*Starch, or the Decline and Fall of the AS Organism!*

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Callista
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24 Feb 2009, 2:44 pm

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Whereas if you mean egg and bacon or fish with green veg and nothing else then you're right. It's just that most "modern" meals include some form of carbohydrate so I am curious.
Ours often didn't. My entire family was on gluten-free (including me before I moved out) because my mother has celiac disease and she cooked for the whole family. She was diagnosed when I was nine, and I moved out at 17. Incidentally, there was no difference in functioning for me before and after nine, or before and after 17; nor for my sisters (one Aspie, one NT). Your theories don't apply to our family and I'm willing to bet they don't apply to most Aspies either. Not that this really makes much of a difference; we are four people and that's a tiny sample size--quite impossible to draw any conclusions from. You have a sample size of one--yourself--which isn't any good, either.

Simply put, there's no universal way the AS digestive system works. Some people have good digestion and others are more inefficient. That's the same way it is with NTs. Obviously your ability to cope with stress is going to be better if your digestive system is working efficiently; and in some cases you may be intolerant to something that ought to be eliminated; but you can't apply the same diet to every Aspie, or assume that any given person needs any special diet at all more than simply a balanced one, or assume that everyone who needs to cut out some badly tolerated substance needs to cut out the same substance. It's just not simple like that. I know we like simple answers, and I know it's comforting to think, "If I just follow this rule everything will be all right", but that's not the real world. Human systems are complicated. That's why it's so difficult to become a doctor, and so easy to fool people with quack science.


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ouinon
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24 Feb 2009, 2:56 pm

Callista wrote:
Simply put, there's no universal way the AS digestive system works.

You must have missed my earlier post about that too:

ouinon wrote:
Something very interesting about amylase production in Autists/AS. Sulphation processes are different/disturbed/dysfunctional in Autists, and this impacts on our ability to produce pancreatic amylase.

"Sulphation and Autism", by Rosemary Waring, ( School of Biosciences. Birmingham University ), in "The Autism File", at:

http://www.autismfile.com/papers/Rosema ... hation.asp

Rosemary_Waring wrote:
... [ preambule about discovering differences in the Sulphation processes in Autists ] ...

Sulphation ... is necessary to trigger the pancreatic secretion of amylase. ...

Reduced levels of pancreatic amylase alter the digestibility of starch-based foods ...

Defects in Sulphation may not be a cause of Autism, but they are responsible for much of the dysregulation of biochemical and physiological processes.


I have been referring to this research every few posts on here ever since finding it, but perhaps you didn't know where I got it, or thought it was something that I had made up. :wink:

"Simply put", AS have more trouble digesting starch than NTs do.

And something else simple; AS children have 10,000 times more pathogenic bacteria in their guts than NT children as a result, which means far more lipopolysaccharides/endotoxins which provoke inflammation/chronic immune activity etc, etc, etc ( as explained in detail above and on previous page ).

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Callista
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24 Feb 2009, 11:40 pm

That's not an actual study... there are no statistics, not even a mention of how many people they tested, just claims of having worked on it a long time and a lot of scientific jargon that's much more unnecessarily dense than anything you'll read in the mainstream journals. Plus, they're making huge leaps of logic... really huge. Based on tiny little studies with probably less than n=20 (they don't call them "pilot studies" if they have any decent sort of sample size at all). They didn't even bother to make any connection between the genetic similarities in the ASD families and the enzymes they mentioned. Using antibiotics in pregnancy = a high-risk pregnancy = higher risk of autism, without anything else involved. Half of it is spurious, the other half is irrelevant, and there's not even any hard data.


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ouinon
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25 Feb 2009, 2:50 am

Callista wrote:
That's not an actual study

It's an article by Waring about her research over 10 years into "Sulphur Metabolism in Autism", which is the name of the full-scale study by R. Waring and Klovrsa, 2000, published in "The Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine". ( only a short "abstract" from it is available free online ).

Quote:
... there are no statistics, not even a mention of how many people they tested.

The abstract states that the urine of 232 AS children was measured against 68 control subjects. These are statistically very satisfactory group sizes.

Quote:
... a lot of scientific jargon that's much more unnecessarily dense than anything you'll read in the mainstream journals

I didn't find it "unnecessarily dense", but I did find it "data dense", rich in information about the complex cascade of chemical effects arising from the difference in sulphation pathways. .
Quote:
Based on tiny little studies with probably less than n=20 (they don't call them "pilot studies" if they have any decent sort of sample size at all).

