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From the Townsend Letter
April 2008


Chelation Corner
Toxic Metals and Autism
by E. Blaurock-Busch, PhD

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The Allergy Connection and Chemical Sensitivities

Many autistic children suffer from multiple food sensitivities, whereby sensitivities to cow milk products, or a true lactose intolerance, are main problems. Most other food reactions are due to a weakened digestive tract. It is not unusual that multiple food sensitivities disappear as soon as the digestive ability increases (due to enzyme and other digestive support). When the intestinal flora normalizes due to changed eating habits and digestive support such as lactobacillus acidophilus, the intestinal mucosa improves, and sensitivities to foods with a less complicated molecular structure or foods that require less digestive capabilities are better tolerated.

The IgG Food Antigen Report in Figure 2 is typical for an autistic child. The report interpretation illustrates that dietary restriction is temporary for most foods, even those to which the child strongly reacts.

Food Allergy Test Results (Sample)
Patient Name: xxxx
Day of Birth/ AGE: …
Sample submitted: Serum
Submitting Clinic/Physician
Patient Symptoms/Clinical Information:_________________

Test-Date: 01 June 06

IgG Food Antigen Nutri Screen
Method: EAST - EnzymaticAllergen Sorbent Test
Test value µg/ml
FH29 milk
f116 cow's milk, f325 sheep's milk, f286 mare's milk
very high
FH32 miscellaneous 1
FH10 whole egg, f74 caragen, f128 poppy seed
FH18 fruits 1
f34 tangerine , f29 banana, f49 apple
FH15 corn
f4 wheat, f5 rye, f7 oats
FH24 spices 1
s2 curry, s25 ginger, s404 cardamom
FH14 meat
f27 beef, f26 pork, f88 lamb
FH13 shellfish
f71 crayfish, f80 lobster, f110 crab
FH23 vegetables 4
f14 soya, f35 potatoe, f48 onion
FH19 fruits 2
f44 strawberry, f50 grape, f53 peach
FH31 nutrition binder
f216 agar-agar, k83 guar gum, f298 tragacanth
FH16 nuts
f17 hazelnut, f13 peanut, f20 almond
FH11 fish
f41 salmon, f22 trout, f196 halibut
FH28 spices 5
s3 caraway, s225 glutamate, s7 black pepper
FH30 nutrition additives
m44 baker's yeast, f54 gelantine, f154 locust bean gum
FH21 vegetables 2
f131 avocado, f134 broccoli, f31 carott
FH27 spices 4
s13 thyme, f155 vanilla, s8 cinnamon
FH26 spices 3
s4 laurel, s5 nutmeg, f86 parslay
FH17 citrus fruits
f32 lemon, f33 orange, f203 grapefruit
FH20 vegetables 1
f12 peas, f132 green beans, f65 lentil
FH22 vegetables 3
f185 red cabbage, f85 celery, f25 tomatoe
FH12 fish/shellfisch
f3 cod, f422 green pike, f23 shrimp
FH33 miscellaneous 2
f79 gluten, f480 aspartam, f97 cocoa
FH25 spices 2
s1 anise, s20 basil, s11 dill
FH34 miscellaneous 3
f482 lupine flour, b83 cotton seed, f481 soja lecithin

Figure 2: IgG Food Antigen Report

Interpretive Guidelines
Intake of food with weak or borderline reactions should be reduced. Intake of food with high, very high, or extremely high reactions should be strictly avoided.

Looking at Figure 2, we can see that the patient shows a strong IgG reactions to milk products. He also reacts to chicken eggs, some fruit, and grain products. Altogether, his food intolerance problem is moderate and will most likely dramatically lessen or disappear when a rotational diet is followed for three months and, when appropriate, digestive support is provided during that time. It is important that all nutritional products used are free of lactose (milk sugar) and other allergens as listed above.

Dietary Recommendations

Milk Products
Cow milk products should be eliminated from the diet for at least three months.

Genetically, the enzyme lactase is missing in people of certain races (Arabs, Blacks, Jews, Asians), and thus, lactose intolerance is common in some parts of the world. However, IgG reactions may occur even if lactose intolerance is not present. The inability for the digestion system to break down cow milk sugar (lactose) or the rather complicated cow milk protein causes IgG reactions to cow milk. Therefore, patients showing a high IgG reaction towards cow milk products typically have a weakened digestive tract. Intestinal function is reduced, and the digestive inability to properly break down the complicated molecular structure of such foods increases digestive problems if these foods are frequently eaten. This results in an increased sensitivity to related foods such as sheep's milk or mare's milk, including camel milk. Temporary avoidance and increased digestive support may lessen or even eliminate the problem.


