New Study Links Autism With the Typical American Diet

The typical American diet may be linked to the epidemic of autism in children in the U.S., according to a new studypublished online in the journal Clinical Epigenetics. 

David Wallinga, senior adviser in science, food and health at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, says unhealthy diets interfere with the body's ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, increasing the risk for long-term health problems such as autism.

"We're not pretending that it's not complex. It is. But the important thing to realize is that these environmental and nutritional factors are critical, that they work together, and that ultimately a lot of them are preventable causes of autism."

Wallinga says one example of the link between nutrition and autism is that highly-processed and sweetened foods can affect a body's ability to detoxify.

"People who consume high-fructose corn syrup can develop problems with mineral deficiencies, and these mineral deficiencies in turn can make their bodies have more problems with getting rid of contaminants in their bodies."

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