic! But it is now recognized by the CDC, as recently as 3 weeks ago that 1 in 68 children have autism spectrum disorder which is a 30% increase from the 1 in 88 of two years ago. And now the CDC estimates that 1 in 42 boys have autism, which is 4.5 times as many as girls (1 in 189). What will the rate be in 2016?

Further more for the naysayers, we need to recognize that “The number of children ages 6 to 21 in the United States receiving special education services under the autism disability category increased 91% between 2005 and 2010.”

So it behooves us to pay a lot of attention to new information that can help us explain this.

Now I have found a review article, which I only learned about recently, that presents an epigenetic approach to identifying risk factors responsible for the autism epidemic in the United States. Remember, epigenetics is the study of the factors in our environment that impact directly on our genes.

Mercury plays a significant role in this concept of the factors that cause autism. Here is a diagram from Dr Dufault’s article showing all the connections.

Many of you know that recent information has shown that not only do mothers and children get mercury from fish, but they also get it from the High –
Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) that is contained in many soda beverages. This was shown in an article by a former FDA Toxicologist Renee Dufault..

Also,here is the list of products with Mercury in the HFCS. Almost half the HFCS samples tested contained mercury. It is estimated that the average daily consumption of HFCS is about 50 g per person in the United States.

Dr Dufault is also the author of this newer study. In it, she explains how a deficiency in zinc which is triggered by the consumption of fish an HFCS , as well as other processed foods, interferes with the body’s ability to eliminate toxins such as Mercury and pesticides.

Clinically in my practice, we now have the technology to measure both mercury loads in the prospective mother as well as organophosphate pesticides. For those women wanting to do this, we are able to guide them to clean out both of these toxic chemicals which have high association with the current epidemic of autism spectrum disorder.

I urge you to talk with your doctors about this. As you know from a recent article I wrote in my blog, the American college of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is strongly urging their physician members to discuss toxic exposures to women contemplating pregnancy.

There is nothing sadder than to talk with a parent of a child with autism and realize what they must go through to take care of their child.

We must put an end to this nonstop increase in the epidemic of neurodevelopmental problems in our children in the United States. Please do your part to help!

To end on a happy note, here is a video of an amazing autistic child named Temple Grandin, who went on to become a professor! She talks about what it feels like to be autistic. (forgive the 30 second commercial by CNN)


Study links Autism to High Fructose Corn Syrup

Mercury exposure, nutritional deficiencies and metabolic disruptions may affect learning in children.

Washington Post on HFCS and Mercury

The CDC on Mercury

About Dr. Soram Khalsa

As an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. Visit Dr Soram’s Healthy Living Store where you’ll find high-quality nutritional supplements: