A Few Thoughts Regarding this Science Section
We are growing ever-confident that the vast number of Autism Spectrum Disorder conditions are caused, or at very least largely contributed to, by dietary and other environmental factors as opposed to genetic factors, and we know that many others in the community are finally waking up to similar realizations. Only a collective shift in research and clinical focus will deliver both prevention strategies that will start reversing statistics in new incidences and effective answers for those currently affected – with neither requiring the reliance upon and implementation of pharmaceuticals. Instead, it’s all about the food – good food!
The SBP dietary recommendations are simply offered for you to try, or not try, along with our sincere hope that if you do elect to give it a solid effort, you will rapidly start seeing some confirmation that the process is benefiting the wellness of you, your child and the entire family, and that this will give you confidence that these lifestyle changes are well worth it in many ways.
We continue to attempt to apologize in advance to our many adult friends out there who have adopted a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle not only for themselves, but attempt to likewise raise their children with such choices – many times from infancy. We surely can appreciate that choice, but best success with the SBP Diet is proving to be much slower if not nearly impossible in such cases due primarily to the challenges of getting enough protein and iron from the plant-source foods that we don’t otherwise restrict in Phase 1 of the diet.
As we continually try to remind people, we neither have the agenda nor desire to challenge or debate the validity of dietary choices in a family based on philosophical, cultural, religious, environmental or any other priorities. Ours is simply a mission of sharing information and education that people are willing to freely use or reject at their discretion. As they say, don’t shoot the messenger!
For example; the reality that our bodies are able to utilize a nutrient such as dietary iron obtained from animal foods much more efficiently than the iron contained in vegetables does not represent our “opinion”, but a simple fact of biochemistry. The factor that the anti-nutrient action of phytic acid/ phytate produces mineral depletion and resulting imbalances in our bodies, is not our “opinion”, but is instead a fact of nutritional science that has been well researched, studied and documented, but not adequately valued, reported or properly applied to human nutrition over many decades. Just read the multitude of studies featured on this website or even research these topics yourself.
So regardless of your education, assumptions, beliefs and resulting choices for your personal diet, we only ask for you to continue to look beyond a number of the food choices that have been marketed and pushed upon we the consumers over the last several decades, and to possibly reconsider the growing evidence, such as that being continually confirmed by the positive results from the SBP Diet, that maybe less than the ideal nutritional needs of developing infants and young children (or even adults) can be and are being met with just any profile of desired foods.
And please never feel that you have to just take our word for it: We intend to continue to present significant and growing information for your education and consideration on this website, but just a little research and investigation on your own part will reveal plentiful and mounting evidence that there are far more potential consequences for the function and wellness of the bodies of ourselves and our children than we have been led to believe for a long time now.
Many researchers and the nutritionally educated are starting to “get it”, and there is a multitude of books, online writings and other resources that will supply additional confirmation that people need to start reeducating themselves about the dramatic benefits and consequences of their food choices.
The Menefe Syndrome
Theory and Etiology of a Syndrome that Results in a Broad Range of Disorders Affecting Countless Children and Adults Worldwide
Manganese (Mn) + Iron (Fe) = “Menefe”
A definition: A highly-disruptive and pervasive condition resulting from a dietary pattern and/or other environmental factors and exposures, either very early in life or later in life, that overloads the body burden of the element manganese while at the same time provides levels of consumed anti-nutrients such as phytic acid/phytate that act to block bioavailability of a number of essential minerals including iron, which action can defeat otherwise naturally-regulated homeostasis between manganese and iron within the body and especially within developing or adult brain tissues. This syndrome has the potential to contribute answers both for causation, remedies and prevention for a broad range of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s) as well as a diverse range of other potentially-related health challenging conditions that negatively impact massive and escalating numbers of children and adults worldwide.
