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Dr Mercola interviews Dr Walsh; Role of nutrients for treating autism, anxiety, depression and dementia.

 

It only a matter of time before Dr Walsh and his nutritional protocol for treating mental disorders becomes mainstream. Thanks to popular health advocates such as Dr Mercola, Dr Walsh will get the exposure that is needed to wake up the medical community.

With the ever increasing ill effects on our epigenetics from the environment and the blind mis-use of medications to treat mental disorders, there is no better time than now to pay close attention to the research and perspective of Dr William Walsh in the treatment of autism, depression and all other mood and behavioral disorders.

Dr Mercola interviews Dr Walsh at a glance:

By Dr. Mercola

  • There are four biochemical types of violent people. Many have severe zinc deficiency, pyrrole disorder, low blood spermine and methylation defects — an unusual combination of bad biochemistry
  • While there are hundreds of nutrients that are important for health, in the brain, six or seven dominate. These are nutrients that are either involved in synthesis or functioning of neurotransmitters
  • Nutrients that have a powerful influence on mental health include zinc, copper, B-6, selenium, folates and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

Can you use specific nutrients to improve your mental health? Yes, you can. William Walsh, Ph.D., president of the nonprofit Walsh Research Institute in Naperville, Illinois, and author of “Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain,” specializes in nutrient-based psychiatry and nutritional medicine.

He and I are both  fellows of the American College of Nutrition. He’s designed nutritional programs for Olympic athletes, NBA players and major league baseball players. More importantly, he’s spent a great deal of his career seeking to improve mental health through nutrition.

“I started off in the hard science. I was an experimentalist,” Walsh says. “I worked, in the beginning, in the nuclear field … with places like Los Alamos, the Institute for Atomic Research and University of Michigan Research Institute. I wound up at Argonne National Laboratory. While working as a scientist there, I started a volunteer project at the local prison, Stateville Penitentiary.

I eventually got really interested in why people were violent …  [W]hen we started the ex-offender program, I got to meet the families that had produced a criminal. I found some wonderful families, caring and capable families, that have other children who turned out just fine …

I began to realize we didn’t understand why people had bad behavior. We then asked the question, ‘Could it be something related to their brain chemistry or the body chemistry?’… I started doing lab studies of their blood, their urine and hair. I found out that they were very, very different from the rest of the population. That’s how I got started.”

Biochemistry and the Criminal Brain

Walsh received valuable direction after meeting Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, who was doing work on heavy metals and schizophrenia. As it turns out, levels of metals, including copper, zinc and manganese, were all abnormal in criminals compared to the general population.

Walsh discovered four biochemical types of violent people. One of these was the sociopaths, all of whom had severe zinc deficiency, pyrrole disorder, low blood spermine and undermethylation. In all, it’s an unusual combination of bad biochemistry. A collaborative investigation with Pfeiffer resulted in nutrient therapies for each of the behavior types.

Pyrrole disorder is a stress condition commonly found in brain disorders. A urine test developed by niacin expert Abram Hoffer and Pfeiffer is the gold standard test for this genetic condition, which involves altered  biochemistry in your bone marrow and spleen.

People who have pyrrole disorder may produce five to 10 times more pyrroles than normal — a byproduct of natural reactions, like the formation of hemoglobin. While harmless in and of itself, pyrroles bind to and draw out anything that is an aldehyde, such as B-6. It also sharply depletes zinc.

As a result, people with pyrroles disorder have exceptionally low levels of B-6, and zinc which can have serious effects on brain function, affecting their memory and ability to read, for example. B-6 deficiency is quite common among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well.

The Earlier the Treatment the Better the Results

“Eventually, [Pfeiffer] and I jointly evaluated 500 patients, mostly violent adults and violent children. We got our best results with the kids, young people with the same kind of chemistry, who were mostly very violent,” Walsh says.

“I have to say we didn’t really succeed in finding a way to help the adult criminals. They would get better for six to eight months, and then I’d find out they were back in prison. That had a lot to do with the fact that they were abusing alcohol and illegal drugs … At about 1990, we decided to focus on children …

It’s been very successful. If we can get a child before their lives are ruined, before they pass puberty perhaps, our success rate [is] very high … The doctors report a striking improvement in behavior. Most of these kids, of course, [are] on drugs, everything from Ritalin to powerful antipsychotic  medications. Usually when we’re finished and [have] balanced their chemistry, they can wean off the medication. They usually are fine without it …”

Nutrients Involved in Synthesis or Functioning of Neurotransmitters Dictate Mental Function

Later on, Walsh expanded to also include children with autism and ADHD. Fond of numbers, Walsh began amassing enormous databases. At present, he has one of the world’s largest chemistry database for autismdepression and behavior disorders.

“When you look at these millions of chemical analyses of blood, urine and tissues, it’s obvious that there are very great differences,” he says. “I found that for mental disorders, about six or seven chemical imbalances dominate mental function. There are hundreds and hundreds of important nutrients in the body, but in the brain, there are about six or seven that [seem] to dominate everything. Eventually, I found out why …

[T]hese are the nutrient factors that are either involved in synthesis of a neurotransmitter or the functioning of a neurotransmitter. They include methylation — undermethylation or overmethylation. In our database, 70 percent of all humans in the United States have normal, typical methylation; 22 percent are undermethylated … 8 percent are overmethylated.

About 70 percent of all people who have a mental disorder have one of these methylation disorders. The symptoms are completely different, and the treatment they need is completely different. We also found that most people [who have mental disorders] are depleted or deficient in zinc. That’s the most common [deficiency] we see … Virtually everyone with a mental disorder seems to need zinc and improve on it.”

Copper Overload Linked to Autism, Schizophrenia and Postpartum Depression

Copper is another important trace metal, as it plays a distinct role in the synthesis of norepinephrine, a major neurotransmitter. Divalent copper (Cu2+) is a dramatic factor in the ratio of dopamine and norepinephrine. Read more here…

The Importance of Methylation and Folates in Mental Health

Walsh was among the first people to alert the world to the importance of methylation in mental health, especially autism. The No. 1 causes of undermethylation are single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or mutations in the enzymes for the one-carbon cycle (the methylation cycle).base. The largest phenotype … is undermethylation. Read more here…

Changing the Face of Psychiatry

Walsh is convinced the use of psychiatric medication will eventually fade away as we learn more about normalizing brain function through nutritional interventions. “These powerful drugs … they do not normalize the brain. They cause an abnormal condition,” he warns. “They might correct depression or anxiety, but you wind up with something that’s not normal.”

The Walsh Research Institute is a public charity with no financial interests, and they are slowly but surely helping to change mainstream psychiatry. Walsh has given talks at the highest levels, including the Surgeon General’s office, the U.S. Senate and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He’s also spoken at American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual meetings several times.

“The last time I went there, they finally listened to me … I was there about two and a half years ago. I gave an invited talk on depression. I basically explained to them they’re doing depression wrong. They actually listened to me. I showed them our huge chemistry database and explained that depression is a name given to at least five completely different disorders, each involving different symptoms and each involving different neurotransmitters that are malfunctioning.

Then I described each one of these biotypes and actually showed them that if they would simply do some inexpensive blood and urine testing, they could identify which people would be good candidates for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or which ones would do better on benzodiazepine, but even more importantly, how they can correct it with nutrients.”