  • Avoid all cow milk products for three months. After three months, the patient should drink plenty of milk and eat cheese on one day. If a reaction occurs, he is still unable to digest cow milk products and must continue to avoid milk and cheeses.
  • Avoid sheep milk or sheep products for four weeks. After four weeks, you may introduce these products as outlined above. If no reaction occurs, you are allowed to enjoy these produces on a rotational basis, once weekly.
  • Avoid mare milk or mare products for four weeks. After four weeks, you may introduce these products as outlined above. If no reaction occurs, you are allowed to enjoy these produces on a rotational basis, once weekly.
  • Avoid camel milk products for four weeks. After four weeks, you may introduce these products as outlined above. If no reaction occurs, you are allowed to enjoy these produces on a rotational basis, once weekly.
  • Avoid goat milk products for two weeks. After two weeks, you may introduce these products as outlined above. If no reaction occurs, you are allowed to enjoy these produces on a rotational basis, once weekly.
  • Use rice milk for cooking, baking, and drinking and supplement your diet with calcium (see below).

Whole Egg, Caragen, and Poppyseed
The patient whose report is shown in Figure 2 shows strong reaction towards whole egg. Chicken eggs should be avoided for six weeks. (See Dietary recommendation.) Cross reactions to carragen and poppyseeds are common. Eliminate carrageen and poppyseeds for four weeks. After this, the Rotational Diet is to be followed, meaning the patient may eat foods containing carrageen or poppyseeds once every fifth day.

Meat and Fish Products
In Figure 2, no reactions to meat and fish products were found, which is unusual in the presence of grain, milk, and egg reactions. It does indicate good stomach digestion. Thus, the digestive disability mentioned above may be limited to the intestinal tract and enzyme production.

Grain Products
The patient shows a high sensitivity towards wheat, rye, and oat. A four-week avoidance of should improve digestion. When tested for gluten alone, no gluten reaction was found. Hence, gluten-intolerance is not the problem. The cause of the grain intolerance is most likely caused by a weakened digestive and/or enzyme system. After the four-week elimination, the digestive tract should have largely rehabilitated, and the introduction of foods made from wheat, rye, or oats may be started, one at a time. And if eating that food produced no reaction, it can be eaten once weekly, provided that the tested grain is tolerated. To further support digestive rehabilitation, it is important that the intestinal flora is supported with healthy bacteria such as acidophilus (Dophi Meg) and B-vitamins.

Allow the following gluten-free grains, starches, and flour substitutes for the four-week elimination diet (and thereafter):

Acorn [Quercus spp.] Sweet edible nut used whole or ground into flour; flour adds flavor and fiber, but does not bind well

Amaranth [Amaranthaceae] Many varieties; related to spinach, beets, and pigweed; tiny seeds are commercially available whole or ground into a light brown flour with a nutty taste; highly nutritious; edible leaves

Arrowroot [Maranta arundinacea] Herbaceous tropical perennial; the starch, extracted from the rhizomes, is used as a thickener and blends well with gluten-free flours; interchangeable with cornstarch

Artichoke [Cynara scolymus] Flower head of a thistle-like plant; used cooked as a vegetable or dried and ground into flour; combine flour with rice, potato, and/or tapioca flour for breads and other baked goods

Cassava [Manihot esculenta] (tapioca, manioc, yuca) Starch, extracted from the root, is ground into flour, which is used as a thickener for soups, fruit fillings, and glazes, much like cornstarch

Channa Type of chickpea grown in the East Indies; used whole or ground into flour
Chickpea (garbanzo) Seed of leguminous plant of the pea family, used whole, pureed, or ground into flour (see besan)

Corn [Zea mays] Maize, cereal plant native to the Americas; kernels are largest of cereal seeds; six major types are dent, flint, flour, sweet, pop, and pod corns; used whole or processed into a multitude of products including sweeteners, flours, and oils; corn flour is a finely-milled flour from the entire kernel of corn; can be blended with corn meal and small amounts of other flours for making cornbread and cornmeal mush; found in white, yellow, and blue varieties; hominy is another name for white or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed; used canned as a side dish or in casseroles; maize, maiz, masa harina are other names for corn or corn flour; popcorn is a variety of corn suitable for popping; unpopped kernels may be milled into a light corn flour; popped corn may be pulverized and added to ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, or used as soup/salad toppers

Fava Bean (faba) Legume; used whole, cooked as a vegetable or ground into flour; unrelated to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, favism is an allergic reaction to fava beans that can be life-threatening; favism is most common in those of Mediterranean descent

Manioc [Manihot esculenta] (cassava, tapioca, yuca) Starch, extracted from the root, is ground into flour, which is used as a thickener for soups, fruit fillings, and glazes, much like cornstarch

Millet [Panicum miliaceum] Drought-tolerant grasses with small seeds that can be substituted for sorghum in most recipes

Quinoa [Chenopodiacum quinoa Willd.] Seed of ancient cereal grain of Peru, related to amaranth; mild nutty flavor; versatile; can be substituted for any grain; used whole; as a hot cereal; ground into flour; adds moisture to baked goods

Rice [Oryza sativa] ("Races" called Indica, Javonica, and Sinica) Semi-aquatic member of the grass family; rice is gluten-free and non-allergenic; categorized as short, medium, and long, the edible seed is the staple grain for over half the world's population; short-grain, long grain, white or brown rice may be used; sweet rice flour contains more starch than the brown and white rice flours; it is an excellent thickener; binds and reduces separation in sauces that are to be frozen and then reheated

Sago Starch extracted from tropical palms and processed into flour, meal, or pearl sago (similar to tapioca.); used as a thickener