Some brief background
Resulting from a series of clinically observed commonalities and intuitive deductions starting in 2005, Dr. Shauna Young began creating and refining a corrective dietary strategy that by all measures and observations showed dramatic promise in reversing and even eliminating the symptoms in clients who had received various prior diagnosis’s within the Autism Spectrum. Even though confirmation and refinement continued to build, she was at that time far more interested in advancing the work on the basis that her safe dietary intervention was resulting in consistent success, than in making the quest all about gaining “complete” understanding as to why this natural process was working so well. With the goal of attracting help and support, Shauna began presenting her early but compelling hypothesis and findings to many practitioners individually as well as by invitation to international audiences of the Global Foundation for Integrative Medicine (GFIM) in both 2006 and 2007. Because of much expressed enthusiasm combined with her being awarded certificates of excellence at both speaking events, Shauna had reasonable expectations that her decision to freely share this fresh information in a time of near-total bewilderment around the subject matter, would produce a bloom of collaborative research and clinical application that would surely result in new and rapid advancement in the science around solving ASD’s. For many unknown and still theorized reasons, that did not occur. So in as much as the frustrated world needed this unique and paradigm-breaking work to move forward, Dr. Young continued to attempt to balance the requirements of maintaining a busy clinical practice functioning almost exclusively on referrals from other practitioners and happy clients, with a virtual scavenger-hunt for greater and greater levels of foundational research that would hopefully address the seemingly endless extents of vetting and validation being imposed by most medical practitioners and virtually the rest of the approached “autism community”. The No Harm Foundation was formed in late 2008 with the primary goals of providing free public access to progressive refinements of the Spectrum Balance® Dietary Protocol and of assisting with the research that would satisfy the unanticipated skepticism for a natural process that in very worst case would create superior nutrition for a child or adult for a few months, but in a growing number of cases was resulting in positive and rapid results and even re-diagnosis without any risk to the subject and at very minor financial cost. The following outline summary along with our accompanying Supporting Research compilation are intended to present and support virtually all theorized and known factors as of this date about the nature and etiology of the Menefe Syndrome, which we believe manifests and presents as many of the disorders that are currently being classified and diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum, as well as those of a very broad range of other neurological, psychological and behavioral conditions plaguing both children and adults in greatly escalating numbers. Nowhere in our research compilation do we point to a singular study that has concluded that the dietary and environmental factors we suggest have a proven connection to the explosion in “autism”. However, we are confident that we have supplied more than virtually any open-minded reader would require not only to acquire a very clear understanding of our hypothesis, but to be able to join us in “connecting the dots” so to speak, between the abundant but non-cohesive independent research that has been done over several decades by numerous prestigious institutions from all around the world. Major answers for superior world health are present within this data. Beyond the direct relevance that this science has toward solutions involving autism and many related neurological, behavioral and learning disorders in both children and adults, it has become obvious to us that the same mineral imbalance and starvation mechanism that we describe and document here can also be directly linked to epidemic-proportion iron, zinc, calcium and other growth mineral deficiencies that by estimates plague at least two billion people of the planet – mostly developing infants and children. Nutritional science at large must immediately pick up on the findings and concerns that have been expressed not only by us, but by a good number of the prominent published researchers we cite here over the last several decades. Dramatically rising rates of incidence of ASD’s that continue to collide with diminishing and reluctant government and insurance financial resources, represent a certain recipe for social disaster. It therefore makes logical sense that only by improving the conditions of possibly the majority of those currently affected, combined with intelligent and actionable strategies to sharply reverse the disturbing trends in new occurrences, will we be able to preserve and dedicate available financial resources to the remaining minority of cases that require more complicated treatment and potentially lifetime assistance. More resources can thereby be allocated to providing superior services to a diminishing segment of the affected population. Our current goal and intention is that this condensation of theory supported with what is only a very small portion of the overwhelming amount of confirming scientific research that we have assembled and continue to assemble over the last six years, will be sufficient justification and motivation for many others in the communities to assist us in acquiring the financial backing and people backing along with collaborative research support that will bring this major puzzle piece deservedly into the forefront of conversation about the crucial challenges and answers for this and subsequent generations of our world.