There were 17,000 psychiatrists at this meeting from all over the world, and Walsh was 1 of 4 speakers at a well-attended session. Afterward, there was tremendous demand for more information, which gives hope. Walsh also offers a training program for doctors. In the U.S., 45 psychiatrists went through the program last year. In all, 500 physicians and psychiatrists in 32 countries have taken his program so far.

Full Transcript at Dr Mercola’s Website

To learn more about Dr Walsh, visit www.WalshInstitute.org. There you can also purchase Walsh’s book, “Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain.” Questions and information requests can be sent to Dana@WalshInstitute.org, or you can call (630) 506-5066.

“Our website has a resources section that recommends quality labs, compounding pharmacies and a list of doctors who we’ve trained, who are now able to do this kind of therapy,” Walsh says.

Dr Mercola interviews Dr Walsh on role of epigenetics, methylation and folates in mental health.

The Importance of Methylation and Folates in Mental Health

In his interview with Dr Mercola, Dr Walsh, who pioneered the role of methylation in mental health and autism.  discusses methylation. According to Walsh, the No. 1 causes of undermethylation are single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or mutations in the enzymes for the one-carbon cycle (the methylation cycle).

“The No. 1 factor is the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), which is one of the enzymes. That’s the rate-limiting step for that whole cycle, for most people,” Walsh explains. “Genetic testing services such as 23andMe can provide this kind of information.

However, most human beings have enormous numbers of SNPs. They’ve already found 10 million snips (or mutations) in the human genome. Every human being has thousands of these SNPs. A really high percentage of people have even the more serious MTHFR SNPs — the C677T, the A1298C that people are always talking about.

The thing that is often mistaken by nutritional scientists is that if a person has the homozygous, the double copies of the C677T, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re undermethylated. It certainly doesn’t mean that they will benefit if you give them methylfolate. That’s one of the problems that we’re finding.

The reason is epigenetics. You have to consider the epigenetics and the methylation at the same time. There are three nutrient factors that affect epigenetics more than anything else: folates, methionine and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). These have a really powerful impact on epigenetics.”

How Folates Affect Epigenetics

Folates are serotonin reuptake promoters. However, even if an individual is undermethylated and has a problem related to low serotonin activity, such as depression or anxiety, folates should not be given, Walsh warns. The reason? If you give folate, their methylation will improve and the patient will actually get worse.

The reason for this worsening is because, epigenetically, folates act as deacetylase inhibitors and sharply lower serotonin activity. Most autistic individuals will not have a serotonin problem and will thrive on methyl folate. However, an estimated 10 percent of autistic children and adults do have a serotonin issue and will severely regress if given methyl folate.

“We’ve had thousands of patients who were undermethylated depressives. I’ve seen more than 3,000 cases of clinical depression. I’ve got this huge database. The largest phenotype … is undermethylation.

But if you gave them any form of folate, they would get worse. Their methylation would improve, they would get worse, because it has a dramatic impact on serotonin reuptake. In contrast, methionine and SAMe are natural serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

They do essentially the same thing that Prozac and Paxil do. Folates have the opposite effect. Folates are wonderful if you want to knock dopamine level down in schizophrenics or people who have high anxiety — overmethylated people. It’s counterintuitive because folates are excellent methylating agents..”

To reiterate, some undermethylated people are intolerant to folates, and some overmethylated people thrive on folates even though folates improve methylation. As you can see, there are epigenetic complexities involved here, making self-diagnosis and self-treatment highly inadvisable.

It could be quite risky to take these bits and pieces of information and try to apply them on your own. There are simply too many variables. So, the bottom line here is to make sure you’re being treated by a certified walsh practitioner.

Why SSRIs Induce Violence

One major problem with SSRI antidepressants is the risk of self-harm and aggression as a side effect. Overmethylated, low-folate depressors are intolerant so SSRIs, and evidence suggests this genetic intolerance may have been a factor in many school shootings. Walsh, who has studied this phenomenon, notes 42 of the 50 major school shootings in the U.S. since 1990 were done by teens or young adults taking an SSRI.

“I discussed this … before the APA … I tried to explain to them that they … can do a blood test; they can find out which children or which adults are more likely to become violent if they get an SSRI. I’ve written about this several times; published it in magazines …

If you buy Prozac or Paxil, the insert inside warns that some people … are prone to suicidal or homicidal behavior. We now know which ones they are!”

Methylation and Epigenetics – William Walsh PhD Podcast

Methylation Overview:

New discoveries in the field of epigenetics have led to effective advanced nutrient therapies for children and adults challenged by brain disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, bipolar, schizoaffective disorders, and ADHD/ADD. A Walsh panel can determine a clients’ methylation status, and thus a treatment based on their biochemical individuality. Dr. David Epstein, D.O., offers full assessments and specific recommendations to clients according to the Walsh protocol. Second Opinion Physician is a holistic telemedicine practice, specializing in nutrient therapies developed by Dr William J Walsh and the Walsh Research Institute.

Podcast below provide by:

The CoreBrain Journal Walsh Molecular Series: 

Dr Walsh provides a more detailed description of the significance of methylation and epigenetics and the consequence of undermethylation or overmethylation on mood and mental function. CLICK ARROW BELOW TO BEGIN:

 

About Dr Walsh               

William J. Walsh, PhD, FACN, president of the nonprofit Walsh Research Institute, is an internationally recognized expert in the field of nutritional medicine and a key scientist paving the way for nutrient-based psychiatry and nutritional medicine.  Over the past 30 years, Dr. Walsh has developed biochemical treatments for patients diagnosed with behavioral disorders, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, autism, clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease that are used by doctors throughout the world.

His book, Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain [updated May 2014], describes specific findings for his evidence-based nutrient therapy system.

Dr. Walsh’s noted accomplishments include:  (a) groundbreaking studies reporting reduced violent behavior following nutrient therapy, (b) the 1999 discovery of undermethylation and copper/zinc imbalances [Coming: CBJ/034] in autism, (c) the 2000 finding of metallothionein protein depletion in autism, (d) the 2007 published study linking copper overload and post-partum depression, (e) the identification of five biochemical subtypes of clinical depression, (f) the 2011 development of the Walsh Theory of Schizophrenia [Coming: CBJ/042], and (g) the direction of the Beethoven Research Project that revealed that the composer suffered from severe lead poisoning.

His internationally acclaimed presentations, including for the American Psychiatric Association, affirm his important contributions to both functional and traditional medical groups.

Clinical Experience

After earning degrees from Notre Dame and the University of Michigan, Dr. Walsh received a PhD in chemical engineering from Iowa State University.  While working at Argonne National Laboratory in the 1970s, Dr. Walsh organized a prison volunteer program that led to studies of prisoners and ex-offenders researching the causes of their violent behavior.  The collaboration with renowned (late) Carl C. Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, a pioneer in the field of nutritional research therapy, led Dr. Walsh to the development of individualized nutrient protocols to normalize body chemistry and brain chemistry. Dr. Walsh went on to study more than 30,000 patients with mental disorders acquiring an unparalleled database of more than 3 million chemical assays during his clinical and research work.

NB: Dr. Walsh has conducted chemical analysis of more than 25 serial killers and mass murderers, including Charles Manson, Richard Speck, James Oliver Huberty, Patrick Sherrill and Arthur Shawcross.  He has assisted medical examiners, coroners, Scotland Yard, and the FBI in these forensics studies. He has designed nutritional programs for Olympic athletes, NBA players, major league baseball players, a heavyweight boxing champion, PGA and LPGA golfers, and others.

