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Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Vaccines And Autism: Are 1 in 50 Children at Risk?

April 19, 2008 | 70,111 views

vaccine, vaccination, shotMitochondria, the powerhouses that fuel your body’s cells, have been implicated in at least one case of regressive autism. Some researchers estimate that the number of people suffering from the mitochondrial dysfunction, which may lead to autism, is much more common than the current estimate of 1 in 4,000 people. In fact, it could be as low as 1 in 50.

If so, the potential implications for autism are staggering.

In the recent landmark Hannah Poling case, federal officials conceded that Hannah‘s autism was caused by an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction that was aggravated by vaccine injections. At the time, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding claimed that Hannah‘s case was a rare incident with little relevance to the other autism cases pending in the federal “vaccine court.”

Since then, however, Dr. Gerberding and other CDC officials were made aware of a Portuguese study reporting that 7.2 percent of children with autism had confirmed mitochondrial disorders. Some now estimate the rate of mitochondrial dysfunction in autism to be 20 percent or more, and the rate among children with the regressive sub-type of autism is likely even higher.

If mitochondrial dysfunction can convert into autism in large numbers, then the connection between vaccines and autism could be quite strong. Some experts believe a trigger, such as vaccines, a viral illness or even inflammatory corn oil and corn syrup in the American diet, is triggering underlying mitochondrial dysfunctions into autism.

The CDC is reportedly looking into making changes in the vaccine schedule to address this newfound connection. The most difficult decision is how and when to vaccinate children with proven mitochondrial dysfunction.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The conference call referred to in this article came in response to the government’s recent concession that childhood vaccines contributed to symptoms of autism in 9-year-old Hannah Poling.

It was found that vaccines "significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder" and resulted in a brain disorder "with features of autism spectrum disorder."

Now, government officials have no choice but to address this potential link between mitochondrial dysfunction and autism.

Is Mitochondrial Dysfunction Triggering Autism?

You may remember from science class that mitochondria are the powerhouses in your body’s cells that produce energy. The government has stopped short of admitting a direct link between autism and vaccines, and instead has said that vaccines may only be a danger for children who have a “rare” dysfunction in their mitochondria.

Well, it seems that mitochondrial “dysfunction” is not so rare after all. Up to 1 in 50 children (or 2% of all kids) may be at risk for mitochondrial dysfunction, according to the “experts” on the conference call. But is it possible that what the government is calling a “dysfunction” is actually a response to numerous environmental assaults? You bet.

Byron Richards, CCN, explains it quite well:

“What the government isn’t saying is that, independent of a true genetic issue, mitochondria can be taxed into a state of stress that predisposes any child to autism risk. You don’t need to have a gene mutation; that is simply a diversion and cover-up attempt.” 

So little Hannah Poling, for instance, perhaps had no underlying “disorder” until she was exposed to an onslaught of vaccinations, some of which contained the mercury preservative thimerosal.

What else is known to damage mitochondria?

  • Thimerosal
  • Mercury
  • Aluminum (which is added to many vaccines)
  • Pollution
  • Pesticides
  • Medicines
  • Prenatal alcohol exposure
Even the standard American diet, so full of inflammatory foods like high-fructose corn syrup and refined grains, has been blamed for “making this mutated gene become more pathogenic.”

Well, the vast majority of infants are exposed not only to pollution, corn syrup and pesticides, but also to medications (often before they’re even 1 year old). So it seems prudent to expect that nearly everyone may have stressed mitochondria that, upon even more assaults from vaccines and other environmental triggers, could theoretically increase their risk of autism.

It’s also worth mentioning that, if mitochondrial “dysfunction” is so rare, then why is it recognized as being at least partially to blame for these all-too-common diseases?
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
What Else Could be Triggering Autism?

Perhaps 1 percent of autism cases may be due to actual genetic defects, such as a true mitochondrial dysfunction, and the rest are likely caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, viruses or other environmental influences.

One environmental influence that you may not have heard about was suggested by a November 2007 study in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine. It found that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi devices and other similar wireless technologies may be an accelerating factor in autism.

After five years of research on children with autism and other membrane sensitivity disorders, the researchers found that EMR negatively affects cell membranes, and allows heavy metal toxins, which are associated with autism, to build up in your body.

Meanwhile, autism rates have increased concurrently along with the proliferation of cell phones and wireless use.

EMR, the researchers say, could impact autism by facilitating early onset of symptoms or by trapping heavy metals inside of nerve cells, which could accelerate the onset of symptoms of heavy metal toxicity and hinder therapeutic clearance of the toxins.

Does Leptin Play a Role?

Recently I’ve been talking a lot about leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, fat burning and many other functions in your body. However, if you eat too many sugars and grains, it can lead to elevated leptin levels in your blood. This, in turn, leads to leptin resistance, which interferes with the messages this hormone is trying to tell your brain.

According to Richards, leptin is elevated in the blood of autistic children.

“This is a risk factor linked to obesity in the mother with consequent abnormal fetal programming of the developing brain, which is then handicapped to buffer inflammation from toxic exposure like vaccines,” he says. “High leptin in the blood means that leptin isn’t getting into the brain. Leptin is the primary buffer in the brain against inflammatory excitotoxic damage.”

Common Sense Vaccination Guidelines

In light of these new findings, the CDC is reportedly “immediately taking measures to address the current national vaccine schedule.” But I doubt their changes will adequately address the many problems with it.

So, I urge you to do some research of your own before deciding whether to vaccinate your children, and also learn your rights about how to legally refuse them. But if you do decide to have it done, the following steps may help to reduce some of the side effects:
  • Spread vaccinations out, and only give one at a time. It is not uncommon for children to receive five vaccines at once, and this is simply too much for some kids to handle.
  • Make sure the vaccine is thimerosal-free.
  • Do not get your child vaccinated after an illness or surgery. This will increase the chances of injury.
  • Make sure your child is healthy before vaccinating. Immune system weaknesses (allergies, asthma, digestive problems, infections) particularly should be resolved before you give them any vaccinations.
  • Use caution when thinking of vaccinating at birth, namely the hepatitis B vaccine. The central nervous system of a newborn infant is extremely susceptible to toxic influences, and there is no reason to give this vaccine to a newborn.
  • Think twice before giving these highly questionable vaccines: flu vaccine, HPV vaccine, chicken pox vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine.
If Your Child Has Autism …

There are several things you can do to help:

1. Have your child eat a diet tailored to their nutritional type. In my experience, nearly ALL children seem to respond favorably to the dietary changes when properly implemented.

2. Avoid giving your child pasteurized milk. This is imperative to the treatment of autism, and includes all milk products, such as ice cream, yogurt and whey. Even natural flavorings in food must be avoided unless the processor can guarantee, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that caseinate is not included. Anyone managing this illness without restricting milk is deceiving themselves.

3. Eliminating sugar, juice, soda, French fries and wheat (pasta, bagels, cereal, pretzels, etc) from your child’s diet is also highly recommended.

4. Make sure your child is getting proper sun exposure, as there is a link between rampant vitamin D deficiency and the proportionate jump in autism. The vitamin D receptor appears in a wide variety of brain tissue early in the fetal development, and activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain.

5. Use an effective intervention to address any emotional stresses your child faces as soon as possible. Potent energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are excellent for this purpose. You can do EFT with your child, and also teach him how to do it himself.

6. Homeopathy may also help ameliorate symptoms.

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