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Power of Exile

The Power of Exile -
 Autism, A journey to recovery


Introduction: Sara’s Diet
and the IDEA


  1. Sara
  2. Sandra
  3. The Journey begins
  4. Sara joins our Family
  5. Journal Notes
  6. Impressions
  7. Influential People
  8. Center Stage
  9. I believe in Miracles
  10. Miracles in Abundance
  11. A Second Rainbow
  12. Widening Horizons
  1. World travel on a Wing and a Prayer
  2. Asperger Syndrome (Sam’s story)
  3. Autism: a Causal Theory and Treatment Option
  4. A Change in the Weather
  1. Second Timothy
  2. Turning Blue
  3. Food Intolerance in autism
  4. Sara’s Diet
    1. Introduction to the restricted diet
    2. Essential nutrients from foods
    3. Practical help with implementing a diet program
  5. What is Lutein?
  6. Autism, Pigments and the Immune System
  7. South Africa, World Community Autism Program
  8. Eating disorder in autism
  9. Autism, Origin – A Plausible Theory
  10. Autism, putting it all together

From: What is lutein?
To date the primary immune triggering pigmented foods identified in our research are those that contain lutein/zeaxanthin. Foods highest in lutein/zeaxanthin are: kale, spinach, mustard greens, yellow corn, broccoli, green peas, pumpkin, collard greens, summer (yellow) squash, carrot, brussels sprouts, currants, green olive, green peppers, green bean (pod), chicken fat, egg yolk, plums, peach, orange, tangerine, avocado, kiwi fruit, rhubarb. In many foods, the peel contains the majority of that food’s lutein content: cucumber, pear, pineapple. In other foods the dark outer leaves contain lutein: cabbage, lettuce, leek.  Strawberry contains a red form of lutein: vitellorubin. The lutein or carotenoid content of the food depends on many factors including exposure to light, season, soil and type. Many foods contain multiple pigments such as oranges which have been identified to contain at least 5 pigments including lutein/zeaxanthin.
  Some foods which do not contain lutein or beta-carotene such as tomato contain another pigment called lycopene which can be converted to lutein or beta-carotene in the body. It appears that for some these non-lutein foods can safely enter the body and the lycopene can reach systems which benefit from lutein and the lycopene conversion will occur away from the immune system interference resulting in bio-available lutein. Some foods contain lutein only at some stages such as green pepper which does not contain lutein as the pepper matures to its ripe red form, or olives which do not contain lutein in the black stage. Animals consume foods which contain lutein such as grass. These animals may then have lutein in their blood products or stored in their fat. The highest lutein content in the animal foods will come from blood products and meat fats, especially chicken fat. Some foods have not been adequately studied for their pigment content such as grains, nuts and legumes.

It is most often that those who do not tolerate lutein/zeaxanthin foods also do not tolerate the foods containing beta-cryptoxanthin. Foods highest in beta-cryptoxanthin are: Orange juice, tangerine, papaya, peach, mango, apple juice. It is common among those who have behavioral and allergic response to beta-cryptoxanthin-containing foods that most fish and shell fish are also not tolerated. Reactions as severe as seizure has been observed when fish was ingested.

The second most common intolerance is to beta-carotene containing foods and supplements. Foods highest in beta-carotene are: Apricot, cantaloupe, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot. It is common that those who are intolerant to beta-carotene also cannot tolerate alpha-carotene foods. The highest food sources of alpha-carotene so far identified are: carrots, oranges, pumpkin, and winter squash.

Bixen (Annatto)
Used as a food coloring in commercial dairy products and dairy replacers such as custard, butter, margarine, ice cream.

“Micronutrients, essential for approximately 65% of all known enzymes, have during this century been considerably reduced in modern Western diets, due to food refinement, canning, refrigeration and additives. This reduction coincided with a phenomenal increase of Western and industrial diseases, many of them with genetic associations. Different basic diets in genetic races over thousands of years have led to a high percentage of enzyme polymorphisms, suggesting different basic diets necessary for different genetic races. These basic diets, with or without micronutrient supplementation, should be a necessary component of Western diseases prevention and therapy.”
  In general physicians are not required to understand the complicated material associated with nutrition and digestion. Indeed it would not serve their profession as each of their clients is a unique individual. Nutritionists and dieticians learn about the normal metabolism and some well-understood medical conditions and how these are affected by diet. Since autism has not been well-understood there are few who understand the complicated nutritional needs of the autist.
  We now have a very large population of individuals who have been raised within the past three decades when carotenoids were selected as the ideal source for dietary vitamin A precursor by WHO (World Health Organization) and FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) in 1967. Is it possible there has been an error, and that the natural sources for vitamin A, i.e. cod-liver oil, dairy fats, liver and fish are not only wiser but safer? As the recent studies on beta-carotene are reported and the results are reviewed, will some of the experts change their view from ‘carotenoids enhance the immune system’ to ‘carotenoids excite the immune system’ or even something as realistic as ‘carotenoids are antioxidant in some and free-radical producers in others!’ The World Health Organization is going to produce recommendations which result in a positive outcome for the majority. A minority, e.g. those with mis-sense genetic make-up, autism and immune system fragility are not considered in the outcome of the general recommendations.

  “Is beta-carotene an antioxidant? An hypothesis is presented that is opposed to the conventional viewpoint that beta-carotene is an in vivo free-radical scavenger. It is suggested that there are biochemical reasons why beta-carotene, other carotenoids, and especially their metabolites may be harmful to mammalian systems. Finally, the hypothesis that the macular pigment carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are free-radical scavengers is challenged.”

  “There is little evidence to support the general assumption that dietary carotenoids can improve vitamin A status. Results suggest that the approach to combating vitamin A deficiency by increases in the consumption of provitamin A carotenoids from vegetables should be re-examined.”.

  “Evidence has accumulated from observational studies that people eating more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in beta-carotene (a violet to yellow plant pigment that acts as an antioxidant and can be converted to vitamin A by enzymes in the intestinal wall and liver) and retinol (an alcohol chemical form of vitamin A), and people having higher serum beta-carotene concentrations had lower rates of lung cancer. The Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) tested the combination of 30 mg beta-carotene and 25,000 IU retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) taken daily against placebo in 18,314 men and women at high risk of developing lung cancer. The CARET intervention was stopped 21 months early because of clear evidence of no benefit and substantial evidence of possible harm; there were 28% more lung cancers and 17% more deaths in the active intervention group (active = the daily combination of 30 mg beta-carotene and 25,000 IU retinyl palmitate). Promptly after the January 18, 1996, announcement that the CARET active intervention had been stopped, we published preliminary findings from CARET regarding cancer, heart disease, and total mortality. CONCLUSIONS: CARET participants receiving the combination of beta-carotene and vitamin A had no chemopreventive benefit and had excess lung cancer incidence and mortality. The results are highly consistent with those found for beta-carotene in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study in 29,133 male smokers in Finland.”

More than three decades have passed since the WHO and FAO recommendations to get vitamin A from the precursor carotenoids. In this same time period autism has risen at lightening speed. There is raging debate on the vaccine contribution to this rate of increase but few who are looking at additional factors which are contributing to the cause of the vaccine reactions and rise in autism.