 

Treat Elevated Histamine, Naturally

Whole blood histamine levels are tested when determining cause of depression and other mood disorders.

Histamine is reduced or broken down by methyl compounds and so with high histamines the body may become depleted in the methyl groups. Because histamine depletes methyl compounds, it is easy to identify ones methylation status from their histamine levels. Elevated histamine depletes methyl compounds and the resulting undermethylation leads to depression and a host of other mood disorders.

Some common symptoms of undermethylation:
·    OCD obsessive compulsive tendencies
·    SAD Seasonal affective disorder
·    Competitive & perfectionist
·    SSRI medications usually effective
·    Calm exterior with inner tension
·    Strong willed
·    High libido
·    Seasonal allergies

Using the Walsh protocol to treat undermethylation I recommend supplements high in methyl compounds such as the amino acid methionine and SAMe (s-adenosyl methionine).

Diet is also an important factor. Foods that are high in methionine include lean meats, egg whites, poultry, halibut and other fish, soy beans, white beans and brazil nuts. SAMe and methionine help break down histamine by methylating it. Vegetarians and people with high histamine have a hard time getting sufficient methyl compounds in their diets and should be encouraged to take methionine supplements.

Histamine Intolerance:
Another approach to improving methylation status lies in reducing histamine levels in the first place. To this requires a study of one’s health condition and assessment of factors that raise histamine.

Histamine rich foods: Foods that are associated with high histamine levels include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, wine, yogurt, mature cheeses and fermented soy products. It also includes cured, smoked and fermented meats such as salami and sausage, etc. Tomato paste, spinach and canned fish products also have high histamine levels. Citrus foods are histamine liberators which increase histamine release and so should also be avoided.

Histamine is chemically known as a “biogenic amine”. Fermented foods have high levels of these biogenic amines. These are foods that are exposed to microbial decomposition as part of the fermentation or in storage. Lactic acid bacteria are the most problematic biogenic amine producers in fermentation. These bacteria break down amino acids into amine-containing compounds. Biogenic amines are commonly found in wines, cider, dairy, meat, fish, beer, spinach, tomatoes and yeast. Biogenic amines in the form of histamine are the product of bacteria breaking down amino acids. Control biogenic amines to treat elevated histamine

Diamine Oxidase DAO
This is an important enzyme that naturally lowers histamine levels in the body. DAO can be provided as a supplement to lower histamine levels. Symptoms of low DAO includes:
·    Skin irritations – hives, itching, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and acne
·    Headaches
·    Painful menstrual periods
·    Gastrointestinal symptoms
·    Intolerance to fermented foods and alcohol
·    Mucous in sinuses
·    Asthma

Supplements and OTC meds that increase DAO levels include:
·    Vitamin C
·    Vitamin B6
·    Pancreatic enzymes
·    Benadryl

Foods and meds that inhibit DAO
·    Alcohol
·    Curcumin (turmeric)
·    Cimetidine – an antihistamine

 

Histamine and Mast Cells
Histamine is released from “mast cells”. Mast cells are immune cells that line the mucous membranes of the sinuses, digestive tract, the skin, lungs, eyelids, and tissues surrounding blood vessels and nerves. Activation of mast cells plays a key role in asthma, rhinitis, eczema, itching, pain, autoimmunity and hives. Elevated mast cells are associated with female infertility and decreased sperm motility. Stabilize mast cells to treat elevated histamine.

Supplements that stabilize mast cells:
·    Quercitin
·    Curcumin (also decreases DAO)
·    Reishi mushrooms
·    Yohimbine
·    Adrenaline
·    Eleuthero
·    Rutin
·    Theanine
·    Astragalus

Cortisol and Corticotropic Releasing Hormone CRH
It is commonly believed that cortisol causes allergies. That’s only part of the picture. The fact is that cortisol itself lowers histamine levels. It is the hormone that stimulates the adrenal release of cortisol that causes histamine release from mast cells. Chronically elevated CRH is associated with stress, as the release of CRH causes cortisol release from the adrenal glands. Under chronic stress, cortisol levels are low as the adrenal glands become exhausted and cannot produce sufficient cortisol. Yet the CRH hormone is likely elevated in chronic stress because the  hypothalamus releases CRH via the HPA axis as the body is trying to induce more cortisol to address the stress perceived by the brain. Chronic stress is thereby a major cause of histamine release from mast cells due to the effect of corticotropic releasing hormone CRH. We can make assumptions about the level of CRH and cortisol by testing salivary cortisol levels. Because they have a circadian rhythm we test four salivary cortisol levels in a day to establish the overall performance and need for supplementation. Treating elevated cortisol or depressed cortisol levels requires a salivary cortisol test and understanding of the underlying condition.

Herbs and cortical extracts are used to down regulate or supplement the adrenal gland performance. This has the effect of lowering CRH and mast cell release of histamine.

Histamine and Lectins
Foods such as potatoes are high in lectins. Lectins can bind the lining of the intestinal wall and cause leaky gut syndrome. Undigested lectins then enter the blood system and lead to antibody formation and which releases histamine. Foods high in lectins include:

·    White potatoes and unmodified potato starch
·    Tomatoes
·    Soy
·    Gluten containing grains
·    Legumes

Histidine Decarboxylase HDC
The conversion of the amino acid histidine into histamine takes place with the help of HDC enzyme. It is possible to slow the conversion of histidine to histamine by inhibitors of HDC.

Inhibitors of HDC are:
·    Cortisol
·    Catechins – found in green tea, chocolate, kola nut, peaches, acai, apricots, apples, blackberries, raspberries, plums with skin and broad beans
·    SAMe
·    NAC N-acetyl cysteine
·    Homocysteine
·    Carnosine
·    Treat any underlying infection of H Pylori (very common with gastritis)

Histamine and Probiotics
Probiotics in the digestive tract are responsible for producing many compounds in the body. There are bacterial strains that increase histamine as well as intestinal microbes that reduce histamine.
Decreases histamine –  B infantis, B lognum and L plantarum
Increases histamine – L casei, L reuteri and L bulgaricus

Summary of supplements and recommendations to lower histamine while treating undermethylation:

·    Take methionine (500mg-1gm) and SAMe (200mg) supplements
·    DAO diamine oxidase enzymes 2-3 caps
·    Probiotics B infantis, B longum, L plantarum
·    Vitamin C 1000 mg
·    B6 (can also increase histamine carboxylase)
·    Avoid lectin in diet – potatoes and tomatoes
·    Avoid fermented foods
·    Increase proteins high in methionine
·    Use Cromolyn – OTC mast cell stabilizer
·    Bendryl
·    Bromelain and Quercitin
·    Chocamine 1-3 grams – mast cell stabilizer
·    Improve adrenals with herbal and glandular supplements
·    Curcumin (also decreases DAO)
·    NAC N-acetyl cysteine
·    Catechins (green tea etc)

Assessing Cause and Treating Autistic Kids and Autism Spectrum Adults

Focus on detoxification, immune status and brain biochemistry
A leaky gut syndrome is an inflammatory condition in the digestive track often brought on by allergies to foods such as dairy and wheat. It is also prominent with kids and adults that have elevated yeast or candida. This is either diet related, immune related or has to do with an imbalance of probiotics. The consequence is that toxins, brain toxins leak out of the digestive tract and affect the brain cells. The natural antioxidants that prevent this consequence of leaky gut includes glutathione. To correct leaky gut we test the conditions of the stool and improve the status of digestive enzymes, probiotics, HCL and status of candida.

