Alex has now been ketotic for more than 2 1/2 months, and there is not doubt about it – it is helping him enormously. Granted, I am also doing GcMAF at the moment. However, last spring when I first tried GcMAF – and Alex was off SCD – he was doing nothing but regressing. The change in diet is the only thing new that I am doing. I do believe the GcMAF is helping…but I think that without the diet, he’d be too sick for me to see that.
A quick summary of the changes so far:
a. Most importantly, Alex’s mood has stabilized. He has very few tantrums now, and when he has one, they are very short and not nearly as severe. There has been a very big improvement in the last two weeks on this front. That alone would make all the effort worth it!
b. He has lost 10 pounds (which was needed) and looks great.
c. His acne is clearing up. His skin is 100 times better than it was just 2 months ago.
d. His nails are starting to grow more normally. The perpetual peeling (below the nail line) has dramatically improved.
e. Almost the most exciting…he is sleeping! 8 hours a night, with no help (supplements or medication).
On September 16, 2 1/2 months ago, an article was published entitled, “Impaired Carbohydrate Digestion and Transport and Mucosal Dysbiosis in the Intestines of Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Disturbances.” Its authors include, among others, Dr. Tim Buie (GI at Harvard), Mady Hornig (well-known researcher at Columbia), and Margaret Bauman (one of the foremost researchers in the world on the autistic brain).
The paper rocked my world.
To sum up very briefly, the paper confirms Dr. Horvath’s findings of a decade ago – that children with autism and GI issues have low levels of disaccharidases (enzymes from the brush border of the small intestine that complete carbohydrate digestion), hampering their abililty to properly break down carbs. But it went much further: these researchers also found that these children have low levels of mono-saccharide transporters in the enterocytes. What does that mean? Glucose is a single molecule of sugar that feeds every cell in our bodies. To get it from the intestines (from food) into the blood stream, the cells on the villi of the small intestine have proteins on their surface known as transporters, that bring the glucose into the cell, and then out the back side into the blood. The children tested had low levels of these transport proteins meaning that even if they manage to break the carbs down into absorbable glucose, they can’t move the glucose out of the intestines properly. And as Elaine Gottschall would say, this leaves all kinds of sugars in the intestine which feeds all sorts of bacteria, leading to a monster dysbiosis issue…exactly what these researchers found.