There are three studies into sulphate metabolism in Autism by Waring;

Waring and Reilly 1990,

Pilot study by Alberti and Waring 1999, and

the full study by Waring and Klovrza 2000, ( which tested sulphates etc in urine from 232 AS children ).

Quote:
Half of it is spurious

I have not been able to find any study/article casting doubts on the findings, nor anyone suggesting that Rosemary Waring's work is not of the highest standard. If you have reasonable grounds for suspecting that her work is not reliable you should at least post a comment on the Wikpedia page about her to warn people, ( nobody has done so yet ).
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Last edited by ouinon on 25 Feb 2009, 12:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ouinon
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25 Feb 2009, 3:11 am

Here is a link to the abstract:

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/r ... 1/art00004

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ouinon
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25 Feb 2009, 4:39 pm

So what I am thinking is that perhaps "sickness behaviour", ( see my post above, at: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp2067532.html#2067532 ) accounts for a lot of the most disabling phenomena many of us/AS experience;

:the retreat from/loss of interest in socialising, the fear/anxiety, frequent overload, prioritising of peace and quiet, impairment of cognitive functioning, depression, low energy, lack of initiative, sleep disorders/disturbance, etc.

If AS cut out complex carbohydrates and gave their guts time to recover, the constant/chronic inflammation/immune system activity might cease and we would emerge from "sickness behaviour", with all our AS abilities intact but without many of the things which incapacitate thousands of us now.

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ouinon
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26 Feb 2009, 3:04 am

This is a very interesting paper, "Major Depressive Disorder is Sickness Behaviour and Anti-depressants are Analgesics" at : http://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/depression.html

It is very much in line with the work which Phyllida Brown looks at in her article "Mind Under Seige" which I linked to above.

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ouinon
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27 Feb 2009, 4:53 am

I have found out something very interesting about how animals behave towards members of their group who show "sickness behaviour", ( loss of interest in socialising, withdrawal/inactivity, impairment of certain cognitive functions, depression, low energy, disturbance of sleeping rhythms, etc ).

:!: They will alternate periods of more attention to them, ( grooming etc ), and of attacking them.

This makes sense. Animals in the wild who show signs of weakness/illness attract the attention of predators. Animals show few "obvious" signs of sickness until they are very ill, but members of their group will react from the first to their changed, ( sickness ) behaviour by first attempting to aid their recovery, and if/when they do not recover will attack them, ( attempt to remove/reject them from the group ), because their weakness is likely to draw predators.

:idea: This sounds remarkably like the behavior that many on WP describe on the part of others, of how people will seem friendly and attentive for a while, and then drop/reject them often for no clear reason.

I think that it is possible that what many AS are experiencing is the instinctive reaction of animals in a group towards an animal that is ill, ( so long as the sick animal stays with the group ). Unpredictable periods of care-giving and rejection/avoidance.

I think that the differences, ( which more and more studies are finding ), in several important metabolic pathways in AS, ( particularly those relating to digestion and absorption and detoxification ), are causing chronic inflammation/activity of the immune system, ( if no effort is made to avoid the foods which the system can not handle ), which provokes "sickness behaviour", ( described above ), and that this is eliciting the frequent, apparently inexplicable reactions from those around them of alternately friendliness/"care-giving" and rejection/hostility.

Seriously.
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Last edited by ouinon on 27 Feb 2009, 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

ouinon
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27 Feb 2009, 10:13 am

PS. :wink:

So perhaps if AS cut out some/most/all of the foods which our guts ( genetically ) have difficulty with, and so reduce/stop the chronic inflammation/immune system activity we might find not only that depression, anxiety, overload, sleep disturbance, brain-fog, etc, etc, etc, disappear but that people's reactions to us change, ( because we would be exhibiting fewer of the "sickness behaviour" symptoms which elicit hostile reactions in the group ). :D

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ouinon
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27 Feb 2009, 10:20 am

ouinon wrote:
"Major Depressive Disorder is Sickness Behaviour and Anti-depressants are Analgesics" at : http://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/depression.html

This paper says that it might take a while to unlearn the mental and physical habits of long-term "sickness behaviour", but that at least it will no longer be being reinforced/perpetuated by persistent immune system activity.

