Mercury and Autism: Could it be the fish?

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CerebralDreamer
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19 Jul 2009, 3:59 am

I remember first-hand the scandal that took place over vaccines. The reason for that is acute mercury poisoning usually includes numbness, difficulty speaking, and coordination problems. Those are very similar to general autism spectrum disorders. This is why I'm so completely confused when nobody talks about the fish.

Mercury levels in the environment are low enough you can drink the water, but the concentration grows exponentially as you go up the food chain. It's bad enough the FDA is warning people to limit their consumption of fish, especially those at the top of the food chain. The warning is only emphasized for pregnant mothers, because of increased vulnerability in the fetal stage.

As for the vaccines, 80% of our brain is already 'there' at birth. That doesn't leave a whole lot of room for vaccines to screw up the development. Do you have any idea how many women I see talk about how unhealthy beef or pork is, as they shovel down a mercury-rich salmon dinner?

My question is, what if the mercury claims were right? The FDA says you shouldn't eat seafood more than twice a month. Does anyone want to guess what a mercury-rich dinner twice a week over nine months might do to a fetus?



ScottyMac
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19 Jul 2009, 4:35 am

I'm guessing it doesn't cause autism.



pensieve
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19 Jul 2009, 5:00 am

My whole family have been eating fish for years, but yet only two people have autism; only one being officially diagnosed.
Fish actually makes me concentrate a whole lot better. It also makes me really energetic. The kind of fish you buy, I think it's called Hake actually and it has low mercury levels.


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Michjo
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19 Jul 2009, 9:16 am

CerebralDreamer wrote:
My question is, what if the mercury claims were right? The FDA says you shouldn't eat seafood more than twice a month. Does anyone want to guess what a mercury-rich dinner twice a week over nine months might do to a fetus?

The big issue has never been does mercury cause autism? but rather Do vaccines cause autism?

Do vaccines cause autism?
No! The amount of mercury in the vaccine is not enough to cause the sort of damage associated with autism. The mercury from vaccines also happens to travel through the body as ethylmercury, which doesn't bioacculate (The body removes it over a short-time period)

Can mercury cause autism?
Yes! Methylmercury is present in the environment and bioaccumulates (It can take weeks, if not months for the body to remove all the methylmercury present). Mercury is a neurotoxin and if the amount is large enough (Which is more than capable of happening if someone eats fish) then autism can be the result. Of course, it all comes down to how much mercury is being ingested and exactly how much mercury is present in the fish.

wikipedia wrote:
Several studies indicate that methylmercury is linked to subtle developmental deficits in children exposed in-utero such as loss of IQ points, and decreased performance in tests of language skills, memory function and attention deficits.

wikipedia wrote:
Children who had been exposed in-utero through their mothers' ingestion were also affected with a range of symptoms including motor difficulties, sensory problems and mental retardation.


Do realise that i am not saying 100% of autism cases are caused my mercury here. Most autism is caused by genetic neurological differences. However, autism can be caused by environmental toxins. I think when we see stories about autistic individuals becoming NT's in later life, what we are actually seeing is an individual whose autism was caused by a one-off affect rather than genetics. Because of brain plasticity, if the underlying cause is no longer present, said individual will get better.



Maggiedoll
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19 Jul 2009, 9:26 am

pensieve wrote:
My whole family have been eating fish for years, but yet only two people have autism; only one being officially diagnosed.
Fish actually makes me concentrate a whole lot better. It also makes me really energetic. The kind of fish you buy, I think it's called Hake actually and it has low mercury levels.


The mercury levels in that fish aren't high enough to cause damage, then.. but the omega-3s, which are quite good for your brain, may be fairly high.



poopylungstuffing
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19 Jul 2009, 9:32 am

My poor cats :(



sinsboldly
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19 Jul 2009, 10:13 am

poopylungstuffing wrote:
My poor cats :(


awww don't worry a bout it, I got a book that says all cats have Aspergers!

must have been all that fish I fed their mothers!


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Tantybi
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19 Jul 2009, 10:16 am

I don't eat seafood at all and my daughter is Aspie.



Tantybi
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19 Jul 2009, 10:20 am

Michjo wrote:
CerebralDreamer wrote:
My question is, what if the mercury claims were right? The FDA says you shouldn't eat seafood more than twice a month. Does anyone want to guess what a mercury-rich dinner twice a week over nine months might do to a fetus?

The big issue has never been does mercury cause autism? but rather Do vaccines cause autism?