Casein, Gluten and Autism
According to researchers from Penn State a gluten-free, casein-free diet may lead to improvements in behavior and physiological symptoms in children diagnosed with ASD.

“Research has shown that children with ASD commonly have GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms,” said Christine Pennesi, medical student at Penn State College of Medicine. “Notably, a greater proportion of our study population reported GI and allergy symptoms than what is seen in the general pediatric population. Some experts have suggested that gluten- and casein-derived peptides cause an immune response in children with ASD, and others have proposed that the peptides could trigger GI symptoms and behavioral problems.”

“Gluten and casein seem to be the most immunoreactive,” Klein said. “A child’s skin and blood tests for gluten and casein allergies can be negative, but the child still can have a localized immune response in the gut that can lead to behavioral and psychological symptoms. When you add that in with autism you can get an exacerbation of effects.”

“If parents are going to try a gluten-free, casein-free diet with their children, they really need to stick to it in order to receive the possible benefits,” she said.


Metallothionein and Autism – MT Therapy
In October of 2001, a team of clinicians and researchers led by William Walsh, Ph.D. then at the Pheiffer Treatment Center, affiliated with the Health Research Institute now of Warrenville, IL, made available a scientific study entitled “Metallothionein and Autism”. Metallothionein is a protein that is critical to the process of detoxification of harmful substances, particularly heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
The paper describes a study of 503 patients on the autism spectrum vs. aged-matched non-autistic patients. The conclusion of this study was that “most autistic patients exhibit evidence of metallothionein (MT) dysfunction and this dysfunction may be a universal characteristic of autism-spectrum disorders”.
Correcting an impaired detoxification system in ASD autistic children.
William Walsh PhD believes that “MT dysfunction and autism may result from the intersection of two factors: (a) a genetic defect involving marginal or defective MT functioning, followed by (b) an environmental insult during early development which disables MT.”

Dr David Epstein D.O., Medical Director at Second Opinion Physician studied under William Walsh and received certification in applying the Walsh Protocol to autistic kids and autistic adults. The focus of therapy is based on a standard set of labs that are ordered for children to identify and correct biochemical factors that disable MT proteins. These include (a) severe zinc depletion, (b) abnormalities in the glutathione redox system, (c) cysteine deficiency, and (d) malfunction of metal regulating elements (MRE’s).”

Glutathione is a key amino acid in the role of detoxifying the cells of the those on the autistic spectrum including those with aspergers symptoms. It is a product of metabolism in the methionine cycle. With autistics there are very low to no levels of glutathione produced. Low levels lead to other processes that include the dysfunction of methylation and sulfation.

The treatment protocol at Second Opinion Physician for autistic kids and adults on the spectrum recognizes the importance of the Walsh panel for brain function performance assessment. Correction is based on the restoration of the detoxification pathways for removing metals, strengthening the immune system, repair of the gut and brain cells, regulation of zinc and copper levels in the blood and prevention of yeast overgrowth.
The tests include identifying methylation status. Impaired methylation impairs suflation. Sulfation improves the digestive tract, brain function and connective tissues of the body. It also facilitates the production of glutathione and prevents cellular breakdown by removing toxic metals from within the cell.

Second Opinion Physician tests for ASD autistic disorder include the following:
1. Histamine for determining methylation status
2. Zinc and copper levels to identify degree of oxidative stress due to reactive metals causing free radical toxicity.
3. Ceruloplasmin – a copper metallothionein that neutralizes the oxidative effects of copper and other metals.
4. Urinary pyrroles – inflammatory element that depletes the body of B6 and zinc, both critical to brain function
5. Testing for Casein and Gluten allergies
6. CDSA comprehensive digestive stool analysis for evidence of yeast overgrowth, probiotic status and digestive capacity.
7. Vitamin D levels to determine need to supplement for immune improvement

Based on results from tests and historical assessment, Second Opinion Physician natural health care plan will likely include one or more supplement strategies:
1. Correcting methylation imbalance either through slowing down or increasing methylation
2. Improving MT status with a blend of amino acids with high sulfur. The formula was made available to Walsh-Certified physicians.
3. Restoring gut health with sulfur through sulfur containing amino acids and MSM.
4. Diet modification with casein free casein free diet to eliminate allergens
5. Replace probiotics and control candida yeast
6. Supplement with methionine and B12 for undermethylated ASD children
7. Increase zinc and lower copper with supplementation of proper dose and form of trace minerals.
8. Managing pyrrole disorder with B6 and zinc when tests warrant.
9. Vitamin D supplementation

The Epigenetic Theory of Autism

 

The following was taken from an intereview with Dr Walsh by Dan E Burns and his excellent website, the Age of Autism. If you like this article, please visit his website.

Autism: Tornado in the Brain

By William Walsh and Dan E. Burns

“It’s becoming quite clear to more and more of us that autism is not genetic, but epigenetic.” So says William J. Walsh, who received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and is an expert in nutritional medicine. In the 1970s, he collaborated with the renowned Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, a pioneer in schizophrenia research, and went on to develop nutrient protocols to normalize brain chemistry in patients with behavioral and personality disorders, schizophrenia, and autism. Walsh’s new book, Nutrient Power, is subtitled Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain.

I asked Bill what has happened in autism research since the late 1980s when he became associated with Dr. Rimland, founder of the Autism Research Institute. Here’s what he told me.

BILL: “When I first connected with Bernie, a wonderful inspiring man, he realized that I’d seen more autistic patients than anybody in the world, eventually six thousand five hundred. More importantly, I had the world’s biggest chemistry database for autism. I’d already organized a prison volunteer program to study the biology of prisoners and ex-offenders, researching the causes of their violent behavior. And the first thing Bernie and I realized was that autistic children – ASD spectrum kids – have far more severe chemistry, lab results farther outside the normal range, than criminals.

“Bernie asked me to come to some of his think tanks and give information. No one was surprised when I reported that ASD kids had B6 deficiency and elevated toxic metals, especially mercury, cadmium, and lead, plus high copper and low zinc. The surprise was that more than 95% of kids who had autism were undermethylated. Following that think tank, Jon Pangborn launched a study of how disruptions in the methylation cycle are consistent with ASD symptoms. Eminent methylation scientists Jill James and Richard Deth took up the challenge. We now know that undermethylation is a distinctive feature of ASD.”

Dan: Why did you develop the Epigenetic Theory?

BILL: “In the history of science, progress has often been hastened by the development of theories that attempt to explain the mechanisms of poorly understood phenomena. Then, over time, as new information comes in, the model can be honed and improved. We needed a new theory to account for the effect of environmental toxins on gene expression. That’s why I developed the epigenetic theory of autism.”

DAN: What’s the difference between genetics and epigenetics? My understanding is that genetic theories of autism have not been very helpful to date.

BILL: “That’s right. Genetic therapies – trying to change DNA that’s gone awry in kids, with Down Syndrome, for example – have been a washout. They haven’t led to much of anything. But the early research on altering epigenetic deviations has been really promising. And I think that’s the hope for the future.”

DAN: So what is epigenetics?

