Autism Linked to Toxin Exposure During Pregnancy

Mother's obesity and autism

By Case Adams, Naturopath

Recent research from the University of California at Davis has found autism to be linked with the accumulation of toxins within fat cells. This finding corresponds with previous research linking autism to immunosuppression, toxin antibodies and environmental exposures for the mother, which links to toxicity and immunosuppression.

The new research, led by Paula Krakowiak, PhD candidate, analyzed 1,000 children and found that autism was 67% more likely among children from obese mothers.

“The odds of autism and other developmental delays were significantly higher in the children of moms who were obese versus those who weren’t,” stated Krakowiak.

The study, published April 9 2012 in the Journal Pediatrics, compared 315 normal-developing children with just over 500 children with mild to severe autism and about 170 children with other developmental disability issues.

Autism linked to toxins in other research

In Realnatural we previously reported previously about research findings from Stanford University showing that autism is linked more to environmental exposures than to heredity.

We also reported research from the University of California at San Diego that found most autism forms in the womb.

In addition, Environmental Working Group research found significant toxins in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies born in the U.S. After screening for more than 400 chemicals, 287 toxins were found within the umbilical cord blood of newborns and their mothers. Of these 287 toxic chemicals, 217 were found to be neurotoxins, and 208 have been found to damage growth development or cause birth defects.

We can add to these, two studies from the California State Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology that found children with autism had increased levels of immunoglobulin-G4 (IgG4), and these IgGs matched to their mothers IgG4 levels.

High levels of IgG reveals the immune system is fighting toxins on a systemic basis. Since the infants inherited the mother’s high IgG4 levels, the mother’s toxin immunosuppression is being passed on to the infant.

Furthermore, obesity is linked with an accumulation and enlargement of adipose (fat) cells. Numerous studies have found that many environmental toxins are fat-soluble, so they tend to build up within fatty tissue.

Rates for autism have increased significantly over the past few decades, to about one in 88 children. This explosion runs parallel to increased exposures to a myriad of synthetic chemicals within our water, food, air and immediate environments.


The controversy regarding the causes of autism has reached a crescendo. We see anti-vaccine advocates saying that autism is caused by vaccination. These are pitted against the many studies showing no link between vaccination and autism. Meanwhile the amount of toxins within our foods and surroundings seems to go unnoticed.

This in the face of studies – as we’ve published – finding that the umbilical cords of a majority of mothers are strewn with sometimes hundreds of dangerous toxins.

Furthermore, many toxins within our environment – from mercury and other heavy metals to plasticizers and pesticides – are actually neurotoxic. This means that they damage brain cells and nerve cells. Autism is a neurological disorder. Do we see the connection yet?

Learn about gentle detoxification and cleansing.


Braunschweig D, Ashwood P, Krakowiak P, Hertz-Picciotto I, Hansen R, Croen LA, Pessah IN, Van de Water J. Autism: maternally derived antibodies specific for fetal brain proteins. Neurotoxicology. 2008 Mar;29(2):226-31.

Enstrom A, Krakowiak P, Onore C, Pessah IN, Hertz-Picciotto I, Hansen RL, Van de Water JA, Ashwood P. Increased IgG4 levels in children with autism disorder. Brain Behav Immun. 2009 Mar;23(3):389-95.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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