Do vaccines cause autism?
No! The amount of mercury in the vaccine is not enough to cause the sort of damage associated with autism. The mercury from vaccines also happens to travel through the body as ethylmercury, which doesn't bioacculate (The body removes it over a short-time period)

Can mercury cause autism?
Yes! Methylmercury is present in the environment and bioaccumulates (It can take weeks, if not months for the body to remove all the methylmercury present). Mercury is a neurotoxin and if the amount is large enough (Which is more than capable of happening if someone eats fish) then autism can be the result. Of course, it all comes down to how much mercury is being ingested and exactly how much mercury is present in the fish.

wikipedia wrote:
Several studies indicate that methylmercury is linked to subtle developmental deficits in children exposed in-utero such as loss of IQ points, and decreased performance in tests of language skills, memory function and attention deficits.

wikipedia wrote:
Children who had been exposed in-utero through their mothers' ingestion were also affected with a range of symptoms including motor difficulties, sensory problems and mental retardation.


Do realise that i am not saying 100% of autism cases are caused my mercury here. Most autism is caused by genetic neurological differences. However, autism can be caused by environmental toxins. I think when we see stories about autistic individuals becoming NT's in later life, what we are actually seeing is an individual whose autism was caused by a one-off affect rather than genetics. Because of brain plasticity, if the underlying cause is no longer present, said individual will get better.


I don't think it's autism unless it's genetic. But if you were to say mercury can cause autistic like symptoms for a short period of life, then I'd buy that. They need to come up with a different name for that and keep it off the spectrum because autism is supposed to be genetic. My pregnancy can cause flu like symptoms, but that doesn't make it a temporary flu caused by pregnancy. It just means I'm pregnant.



Michjo
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19 Jul 2009, 11:38 am

Tantybi wrote:
I don't think it's autism unless it's genetic. But if you were to say mercury can cause autistic like symptoms for a short period of life, then I'd buy that. They need to come up with a different name for that and keep it off the spectrum because autism is supposed to be genetic. My pregnancy can cause flu like symptoms, but that doesn't make it a temporary flu caused by pregnancy. It just means I'm pregnant.

Point taken, but then what is true autism?. Is true autism a genetic channelopathy disorder? is it a genetic receptor disorder? is it caused by benign tumours with a genetic factor? Some environmental agents can cause permanent damage. To resevse the word "Autism" for a specific type would be incredibly elitist. Put blunty, Autism is the name of a group of disorders and should remain so. Environmental autism is just as "autistic" as genetic autism.



Tantybi
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19 Jul 2009, 11:46 am

Michjo wrote:
Tantybi wrote:
I don't think it's autism unless it's genetic. But if you were to say mercury can cause autistic like symptoms for a short period of life, then I'd buy that. They need to come up with a different name for that and keep it off the spectrum because autism is supposed to be genetic. My pregnancy can cause flu like symptoms, but that doesn't make it a temporary flu caused by pregnancy. It just means I'm pregnant.

Point taken, but then what is true autism?. Is true autism a genetic channelopathy disorder? is it a genetic receptor disorder? is it caused by benign tumours with a genetic factor? Some environmental agents can cause permanent damage. To resevse the word "Autism" for a specific type would be incredibly elitist. Put blunty, Autism is the name of a group of disorders and should remain so. Environmental autism is just as "autistic" as genetic autism.


At least you gave it specific classifications. In fact, it probably is better that way since I do think a spectrum should include all people anyway. I'm such a hypocrite sometimes.



Tantybi
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19 Jul 2009, 11:48 am

Maggiedoll wrote:
pensieve wrote:
My whole family have been eating fish for years, but yet only two people have autism; only one being officially diagnosed.
Fish actually makes me concentrate a whole lot better. It also makes me really energetic. The kind of fish you buy, I think it's called Hake actually and it has low mercury levels.


The mercury levels in that fish aren't high enough to cause damage, then.. but the omega-3s, which are quite good for your brain, may be fairly high.


The omega 3s can also be found in supplements now. I take Expecta because the DHA comes from a nonfish source. What I don't get is the box says it's for pregnant or nursing moms, but didn't the DHA come about from what they found that already existed in breastmilk?



Katie_WPG
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19 Jul 2009, 11:50 am

My mother was allergic to fish, and I've only eaten it very occasionally (most of the time at restaurants). Before a certain age, I had never even had fish (about 7 or 8 or so)



Odin
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19 Jul 2009, 2:06 pm

I've read that actual mercury poisoning causes symptoms of various forms of psychosis, not autism.


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activebutodd
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19 Jul 2009, 2:21 pm

Correct. Mercury used to be used in the making of hats, and so the workers in the industry suffered from mercury poisoning. Hence 'Mad as a hatter'.

I'm lazy, so image and linky.

http://www.atherstonehistory.co.uk/athe ... g-industry

Image

It's a pity about the mercury levels in fish, I love the stuff. I should be ok because I don't eat it too often, but if I start typing erratically and seem to change in personality... you'll know what happened ;)



Michjo
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19 Jul 2009, 3:24 pm

Odin wrote:
I've read that actual mercury poisoning causes symptoms of various forms of psychosis, not autism.

In adults it causes symptoms of psychosis. But at early stages of life, it can cause many different effects because is slows/destroys development.