Sesame White, brown, or black seeds; used whole, ground as flour, or pressed into oil

Sorghum, Milo [Sorghum bicolor L. Moench] Drought-tolerant cereal grain used primarily as a flour or sweet syrup; third-most prevalent food crop worldwide; certified food grade white sorghum has been specially developed for the food industry

Sunflower Seed Can be dried or roasted and eaten as a snack, used in salads or sandwiches, or added to a variety of cooked dishes and baked goods; oil is used in cooking and salad dressings; the seed may be finely ground and added to flour combinations for a dark color and nutty taste

Sweet Potato [Ipomoea batatas] Tropical American vine of the morning glory family, cultivated for its fleshy, tuberous orange-colored root. Used cooked as a vegetable, or dried and ground into a flour

Tapioca Starchy substance extracted from the root of the cassava plant, used mainly in puddings; tapioca flour is used as a thickener, especially in fruit dishes because it produces a clear gel; often added to gluten-free breads (See cassava and manioc.)

Taro Flour Commercially processed from a starchy tropical root; used as a thickener, similar to tapioca

Urd Variety of green gram or bean cultivated in India

Wild Rice [Zizania aquatica] Seed of plume-topped wild aquatic grass found mainly in the United States and Canada; can be used whole or milled into a dark flour

Wild Pecan Rice Aromatic long-grain rice grown in Louisiana; named for the strong aroma and milder, but distinct nutty taste

Further Dietary Recommendation
It is important to support enzyme and digestive function (see below). Rehabilitation of your digestive tract results in better enzyme function and gut permeability is reduced. By improving digestive functions, the molecular breakdown of food improves and weak food reactions generally disappear.

Supplementation Recommendation
AminoPower, one-half teaspoon mixed in soup, juices, soy or rice milk, three or four times daily or Multi9Plus, one capsule three times daily with meals; Dophi Meg, one capsule three times daily daily; Cal-mag, one tablespoon three times daily with meals.

Other Information and Recommendations

  • Leaky gut syndrome, commonly found in people with food allergies, increases toxic metal uptake.
  • People with cow milk intolerance are known to have leaky gut syndrome. An increase in toxic metal uptake is seen in these individuals.
  • When milk products are not adequately digested, the calcium found in those foods is not available for nutritional uptake and calcium deficiency symptoms develop.
  • An inadequate calcium supply increases the heavy metal uptake, particularly that of lead.1
  • A patient with lactose intolerance is more at risk to develop heavy metal toxicity problems.
  • To evaluate a person's heavy metal uptake, a hair mineral analysis is recommended. This test demonstrates the heavy metal tissue load. (see

Rotation Diet

  1. No one food is repeated until the fifth day in a four-day rotation plan, i.e., if wheat is eaten day 1, it is not eaten again until day 5.
  2. Food from the same botanical food family may be used on an every-other-day basis. A family of foods is based on their common biological origin, and therefore those foods share common antigens and may cause similar reactions when eaten. (For example, oats, rye, rice, wheat, etc. all belong to the cereal gain or grass family. You could choose to eat a different cereal grain once every other day, such as oats on day 1 and wheat on day 3, but do not eat the same cereal grain again until the fifth day). To explore food families further, take a look at the Food Family Chart.
  3. No one food may be used twice in one day. For example, if a wheat cereal is eaten in the morning, no wheat in any other form – bread, rolls, or other baked goods, thickeners, flour, pasta, etc – should be eaten that day.

NOTE: Any food that has provoked a life-threatening reaction in the past should NOT be reintroduced except on the advice of your physician.

A rotation diet is NOT overwhelming when eased into gradually. Begin with the most easily rotated category of foods, the proteins, by appropriately rotating beef, chicken, fish, dairy products (if tolerated), eggs, etc., according to the three principles above. Depending upon your own area of sensitivity, then choose another category, such as vegetables or fruits, to appropriately rotate. The grain category/family is one that definitely needs to be rotated, as those with allergies very often show sensitivity to one or more of these grains. Most importantly, following a strict elimination diet is ONLY TEMPORARY. As soon as the digestive tract functions better, many food reactions will disappear. The child will feel better and be able to tolerate many of the foods to which he or she previously reacted. A balanced biochemical system can more easily tolerate chemical assaults such as from monosodium glutamate. However, the reactions still occur, even in healthy people. Some notice it more than others. The autistic child should not be exposed to this substance again, even if the child returned to normalcy, which is not uncommon.


  • When we know the child's toxic status and his or her genetic ability to detoxify, we are able to free cells and nerve tissues from toxins such as mercury, enabling the body to rehabilitate and return to normalcy.
  • When we know the child's food and chemical sensitivities, we can temporarily make diet changes and provide nutritional support that will allow the child's digestive and immune system to rehabilitate.
  • By freeing the child's body of assaulting substances (toxins, chemicals, and specific foods), we are enabling the body to heal itself.

More literature is available on request from

1. Bruening K, Kemp FW, Simone N, Holding Y, Louria DB, Bogden JD. Dietary calcium intakes of urban children at risk of lead poisoning. Environmental Health Perspectives. June 1999; 107 (6).

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