Autism, Turkey-Cooking, Balancing a Bicycle, and Epilepsy - and other fascinating articles this week

Opening a Can of Worms: “A father’s determination to help his son resulted in an experimental treatment for autism that uses roundworms to modulate inflammatory immune responses. Can the worms be used to treat other diseases?”

“In 2005 the Johnson family was at its breaking point. Lawrence, the family’s 13-year-old son, was diagnosed with autism at age two and a half, and his parents had valiantly coped with his illness for the ensuing decade.

“Throughout his childhood, Lawrence’s disorder progressed along the typical path: he would not engage in pretend play like other children, he repeated himself incessantly, his interests were very restricted, and he was frequently agitated and anxious.

“By his teenage years, Lawrence had veered into the dangerous realm of self abuse. He smashed his head against the wall dozens of times a day. He bit himself until he bled. He gouged at his eyes and tore at his face. A normal school experience was virtually impossible. He couldn’t walk a single block from the family’s Brooklyn brownstone without kicking and screaming when a traffic light changed at the wrong moment or streets were crossed in an unacceptable order. 'If people haven’t actually experienced those symptoms of autism, they’re the killer,' says Stewart, Lawrence’s father. 'They’re the things that destroy families.'”


Interesting theories about dandruff.


Fascinating article about epilepsy, by Lawrence Wilson, MDS

“Many holistic physicians will take the material in this article and approach the condition of seizures in a symptomatic way. They will use DMPS to remove mercury, penicillamine for copper, and GABA or high doses of inositol or homeopathic remedies for calming the nervous system.

“This is unfortunate, as the real cause is often not addressed. The underlying cause of this disorder has to do with diet, lifestyle and the overall nutritional balance of the body. Correcting this might take longer in some cases, though not necessarily. Many people respond very fast to a properly designed nutritional balancing program.

“...Seizures are becoming more and more common today. The medical approach is to take sedative drugs, often for life. I have worked with many children and adults with seizures. Most often, the seizures can be stopped or reduced within several weeks. Also, most people are able to completely get rid of the seizures and stop the medication, which can have serious side effects. Therefore, seizures need not be such a fearful condition as they are portrayed in medical articles and by most medical doctors.

“Controlling and eliminating seizures means addressing many biochemical imbalances in most of the cases today. One factor of cause is not enough to address. However, if a person will persist with nutritional balancing program, the results are excellent in most cases.”


A Resource: How To Organize Your Life!! (Mine and Athena's favorite topic...)

“I know that you have become overwhelmed by your home and the chaos that you have been living in. We are here to help you and it doesn't cost you a dime. Keep in mind that your home did not get this way overnight and it is not going to get clean in a day. We are going to teach you how to take BabySteps and establish little routines for getting rid of your clutter and maintaining your home. This system will work for anyone; it doesn't matter if you work outside of your home, stay home with children, retired or work at home. You can do this, you have just needed someone to pat you on the back and give you a great big hug to get you started.” :)

“...Your very first BabyStep is to go shine your sink. Don't listen to those voices that tell you that it not going to help your messy house. This is exactly where I started and this little habit has changed my life! Take this BabyStep in faith and go do it. Here are the directions for shining your kitchen sink...”


Gary Taubes is pretty convinced that he knows the answer to the question, “Is Sugar Toxic?”

What about you? What do you think??


Gut Flora in the News:

“In the early 1900s, scientists discovered that each person belonged to one of four blood types. Now they have discovered a new way to classify humanity: by bacteria. Each human being is host to thousands of different species of microbes. Yet a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied.

“Blood type, meet bug type...”

“...Dr. Bork notes that more testing is necessary. Researchers will need to search for enterotypes in people from African, Chinese and other ethnic origins. He also notes that so far, all the subjects come from industrial nations, and thus eat similar foods. 'This is a shortcoming,' he said. 'We don’t have remote villages.'

“The discovery of enterotypes follows on years of work mapping the diversity of microbes in the human body — the human microbiome, as it is known. The difficulty of the task has been staggering. Each person shelters about 100 trillion microbes.

“(For comparison, the human body is made up of only around 10 trillion cells.) But scientists cannot rear a vast majority of these bacteria in their labs to identify them and learn their characteristics.”