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philosopherBoi
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27 Feb 2009, 10:21 am

I got to say after reading this I am not convinced, you know if this were true than diets would have drastic effects on autistic people but they don't. At the very least a small percentage of autistic people would see an improvement but not for the reason your think. Let me ask this question if you felt like puking or you had diarrhea trying to break out the back door would you be in a good mood?


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ouinon
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27 Feb 2009, 10:32 am

philosopherBoi wrote:
If this were true than diets would have drastic effects on autistic people but they don't.

As far as I am aware any studies that have been done until now on AS reactions to dietary changes have concentrated on eliminating gluten and/or casein, and artificial colourings, flavourings etc. But most of the findings are anecdotal.

I don't know of any research on the effect that a starch-free/no complex-carbohydrate diet has on AS.

Also the attitude often taken seems to be that diet might "cure" AS, whereas I think AS is a genetic predisposition, therefore not "curable".

I think that a starch-free diet could alleviate/eliminate many of the so called "co-morbids", depression and anxiety, overload, impairment of certain cognitive functions, ( otherwise known as brain-fog ), fatigue, and general retreat/withdrawal symptoms ; "sickness behaviour".

The studies I have been using to support my hypothesis are on the biochemical differences in AS metabolism, and their impact on body systems, particularly the gut, aswell as the latest/cutting-edge scientific findings about the influence of immune-system activity on mood/functioning etc.

I would be very interested to hear about any research that has been done on the effects of excluding complex carbohydrates from AS diets. :D

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Anemone
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27 Feb 2009, 11:37 am

ouinon wrote:
I think that a starch-free diet could alleviate/eliminate many of the so called "co-morbids", depression and anxiety, overload, impairment of certain cognitive functions, ( otherwise known as brain-fog ), fatigue, and general retreat/withdrawal symptoms ; "sickness behaviour".


But those are the things people like about us. They make us normal, since most people have to deal with them at some time or other, and people know they're not permanent. It's the stuff that won't go away that's the problem.



ouinon
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27 Feb 2009, 11:45 am

Anemone wrote:
It's the stuff that won't go away that's the problem.

I find that depression, anxiety, overload, brain-fog/cognitive impairment, inertia, insomnia, fatigue, etc, are the problem.
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Last edited by ouinon on 28 Feb 2009, 2:31 am, edited 4 times in total.

ouinon
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27 Feb 2009, 11:57 am

Anemone wrote:
ouinon wrote:
I think that a starch-free diet could alleviate/eliminate many of the so called "co-morbids", depression and anxiety, overload, impairment of certain cognitive functions, ( otherwise known as brain-fog ), fatigue, and general retreat/withdrawal symptoms ; "sickness behaviour".
But those are the things people like about us.

Only for a certain length of time, what they instinctively feel is appropriate "care-giving" time, ( for an animal exhibiting "sickness behaviour" ), and then the rejection/exclusion behaviour cuts in, ( unless they enjoy co-dependency relationships perhaps ).

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ouinon
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28 Feb 2009, 2:28 am

ouinon wrote:
Anemone wrote:
Those ... make us normal, since most people have to deal with them at some time or other, and people know they're not permanent. It's the stuff that won't go away that's the problem.
I find that depression, anxiety, overload, brain-fog/cognitive impairment, inertia, insomnia, fatigue, etc, are the problem.

And I find it surprising that you refer glibly to them "going away", and "other people knowing this".

WP is full of what sound like many permanently, chronically depressed and anxious and brain-fogged people. I don't think it is AS that is the ( worst ) problem; it is the invisible, because constant, unrelieved habitual "sickness behaviour" which is the real blight.

The depression, etc, ( because caused by genetically, AS-asssociated, determined digestive differences/dysfunction and permanent inflammation/immune system activity ), seems to arrive so automatically for so many AS that many people have difficulty telling them apart.

Many seem to think that "their life is grim because of AS". But I think it is possible that in many cases their life is grim because they are suffering from "sickness", ( a permanent state of immune activity ), and something can be done about that.

As the article that I linked to at the top of the page says, longterm "sickness behaviour" is pernicious. It permeates one's whole attitude to life, creates a certain outlook, certain ways of behaving, which are those of an animal that is ill, and which become "life"/the way one lives.

... Perhaps I take what people say on WP too seriously. Perhaps the constant references to depression and inertia, fatigue, overload, anxiety, cognitive impairment/brain-fog, etc are not representative of people's real quality of life.

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