“Epigenetics is the natural process of gene regulation that is established in the early days of gestation in the womb. A severe environmental insult later in life can either turn off a necessary gene or turn on a damaging gene, resulting in a disorder that can persist for years.

“We know that autism runs in families but violates classical laws of genetics. We know that in identical twins, if one of them develops autism, it’s more than sixty percent likely that the other will too. However, it’s not a hundred percent; so it’s not the DNA, not the genome. That means that environmental insults must be involved.”

DAN: How can environmental insults lead to autism without altering the genome?

BILL: “A gene has only one job, and that’s to make a protein. We have identical DNA and identical genes – the same cookbook – in every cell of our body, but every tissue in our body needs a different combination of proteins. How to make that happen? Methyl groups, which are basically groups of carbon atoms with some hydrogen attached, act like bookmarks. They tell our metabolism where to start reading the cookbook and where to stop. Methyl groups attach to certain parts of DNA to regulate whether a gene is turned on or turned off. So they program the DNA and determine which proteins are expressed in each tissue.”

DAN: It reminds me of an old-fashioned player piano. The piano is your DNA, and the scroll is your epigenome. The holes in the scroll determine which string is played or “expressed,” so you can play “Johnny B. Goode” or a Bach cantata by changing the scrolls.

BILL: “Yes. You can program the tune – the cell – without changing the DNA.”

DAN: But how does this epigenetic theory explain children who appear to be normal at birth but regress in their second year? Have you seen that happen?

BILL: “I’ve seen probably five thousand children who had a normal beginning in life, and around age 18 to 24 months had the very nasty sudden regression when autism onset came. I believe that altered epigenetics in the womb causes weakened protection against oxidative stress. And it’s pretty clear that somewhere between conception and age three, there was an environmental insult that just overwhelmed their anti-oxidant protectors and shuffled the epigenetic bookmarks, resulting in deviant gene expression. The trigger may be prenatal, postnatal, or cumulative (both). Here’s my epigenetic model in a nutshell:

  1. Undermethylation in the womb causes overexpression of several genes, weakened protection against oxidative stress, and increased vulnerability to environmental insults.
  2. Environmental insults, which can include mercury, lead, cadmium, viruses, or other sources, reach a tipping point and overwhelm natural antioxidant protectors, reshuffling epigenetic bookmarks and altering gene expression.
  3. Altered gene expression results in abnormal brain development, a tendency for serious brain inflammation, and physical problems including weakened immunity, sensitivity to toxins and certain foods, tendency to seizures, and poor behavior control. The Epigenetic Model of Autism is explained in more detail on pages 110-111 of my book Nutrient Power.”

DAN: In your AutismOne presentation, you said that mercury does its damage in 30 seconds. That would make it like a tornado, sweeping in and out of Moore, Oklahoma, and leaving devastation behind. Am I remembering that right? Please explain.

BILL: “When mercury enters the brain, it quickly undergoes chemical reaction with substances in the brain. A large amount of mercury can cause great damage, especially in the developing brain of a young child. This is a leading suspect in the onset of regressive autism. However, in most humans, the half-life of mercury in the brain is about 70 days, and the reacted mercury may have become inert before departing the scene. Experimental evidence indicates that mercury levels in brains of the older autistic children we looked at, ages 5-11, were not seriously high. A mercury insult may well have triggered autism in many children, but it appears this early mercury has left the body and cannot cause continuing harm. The problem is that epigenetic changes survive cell division, so the autism conditions can persist a lifetime, even after the mercury is gone. After a tornado, there may be great destruction but the problem is no longer the tornado but the damage that it caused. The same may be true for environmental insults like mercury.”

DAN: Shouldn’t our children get better? Aren’t old, damaged brain cells replaced, eventually, by new ones, as mercury leaves the brain?

BILL: “You’re asking about the greatest mystery of autism – Why in stubborn cases doesn’t it go away after onset, despite the multitude of aggressive treatments that have been tried? The answer appears to be epigenetics – an environmental insult has altered gene regulation and set up misleading detour signs along the developmental pathways. The good news is that biochemical therapies and other interventions can either (a) adjust gene expression or (b) overcome the effect of altered gene expression. For example an epigenetic tendency for high oxidative stress can be effectively treated using antioxidant supplements.

“Unfortunately, autism is a developmental disorder and as the child matures, the effects of altered gene expression are cast in physiology. Autism brains are structurally different from neurotypical brains. The differences includes narrowed minicolumns in the brain’s cortex, altered connectivity between different brain areas, a reduced number of synapses, and certain brain areas that have never completed the maturation process. It’s conceivable that the developmental detour signs could someday be removed. But fixing the autism brain requires a lot more than replacing damaged brain cells. Fortunately, the brain is very plastic and brain-directed therapies have great promise.”

DAN: Can epigenetic variations be passed on?

BILL: “Yes, and that was something that was a surprise. Because we’ve known that when conception begins, the epigenetic markers from the mother and the father are supposed to be erased, and you get a new start. But now there’s clear evidence that there’s something called ‘Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance’ or TEI transference. If a father has an exposure to mercury, and that mercury changes his gene expression, which can happen, the next two generations of children are likely to have the same problem. In other words, epigenetics can pass from father to son. I like to use a quote from Deuteronomy: ‘The sins of the father will be visited upon the son.’”

DAN: What about the mother?

BILL: “The mothers are even more important if you look at the things that can cause epigenetic errors. One of them is an insufficient level of folates or folic acid in a pregnant woman. Another would be toxic metals such as mercury, lead or cadmium. We know that they can cause epigenetic errors. Under-methylation in the womb is a major factor in brain development and epigenetic errors. And those errors are heritable.”

DAN: Since lead has been removed from gasoline and from paint, and since mercury has been mostly phased out of mandated childhood vaccines (but not flu shots) beginning in the year 2000, shouldn’t autism rates be going down, not up? Why doesn’t the incidence of autism decline?

BILL: “Starting in 2005, about the time we would expect a dramatic decrease in autism incidence because of the phase-out, my colleagues and I noticed a huge increase in patients diagnosed with autism whose biochemical profiles did not match our typical chemical profile of ASD kids. Were they misdiagnosed? By the standards we were using, yes. We had to exclude them from the research studies. Clearly something new was going on here. However, we continued to see large numbers of children with severe autism throughout the period. Like many others, I was disappointed to learn that the removal of mercury from USA childhood vaccines failed to result in a dramatic decline in autism incidence.”

DAN: So what is driving the epidemic now?

BILL: “There are three points to keep in mind.

“First, as Dan Olmsted points out, the increased uptake of mercury-containing prenatal flu shots given to pregnant women appears to layer in just as the other mercury-containing shots were phasing out. Many epigenetic deviations occur around day 20, before most women know they’re pregnant. I think that’s a very serious issue.

“Second, altered epigenetics due to undermethylation persists across generations, and most great athletes, doctors, lawyers, and CEOs are undermethylated. Put undermethylated men and women together, which is inevitable in our increasingly stratified society, and that’s probably another reason why the epidemic persists.

“Third, toxic metals and viruses are not the only risk factors. Dozens of other genotoxins could potentially trigger autism in a predisposed child. Kathy Blanco has listed at least twenty five. Many of these have not been explored in depth. We need to keep an open mind and not let what we know blind us to what we don’t know. Emotion is the enemy of science and logical thought.”

DAN: Where does your epigenetic theory of autism lead us? What is your vision of the future?

BILL: “Not too far in the future autism can be prevented. In some unknown year, at some future time, newborn babies will be tested for not just their genetics, but their epigenetics, to determine what genes are turned on and off properly or improperly. I think there will be therapies to fix that early on, based on recent advances in reversing deviant epigenetic bookmarks in cancer. Epigenetic therapies will probably be the most effective therapies in the future for children. These therapies don’t really exist yet, but they’re coming.”

Dan E. Burns, Ph.D., is the father of a 25-year-old son on the autism spectrum and the author of Saving Ben: A Father’s Story of Autism. Through his new dba, Appleseed Ventures, Dan empowers parents to organize communities where their adult ASD children and friends can live, work, play, and heal.

William J. Walsh  Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in the field of nutritional medicine. He is president of the non-profit Walsh Research Institute in Illinois and conducts physician training programs in advanced biochemical/nutrient therapies in Australia, Norway and other countries. His book, Nutrient Power (Skyhorse Publishing), which describes an evidence-based nutrient therapy system, was recently published. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and scientific reports, as well as been granted five patents. He has presented his experimental research at the American Psychiatric Association, the U.S. Senate, and the National Institutes of Mental Health. After earning degrees from Notre Dame and the University of Michigan, Dr. Walsh received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Iowa State University. While working at Argonne National Laboratory in the 1970s, Dr. Walsh organized a prison volunteer program that led to studies of prisoners and ex-offenders researching the causes of their violent behavior. A collaboration with Carl C. Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of nutritional research therapy, led Dr. Walsh to the development of individualized nutrient protocols to normalize body chemistry and brain chemistry. Over the next 30 years, Dr. Walsh developed biochemical treatments for patients with behavioral disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease that are used by doctors throughout the world. Dr. Walsh has studied more than 25,000 patients with mental disorders. His accomplishments include (a) groundbreaking studies reporting reduced violent behavior following nutrient therapy, (b) the 1999 discovery of undermethylation and copper/zinc imbalances in autism, (c) the 2000 finding of metallothionein protein depletion in autism, (d) the 2007 published study linking copper overload and post-partum depression, (e) the identification of five biochemical subtypes of clinical depression, (f) the 2011 development of the Walsh Theory of Schizophrenia, and (g) the direction of the Beethoven Research Project that revealed that the composer suffered from severe lead poisoning. Dr. Walsh has conducted chemical analysis of more than 25 serial killers and mass murderers, including Charles Manson, Richard Speck, James Oliver Huberty, Patrick Sherrill and Arthur Shawcross. He has assisted medical examiners, coroners, Scotland Yard, and the FBI in these forensics studies. He has designed nutritional programs for Olympic athletes, NBA players, major league baseball players, a heavyweight boxing champion, PGA and LPGA golfers, and others. Walsh Research Institute’s current research includes studies of autism brain tissues, the role of epigenetics in mental health, oxidative stress in disease conditions, and underlying causes of bipolar disorder.

Natural Remedies for Mood Disorders

Pioneers in the field of Nutrient Therapy, such as Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD and William J. Walsh, PhD, President of the Walsh Research Institute, have found abnormalities in and elevated or reduced levels of histamines in the body to be central to many different behavioral or mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and even classical paranoid .  The effects of being over or under methylated or of having abnormalities in histamine levels are vast and often debilitating… but the good news is that there exists completely safe and natural remedies for these imbalances!  And the power, speed, and efficacy of these natural remedies can be a source of great hope and relief for sufferers of mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, and other upsetting conditions that are not uncommon in an increasingly toxic and often stressful modern way-of-life.

BIOTYPE 1 – Undermethylators (38% of depression population):

Some of the common characteristics of this depressive group are: OCD tendencies, calm exterior but high inner tension, competitive, perfectionistic, addictive tendencies, and high libido.  Undermethylators may be benefited by SSRI medications, but often with side-effects.  The Nutrient Therapy approach would most likely include the addition of methionine or SAMe. These amino acids contribute a methyl compound and increase total serotonin production.  Other important supplements include inositol, B6, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Folic acid is absolutely not recommended for these types.

BIOTYPE 2 – Overmethylators (or “Low-Folate Depressives”) (20% of depressed population):

Some of the commonly recurring characteristics within this population are: high anxiety, panic, noncompetitive in sports or games, food/chemical sensitivities, high musical or artistic ability, underachievement, sleep disorders, and low libido.  This subtype tends to do poorly with methylation and in fact do very poorly with SSRI antidepressants. This is because they have plenty of serotonin, but they lack B12 and Folic Acid. Likewise, SAMe and methionine are not recommended.  An effective nutrient therapy would seek to enhance acetylation and suppress methylation for these patients, folate and niacinamide being excellent supplements for this.

Excellent Podcast Below Featuring William Walsh PhD on Bulletproof Radio Discussing Methylation

One-carbon (methyl) groups are integral to the synthesis of neurotransmitters, genetic expression, metabolism, and other crucial biochemical reactions.  Methylation, also referred to as the methyl/folate ratio, turns cells on and off through histone bodies which are connected to the .  DNA is responsible for the production of proteins which can express in the form of enzymes, hormones, inflammatory cells, neurotransmitters, and more.  Methylation affects anything that is produced by the differentiated cells of the body.  As far as brain function is concerned, methylation is a major player in the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters whose proper balancing and healthy levels are essential for the maximized functioning of our brains and for the maintenance of a healthy emotional life.

In overmethylated patients there tends to be an abundance of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine whereas undermethylated patients tend to be depleted in these essential neurotransmitters.  Within the realm of behavioral disorders, what is crucial is the enzyme which is responsible for returning serotonin to the originally releasing neurotransmitter (a process referred to as reuptake).

  • When methylation is high (“”), the enzyme levels that return serotonin back to the releasing neuron are low and there is increased serotonin activity.  When methylation is low (“”), the enzyme levels will be in excess and the serotonin activity will be low.
  • Additionally, overmethylation inhibits expression of the genes, of each cell in the body. It does this by causing a folding of the DNA structures. Undermethylation will cause DNA to unfold, making it more expressive.  Folding of the DNA diminishes the activity of that DNA which are responsible for the daily producing of critical hormones, enzymes and other types of proteins etc. All of these factors contribute to conditions ranging from autism to alzheimers, depression and anxiety. Understanding this new science gives us an opportunity to more successfully utilize natural remedies for mood disorders and healthy brain activity in general.

More than two decades ago, Dr. Pfeiffer studied the metabolism of over 20,000 patients suffering from schizophrenia and kept running into the phenomenon of severely deficient levels of histamine in these patients, later referring to this low histamine syndrome as “histapenia”.  Histapenia was found to be common in his classical paranoid schizophrenic patients, as well as those suffering from anxiety and panic disorders.  The histamine deficiency also coincided with nutrient deficiencies, specifically folic and and/or B12, and with an overload of copper.  Based on these findings, Dr. Pfeiffer enacted an aggressive therapy regime using B12, B3, and folic acid for these patients… and had tremendous success!  The patients experienced dramatic improvements, and Dr. Pfeiffer attributed the success to the elevation of histamine levels.  Ensuing studies have pointed to the role of the methyl/folate ratio and its normalization as being critical to these favorable outcomes.

  • Elevated histamine indicates undermethylation, and there are symptoms which may point to this being the case for an individual, for example: seasonal allergies, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, being strong-willed, perfectionism, and high-libido, just to name a few.
  • Some conditions associated with undermethylation are OCD obsessive compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, oppositional-defiant disorder, competitiveness, bulimia, anorexia, impulsivity (gambling/shopping disorders, etc), depression, schizoaffective disorder, and delusions.

On the other hand, overmethylated persons typically suffer from food/chemical sensitivities, dry eyes, and a severe intolerance to SSRI medications (such as Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, etc), and have strong association with anxiety and panic disorders, low motivation, paranoid schizophrenia, hyperactivity, anxious depression, learning disabilities, and even hallucinations.

At Second Opinion Physician we request labs to be done for all patients (appropriate to the information gathered at initial consultation) in order to assess nutrient levels, and which includes testing for methylation levels, so that we might then effectively prescribe natural remedies for mood disorders.

  • If a patient is found to be overmethylated we typically treat with folic acid and B12, plus a focus on dietary considerations (for example, perhaps recommending an increase in animal skin, cartilage, and gelatin consumption in order to provide B vitamins and proteins which naturally counter excess methylation).  B12 and folic acid therapies can noticeably slow down methylation symptoms within 2 weeks to 2 months.
  • If methylation is low, we strive to increase serotonin production naturally, with supplements/nutrients such as B6 and Zinc and may recommend adding methionine to the patient’s diet, which comes naturally from muscle meats.  We may also recommend the addition of SAMe, which is a fast-acting and more readily available methylator.  Patients may see major effects with methionine in about 1-3 months, and even more quickly with SAMe treatment.

Methylation and histamine-level balancing is just one example of the nutrient-based approach to health taken by Second Opinion Physician.  By using natural remedies to balance brain chemistry and improve methylation status we can tackle even the most tenacious mood disorders, behavioral disorders, combat anxiety, and treat depression naturally to create more overall health and emotional balance for otherwise suffering individuals.

Listen to William Walsh PhD Podcast with Bulletproof Radio:

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Good Foods During Pregnancy

 We are all either undermethylators, overmethylators or normal methylators.

Many persons with depression are under or over methylators. Depressed women during pregnancy are frequently undermethylators. The good news is, there are many foods that provide to reverse the deficiency and lift depression. 

This published study in the Psych Congress Journal suggests that women who have maternal depression and are undermethylated, often give birth to children who experience depression due to their own ensuing condition of .

Whole blood histamine test is a lab that indicates methylation status. An excellent natural therapy may be methionine or SAMe supplements or foods that are high in methionine. If you have high blood histamines you may be undermethylated. Persons with seasonal allergies are frequently undermethylated. I recommend you get your levels tested before indulging in high methionine foods because your depression may in fact be associated with overmethylation, which requires an opposite approach, to lower methionine.

In consideration of the the study below, know your methylation status, particularly if you are depressed, and to combat during pregnancy, eat foods high in methionine and or take supplements. It won’t just make the mother feel better, but improves chance child won’t end up with depression.

Maternal Depression Linked to Methylation Changes in Offspring

by Will Boggs MD, Psych Congress

By Will Boggs MD

Maternal depression is associated with widespread changes in DNA methylation in their offspring that may persist into adulthood, researchers from Canada report.

“These data further demonstrate the potential long-term consequences of maternal depression for the health of future generations and the importance of mental health and social support of mothers and would be mothers for the physical health of newborn and children,” Dr. Moshe Szyf from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, told Reuters Health by email. “What is remarkable is that the mental state of a mother causes changes in DNA methylation in the newborns in the immune system, not just the brain.”

Maternal mood disorders and stress during pregnancy can result in attention learning deficits during childhood and mood disorders during adulthood for their offspring. Evidence suggests these consequences may be mediated by modifications of DNA methylation levels.

Dr. Szyf’s team investigated possible associations between maternal depression and DNA methylation changes in T lymphocytes from neonatal cord blood and in hippocampal brain tissues from adults with or without histories of maternal depression.

Offspring of depressed mothers, however, showed significant differences in DNA methylation from those of nondepressed mothers in 145 T lymphocyte CG sites. Most (75.5%) were hypomethylated in the maternal depression group compared with the control group.

“One of the main surprises was that we found a larger effect of maternal depression on the babies’ DNA methylation than the maternal DNA methylation,” Dr. Szyf said. “The second surprise was that it seems that the effect is a consequence of lifelong depression rather than depression only around the pregnancy period.”

“For healthy babies to develop into healthy adults it is important to have healthy mothers,” Dr. Szyf said. “And this involves not only physical and metabolic health but also mental and social wellbeing. This hopefully will be an important pillar in prenatal care as well as public policy relating to preconception health.”

“The consequences of maternal depression might suggest using epigenetic interventions for prevention and reversal of the impacts of maternal depression on the offspring,” Dr. Szyf added. “One clinical potential of the data is the possibility of developing biomarkers of maternal depression that might serve as predictors of lifelong health risks and guide early interventions.”

Dr. Joanne Ryan from University of Melbourne’s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Australia, who recently reviewed and depressive disorders, told Reuters Health by email, “An important next step in this research is to determine whether these methylation differences and associated with health outcomes in the infants/children. Maternal depression during pregnancy has been associated with long-term negative outcomes in the child — the data from this study should be used to determine whether such effects can be mediated by differential DNA methylation.”

To find out more about good foods during pregnancy to help with low methionine, we checked with our favorite food resource.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/

Five Biotypes of Depression

The Five Biotypes of & Advanced Nutrient Therapies with William Walsh, PhD

Second Opinion Physician, David Epstein, D.O., is trained in the Walsh Protocol, developed by Dr. William J. Walsh, PhD, and committed to the natural treatment of depression, as well as other mood and behavioral disorders, thru the use of Nutrient Therapy.  It is estimated that 13.1 to 14.2 million American adults suffer from depression currently and that at least 32 million will similarly face this disease at some point in their lives.  However, the disease can be tricky to tackle for a number of reasons, not least of which are the grave misconceptions regarding depression which are upheld by mainstream psychiatry.  

Mainstream psychiatry typically regards depression as a “single entity with variations along a central theme”, according to Dr. Walsh.  It is also mostly assumed that those suffering from depression have low activity in the receptors in their brains responsible for the handling of serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter associated with feelings of “happiness and well-being”.  It is this central belief which informs most decisions as far as the majority of medications being used to treat depressive patients.  Most are prescribed SSRI medications which inhibit the reabsorption of serotonin into its originating receptor, thereby leaving more of the serotonin free to bind to postsynaptic receptors and to have positive effects, allegedly, on the entire organism.  However, after having evaluated 2,800 patients diagnosed with clinical depression, thru the lens of nutrient therapy, Dr. William Walsh is turning both of these centrally held misconceptions about depression and its treatment on their heads.  

By way of his evaluation and ongoing database studies, Dr. Walsh and his colleagues have identified five high-incidence depression biotypes.  These biotypes reference distinct and unique neurotransmitter & nutrient imbalances and symptoms, and therefore, according to Walsh, should be approached as 5 different disorders.  Additionally, he has made links between certain biotypes and the ineffectiveness of SSRI medications, even identifying some subgroups for whom SSRIs are actually dangerous.  

The biotype studies have given us great insight into these different depressive disorders, as well as a more workable look into what causes depression. Using this new revolutionary approach, Second Opinion Physician is able to direct patients towards lab tests which can identify the very nutrient & neurotransmitter imbalances triggering their particular depression, and can then provide recommendations for natural, highly effective, and individualized treatments.  This treatment will most often fall within the spectrum of about 6-8 different natural , along with dosage recommendations specific to the individual’s other biochemical status. 