Interesting article – it seems like STILL nobody can figure out exactly how bicycles stay upright when they're being ridden.


Fascinating look at staph, and why it really really really makes sense to eat really good foods.


by Chris Masterjohn; published in 2005, this article chronicles Masterjohn's dietary adventures during a couple years spent as a vegetarian.

“About six years ago, largely under the influence of John Robbin's book, Diet For a New America, I became a vegetarian. Soon after, I went vegan, meaning I abstained from all animal products, including eggs and dairy.

“I thought this dietary change would lead me to a paradise of abundant health, but I was sadly mistaken.

“It was my understanding that since saturated fat and cholesterol were the cause of heart disease, abstaining from both would grant me a virtual guarantee of a healthy heart into old age. Surely a cholesterol-free diet that was also extremely low in saturated fat would make me the epitome of health..."


A Rare Steak a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away, by Chris Masterjohn

“Red meat has been maligned for decades as an artery-clogging source of cholesterol and saturated fat. Yet a rare-cooked slab of quality red meat may just be your best defense against heart disease...”


“Evidence has been mounting that chronic low-grade inflammation in the body plays a role in causing every modern malady: from cancer and heart disease, to brain disorders including Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, and now it seems depression and anxiety too.

“However, where this inflammation comes from is not always clear. A study now reveals that airborne pollutants lead to widespread inflammation in the body by activating a certain pro-inflammatory component of the immune system (read about this study here: ).

“How we go from the immune system to the brain is a different story. In fact, modern medicine has long held that what happens in the immune system has no bearing on the nervous system or the brain. The reason is that the nervous system is protected by a so-called Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) that keeps the immune system and all of its components from making contact with the delicate structures of the brain...

“…A few years ago, a study was performed in which terminally ill cancer patients were injected with a certain type of bacteria hoping it would trigger their immune system to fight off the cancer. The study was a total failure except for one detail. Every single one of the terminal patients injected with bacteria became happy. Literally, they caught happiness. What a gift!

“Unfortunately most of the effects of the immune system on the brain are negative and, rather than bringing happiness, they cause autism, ADHD, depression, and more. In some cases discussed in the article, children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette’s (a severe tic disorder) were found to be infected with Strep bacteria and their symptoms resolved when they were treated with antibiotics.

“The reason is now clear: their immune systems were producing antibodies to Strep that were getting into their brains and altering behavior. Something very similar can happen with antibodies to gluten (a protein in wheat and other grains), and many cases of recovery from ADHD, depression and even schizophrenia have been reported with avoidance of foods that contain gluten. Other cases unfortunately are not so simple.

“The article then goes on to state that there is no evidence implicating vaccines as a cause of adverse effects on the brain, a position that seems hard to defend in light of these very findings. Vaccines do something never seen before in human history: they cause massive immune reactions to multiple infectious agents at the same time, and they do this in infants who are known to have immature immune systems and leaky blood brain barriers. You be the judge.

“Meanwhile the U.S. Surgeon General estimates that nearly 20% of American children and adolescents suffer from a mental disorder so significant that it interferes with their day-to-day life (see

“Research like this clearly vouches against the use of psychiatric medications that provide nothing more than a band-aid. The case for medications is that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain and the drugs correct it. However, no such imbalance has ever been proven and the only evidence that the drugs might correct it is that they temporarily manage symptoms, often with many side effects...”


Pesticides & "testicular dysgenesis" (male reproductive harm)

“New tests conducted by British scientists show that widely used agricultural pesticides disrupt male hormones, and may be contributing to a suite of reproductive disorders increasingly common among men.

“Reduced sperm count, infertility and abnormal genitals are among the problems some scientists have dubbed 'testicular dysgenesis syndrome.' This latest study greatly strengthens the evidence that these problems may be linked to environmental contaminants...”


I recently wanted to cook a turkey, and had never roasted a whole one successfully. I tried this technique and it worked great – I used aluminum foil to cover the bird while it was cooking, and removed the foil for the last hour in order to crisp up the skin.


Study links autism to mother's health issues: “Women with diabetes, obesity or high blood pressure during pregnancy are at far greater risk of having children with autism or other developmental delays, according to a new study presented this week at an international conference of autism researchers in San Diego.”

What the researchers don't mention, but I believe fervently: better nutrition would go quite far toward healing from these challenging health issues.