Ok, I've really been wanting to put together some notes on the things that I learned from the DAN! conference in Atlanta. I'll do the best I can to make this as informative as I can for those of you who weren't able to attend. I must admit, there were a few lectures that were a bit over my head. I've read so many books, however, that I think I can try to piece it all together.
First and foremost are the two major key points to this conference (in my opinion).
GLUTATHIONE (Methlyation/sulphation process)
Second, the three core biomedical issues in our children's bodies are:
These two major key points (diet and glutathione) were instituted throughout each and every presentation. Diet is key for many because it is something that you CAN do to help your child. I will get more into detail as to why diet helps further down.
Impaired Glutathione is the center of the "storm" for most of our kids. I had heard of glutathione but had no idea what it was or what it did.
What is Glutathione, and What Does it do?
Glutathione is technically a tripeptide, which can be thought of as being like a very small protein, as it is made up of only three amino acids (while proteins are made up of many more). It is present naturally in every cell of the body, as well as in the blood, the bile and the fluid lining the lungs. The liver is normally the main producer of glutathione in the body. Glutathione plays many important roles in the body. Probably the best known are its protection against oxidative stress produced by oxidizing free radicals and other reactive oxygen species, its support for the immune system, and its role in removing a variety of toxic substances from the body. -http://phoenix-cfs.org/GSHMethylDeplTheoryJuly07.htm
The following is a diagram of the 3 core influences of deterioration in our kids. They are all centered by glutathione because as noted above, glutathione is needed for the regulation in all of these processes.
The key to remember here is that glutathione regulates Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Detoxification. If the process to which glutathione is made is altered or halted in some way, then glutathione is not able to do it's job appropriately. The process that I'm referring to is the methylation cycle...ding, ding, ding....for those of you with kids on Methyl B-12 shots. Note, MB-12 shots are not solely responsible for making this process work...they just may aid in a particular part of the process if something is "slacking" in the cycle. I will talk more about this cycle further down.
Back to diet. I mentioned diet first because it was such a focus of the conference. Let's think about the three things in which glutathione helps to regulate and how diet can make a huge difference.
Inflammation: you can eat anti-inflammatory foods such as fish oil, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, blueberries, cherries, leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, tumeric, cumin, ginger, garlic
Oxidative stress: you can eat anti-oxidants (Vitamin C, E) and foods that support the liver such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, garlic, onion, asparagus, watermelon, beets, avocado, blueberries, cherries, leafy greens
Detoxification: you can eat food that encourage detox! Eat broccoli sprouts, lemon, watercress, garlic, parsley
Those are just some examples as to why the diet plays a role...it can help in this CRITICAL cycle of methlyation in which glutathione is the end product.
The BEST natural food to eat to increase glutathione is Broccoli Sprouts!!! Go out and buy some, shred them up and sneak them into your meatballs, baked goods, and anything else!!!
Let's talk about diet andgut inflammation. (Please keep in mind that I'm just doing a poor summary of the conference; I am far from a doctor or scientist; and half the time it's hard for me to practice what I preach!) Anyway...
Here is my easy explanation as to how and why diet plays a role in gut inflammation:
I'm not sure which comes first the bacteria, yeast, or viral infection...but let's just say your kid has one of the above. The bacteria and yeast are eating away at the cell lining. Our kids are probably already having a difficult time digesting food because the enzymes aren't working properly. If you combine the undigested food with a "leak" in the cell wall, the food that hasn't been properly broken down slips through the cracks....ding, ding, ding.....Leaky Gut Syndrome. THEN...the immune system responds. The immune system sees this food as a foreign object (we'll call it milk since milk is already very hard to break down). Milk has slipped through the crack, the immune system spots it, doesn't recognize it, and proceeds to attack. Your body is now fighting milk. Your immune system has a memory; so from that point forward, it is going to consider milk a "bad guy" and fight it....hence food intolerances. This fight also puts the immune system on overdrive and fighting things that it doesn't need to which in turn leaves it vulnerable to other toxins.
Ok, so diet can be good and bad. If your child is constantly eating foods that are not broken down properly, more and more are going to slip through the "leaks". They must try to eat foods that are easier to digest and rebuild the cell wall so that there are less leaks. They must also try to eat foods that do not encourage the growth of bad bacteria or yeast which are going to continue to tear down the wall leading to this vicious cycle.
I feel like I'm getting too detailed but I just wanted to explain those things. A few other points to mention before I go on:
The immune system does play a role in this regression of our kids but I'm not smart enough to explain it all; so I won't be getting too scientific in that area
The brain also may have inflammation; so you are dealing with inflammation in many areas. Again, I won't get too scientific; but I will try to give ideas to help with both of those issues.
Just keep in mind that within all these areas/processes in our bodies...the methylation process must be working up to speed!
Ok, back to what I learned. Please note that I am trying to point out things that really stood out to me. I don't want to just regurgitate what are in all of the books. I want to point out what I learned from this conference.
So, I found the following VERY INTERESTING and I certainly wish someone (say my pediatrician) would have told me about these signs early on:
Clues in INFANCY to potential gut dysfunction...oh, and not just that "babies cry", "some babies are loud", "you'll just have to wait out the colic".
Infantile eczema/food sensitivities
Failure to thrive
Frequent antibiotic use
Persistent diarrhea and/or constipation
Dr. Berger, of Tampa, mentioned that in a case study, something like 90% of infants with colic had their symptoms relieved after being treated with a probiotic. Sure wish I had known that piece of advice!!
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING??? Question of our time. Yes, I believe vaccines play a role but I also believe (especially after attending this conference) that there are many other contributing factors all of which do come back to mercury.
A child could be born with a family history of faulty methylation/sulphation (impaired glutathione)
A child could be born with mitochondiral dysfunction (1 in 200 children have a genetic mutation that could lead to mitochondrial dysfunction...does that number sound close to another number to you??)
And, I'm sure, plenty of other hypothesis...
The end result is that if you combine medications (anti-biotics), illnesses (viral, vaccine induced, etc), toxins (pesticides, heavy metals) with any sort of genetic susceptibility, blocking a biochemical pathway...you may be facing a push over the edge into the world of autism.
The infamous saying that "Genetics loads the gun; but the environment pulls the trigger."
Another way to look at how it MAY begin is with the multiple hit hypothesis: