Published in the journal Metabolic Brain Disease, the new research is entitled Altered urinary porphyrins and mercury exposure as biomarkers for autism severity in Egyptian children with autism spectrum disorder. The study found that children with high biomarkers for mercury and lead were strongly correlated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As the study’s abstract reports:
Urinary porphyrins were evaluated within the three groups using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), after plasma evaluation of mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) in the same groups. Results showed that children with ASD had significantly higher levels of Hg, Pb, and the porphyrins pentacarboxyporphyrin, coproporphyrin, precoproporphyrin, uroporphyrins, and hexacarboxyporphyrin compared to healthy controls and healthy siblings of the ASD children.
Strong relationship between mercury and autism
“The researchers found a strong relationship between mercury toxicity and the presence of autism and a direct correlation between levels of mercury toxicity and the severity of autism symptoms,” writes Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in an EcoWatch article covering the same study.
He goes on to explain how this new study is not an outlier but rather further confirmation of the strong link between mercury exposure and autism:
At least six American studies have linked autism presence or severity to mercury exposure as determined by measuring urinary porphyrins. The first study, completed by Heyer et al. in 2012 (Autism Res 5:84) showed a correlation between the presence of autism and specific urinary porphyrins associated with mercury toxicity. This affirmed an earlier study by Kern et al. (2011, Pediatr Int 53:147) where specific porphyrins associated with mercury toxicity were significantly higher in ASD children as compared to non-autistic controls. Woods et al. (2010, Environ Health Perspect 118:1450) also saw disordered porphyrin metabolism in autistic kids which was not observed in non-autistic control children. This again suggested increased mercury toxicity associated with autism and autism spectrum disorder…
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