A brief breakdown of each of the 5 Biotypes of Depression can be found below.

A note from our physician: Any one person will have variable combinations so the treatment must be individualized. I don’t recommend anyone trying to treat themselves based on this information unless a lab test is performed and a trained practitioner is coaching the individual. Follow link to learn more:

BIOTYPE 1 – Undermethylators – 38% of depression population

BIOTYPE 2 – Overmethylators  – or “Low-Folate Depressives” – 20% of depression population

BIOTYPE 3 – Pyrroluria or Pyrrole Depression – 15% of depression population

BIOTYPE 4 – Copper Overload or “High-Copper Depression” – 17% of depression population

95% of the patients in this subgroup are female.  Overly high copper levels can result in elevated norepinephrine and reduced dopamine in patients, high-anxiety and a tendency for panic, a high incidence of postpartum depression, estrogen intolerance, tinnitus, and extremely sensitive skin.  These persons are typically experiencing oxidative stress throughout their body as they have a limited ability to manage free radicals, such as heavy metals. Working to lower copper levels would be the nutrient therapy approach, but caution must be taken to not lower levels too quickly as it will temporarily worsen effects (due to copper leaving tissue and dumping into the blood or digestive tract).  Recommended supplements may include zinc, molybdenum, manganese and chromium (trace elements) and metalothionine producing amino acids. SSRIs are generally reported as ineffective for those suffering from High-Copper Depression.

BIOTYPE 5 – Toxic Metal Depression (5%)

These individuals have an excessive metal burden, such as lead toxicity.  They often exhibit severe oxidative stress, unrelenting depression, abdominal stress, a metallic taste in the mouth and bad breath, high levels of irritability or anger, and food sensitivities.  A gradual detox regimen might include supplements such as ALA, trace elements, metalothionine amino acids and antioxidants.  SSRIs are generally reported as ineffective for the Toxic Metal subgroup of patients struggling with depression.

Thanks to the dedicated work of Dr. William J. Walsh and other pioneers in the fields of nutrient therapy and , we now have more insight into some of the actual causes of depression, and can apply more targeted, individualized, effective, and safe treatments for patients.  Thru the recommendation of lab tests and subsequently the application of the various possibilities for nutrient and supplement based therapy, Second Opinion Physician can help patients finally break free from the painful and often debilitating struggle with depression, and other mood or behavioral disorders, to find relief and reclaim balance and health.d

Watch Video for more details:  Dr. William J. Walsh speaking to the American Nutrition Association about the 5 Biotypes of Depression and Advanced Nutrient Therapies

This is a simple summary followed by video of Dr Walsh explaining this in detail at the American Nutrition Association in 2014.

Any one person will have variable combinations so the treatment must be individualized. I don’t recommend anyone trying to treat themselves based on this information unless a lab test is performed and a trained practitioner is coaching the individual. There is usually about 6-8 different supplements and dosages recommended for the five  biotypes of depression, but it works something like this. 

 

Bill Walsh Theory of Schizophrenia

This is an excellent summary of the Dr Walsh theory of  from Biobalance Health in Australia:

Thesis 1:  Schizophrenia is in Nature:  A psychotic “breakdown” is usually followed by a lifetime of mental illness and misery. This often permanent change in functioning results from altered chromatin bookmarks that regulate gene expression. Since the deviant marks are maintained during future cell divisions, the condition doesn’t “go away”.

Thesis 2: Weak Antioxidant Protection is a Distinctive Feature of Schizophrenia:  Most schizophrenics exhibit a genetic or acquired weakness in antioxidant protection. Evidence from my extensive chemistry database includes generally low levels of glutathione, cysteine, selenium, zinc, polyunsaturated fats, together with high levels of non-ceruloplasmin copper.

Thesis 3:  Oxidative Overload Produces Deviant Epigenetic Marks in Schizophrenia: Cancer researchers have identified cumulative oxidative stress as a trigger that can transform healthy cells into cancer cells by altering epigenetic marks that permanently change gene expression. Examples include (a) skin cancer developing after years of excessive sun exposure, and (b) lung cancer following years of cigarette smoking. It’s not a coincidence that nearly all schizophrenia patients exhibit excess oxidative stress. The onset of schizophrenia occurs when oxidative stresses exceed the threshold level needed to alter chromatin marks that regulate gene expression.

Thesis 4:   Imbalances Promote Epigenetic Vulnerability to Oxidative Stress:  Abnormal methylation of chromatin is a leading cause of epigenetic errors in gene expression. The combination of oxidative overload and a methyl imbalance can produce gene expression changes that result in a chronic schizophrenia condition. The two most prevalent forms of schizophrenia develop in persons who exhibit either (a) methyl overload or (b) methyl deficiency. The two resulting psychotic disorders exhibit very different brain chemistry and symptoms.

A. – About 46% of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia exhibit excessive methylation of chromatin along with weak antioxidant protection. Mental breakdowns generally occur during severe physical or emotional traumatic events that produce overwhelming oxidative stress and deviant gene marks. This schizophrenia biotype is a sensory disorder that generally involves auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations. This condition is associated with elevated activity of dopamine and norepinephrine, and reduced glutamate activity at NMDA receptors.  The most common DSM-4 diagnosis is paranoid schizophrenia.

B. Undermethylation – About 28% of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia exhibit low methylation of chromatin together with weak antioxidant protection. Mental breakdowns generally occur during severe physical or emotional traumatic events that produce a separate set of altered gene marks. This schizophrenia biotype essentially is a thought disorder with delusions and catatonic tendencies the primary symptoms. This condition is associated with low activity at serotonin, dopamine, and NMDA receptors. The most common DSM-4 diagnoses are Schizoaffective Disorder or Delusional Disorder.

Thesis 5: Extraordinary Weakness in Antioxidant Protection Can Produce Schizophrenia in the Absence of Methyl Imbalances:  The third major schizophrenia phenotype develops in persons with an inborn severe deficit in antioxidant protection. This condition is arbitrarily termed “Pyrrole Disorder” due to the presence of excessive pyrrole levels in blood and urine. Mental breakdowns occur for these persons during periods of extreme physical or mental stress in which deviant epigenetic marks are established. This condition is characterized by extraordinary anxiety, rapid mood swings, and often involves both auditory hallucinations and delusional beliefs. Brain chemistry abnormalities include (a) depressed glutamate activity at NMDA receptors, and (b) very depressed GABA activity.

Thesis 6:  Failure to Follow Classical Laws of Genetic Inheritance Results From the Epigenetic Nature of Schizophrenia:  Schizophrenia is strongly heritable (runs in families) but fails to obey Mendel’s classic laws of genetic inheritance. There are countless examples of identical twins where one sibling develops the disorder and the other does not. In addition, intensive research efforts to identify the schizophrenia gene (or genes) have met with little success. provides two explanations for the non-Mendelian nature of schizophrenia: (a) Environmental insults are required to produce deviant epigenetic marks and environmental conditions are highly variable for different individuals, and (b) Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (TEI) contributes to schizophrenia heritability by transmitting deviant epigenetic marks to one’s children and grandchildren.

Purchase Nutrient Power by William J Walsh from The Walsh Research Institute