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Inflammation – Fire in the Body

inflammationIn today’s fast paced world, with little rest, overloaded with toxins, and devoid of nutrients, inflammation is very common. Once triggered, it can be hard to shut off – and if certain biochemical processes persist, chronic inflammation can ensue.

Inflammation acts like a fire in the body, literally burning up many of our necessary nutrients. Inflammation can be triggered by infections, irritants, and biochemical processes that have gone awry. It creates pain, and can lead to cellular damage and a cascade of health problems.

In fact, inflammation is underlying most neurological and chronic disorders in children and adults.  All of

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Food & Mood: 9 Steps to Calm the Anxious Mind
by Trudy Scott

The following is an article written by my friend and colleague, Certified Nutritionist, Trudy Scott.  This article is a prelude to the Nourishing Hope Support Club, where this month, we will have Trudy Scott as a guest speaker on the very important topic of Anxiety.

Anxiety is quite common in children with autism (and well as their mothers and the general population), and understanding the underlying biochemical and nutritional factors can go a long way to improving this condition.  Join us this month, on February 26th, for this Support Club session.  If you are not already a member,

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Salicylates and Summertime!

pinterest_salicylates and summertimeIf you were hoping that summertime – a time with no school, fresh air, sunshine, and exercise – would help your child feel better and improve their behavior…. but it hasn’t, then salicylates might be your challenge.

What are salicylates?

Salicylates are naturally-occurring food chemicals in fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods like herbs, spices, nuts, etc.).  In the 1950’s and 60’s, Dr. Ben Feingold observed that artificial additives and high salicylate foods caused hyperactivity and other symptoms in some children.  Biochemically, salicylates are a type of “phenolic acid” or “phenol.”  Phenols need to be broken down in the body,

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Supplements for Autism and ADHD

supplementWhen following any specialized diet for healing, you’ve got to know about supplements.

After speaking with thousands of parents at conferences, webinars, and client appointments over the past ten years, I’ve realized that this is a topic of great confusion for parents.

Awareness of the importance of supplementation typically begins with the issue of calcium. If you’re following a GFCF diet, you’ve likely learned about the need to supplement calcium intake because of the omission of dairy (key calcium source) from your child’s diet. How much to give, and what type of calcium to use are common questions.

These are

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Study: Prenatal Vitamins Reduce the Risk of Autism

A study on prenatal vitamins and autism was conducted emphasizing the importance of proper nutrient intake before and during the early stages of pregnancy.  This study in Epidemiology, lead by Rebecca Schmidt, found that women who did not take a prenatal vitamin 3 months prior and with the first month of pregnancy were twice as likely to have a child with autism.  Of particular note was that certain maternal and child genetics put the child at much more significant risk of autism—a 7 fold increase in the risk of autism when women with particular gene variants did not supplement

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Air Pollution Causes DNA Changes Relevant to Autism

Epigentics is a relatively new field of study involving the changes in genetic expression (versus gene sequence).  This ability to turn on and off genes is a way for humans to rapidly adapt to changes in our environment.  Nutrition and toxins can influence these changes in gene expression. This gene expression can be affected during adulthood or in utero, and can be caused by nutrient deficiencies (and reversed by good nutrition) and by toxins.

These epigenetic changes are influenced by DNA methylation.  You may have heard of DNA methylation, and methylation in general, in relation to autism.  Jill James PhD

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The Science and Healing of Traditional Diets for Autism

While much has been written about the most popular and effective autism diets, GFCF and SCD/GAPS, there’s been little investigation of the tenets of Traditional diets. Throughout history and driven by survival and evolution, the varied human cultures of the world inherently learned which foods and ways of being supported their health. And, there are clear commonalities in the respective traditional diets of our ancestors.

Do the foods that nourished cultures for centuries nourish children today? Are their healing aspects and lessons to be learned?  With our modern industrialized world and the epidemic of autism facing our children, one might

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Cholesterol Levels May Not Measure Cardiac Risk

After writing about the inaccuracies of using cholesterol as the primary marker for heart disease in “Saturated Fat and Animal Fat—Further Vindication”, I came across this article from HealthDay discussing a recent study of cholesterol levels and heart disease.  This is further support for why simply lowering cholesterol numbers is not the answer to heart disease.  In the study, “Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: An analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in Get With The Guidelines,” from American Heart Journal, researchers found that almost 75% of patients hospitalized for heart attacks had cholesterol levels

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Saturated Fat and Animal Fat—Further Vindication

If you’re like me and consume (gasp!) saturated fat and animal fat, you most likely spend a lot of time explaining to friends and family that think you are crazy that these fats are good for you.  With decades of incorrect nutrition information on fats fed to the public by almost all mainstream nutrition sources, it be difficult if not virtually impossible to have people listen to you without really knowing your facts.  Here’s some support.Good_calories_bad_calories

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes is a must read!  Taubes is an

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Splenda – Important to Avoid for Children with Autism and GI Disorders

In a study conducted by Dr. Mohamed B. Abou-Donia, et al. and published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, the artificial sweetener Splenda was found to have several health concerns. According to the study on rats, after 12 weeks of Splenda consumption, researchers found “numerous adverse effects, including (1) reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, (2) increased fecal pH, and (3) enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs.”

While I always recommend avoiding artificial sweeteners, there are a number of supplement products containing Splenda.  This rat study

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