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Whole Food Helps Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

September 29, 2009

The following is paraphrased from a conference call with Dr. Joseph Cannizzaro, pediatrician, and Dr. Jan Young, ND (Naturopathic Doctor).

Dr. Jan works at teaching people how to take control of their health. She started in the food business many years ago with a catering business. She than opened a living foods store in Mt. Dora, Florida. She is also a Certified Body Ecologist and a Naturopathic Doctor. She holds classes on Healthy Lifestyle cooking and Body Ecology. She manufactures the best Organic sprouted Flax cracker you have ever tasted! She also makes and sells cultured vegetables and Young coconut kefir water.

Dr. Cannizzaro has practiced pediatrics in Longwood & Altamonte Springs for 27 years. After medical school in Bologna, Italy, he served as an Intern with the Cornell University Hospitals in New York. His three year Pediatric Residency was performed in Connecticut with the University of Connecticut and served as a United States army captain at the US Army Hospital, US Military Academy, West Point, New York. There he was a Clinical Lab Officer and Cadet Instructor.

TOPIC:  The Importance of Nutrition & what is ASD.

  • Nutrition’s influence on Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Besides other syndromes, this disorders includes the 5 A’s: Autism, Asthma, Allergies, ADHD (and ADD), and Alzheimer’s.
  • Learning more about the brain/gut syndrome
  • How Juice Plus+ specifically impacts ASD patients now and in the future.


Millions of children today have autism. It has become an epidemic. It is a “sign” that we need to change – change our diets, habits, and behaviors. Fifteen years ago, 1 out of every 10,000 children had autism. The disorder was basically unheard of a generation ago. Today, everyone knows about autism because more then 1 out of every 100 children now has autism! The rate of growth of autism is so astronomical that we know it is not genetic because genetic diseases do not proliferate so quickly.

Autism is an ecological disorder. What this means is that autism is caused by the effects of our environment on our biology. Chemicals, toxins, and poisons in our food, air, and water are all contributors to autism. Because we have damaged our environment with more chemicals, toxins, and poisons than ever before, we are seeing the consequences which include higher rates of autism.

Autism is also a gastrointestinal disorder which thereby effects the central nervous system (CNS). As toxins leak through the gastrointestinal system, they leach out into the blood and disrupt the proper function of the central nervous system. Autism is a disorder in affluent countries because it is diet-related as well as environmentally related.

All of the Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are related – Autism, Asthma, Allergies, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s among others. They are all causally related. This means all these diseases are caused by the same underlying factors. These factors are:

1. Oxidative Stress

2. Inability to detoxify the body

3. Inflammation

Brain / Gut syndrome (or Gut and Psychology syndrome)

Most patients with brain/gut syndrome have candida yeast overgrowth issues, sensitivites to the environment (allergies and asthma among others), and lack of balance in the microflora (lack of the good bacteria in the gut). Microflora in our gut are crucial because, among many things, they help the body detoxify, digest foods, absorb minerals and nutrients, produce nutrients, alkalize the blood, and strengthen the immune system (over 80% of the immune system is in the gut! The gut and immune system are incredibly interrelated, interdependent, and are inseparable – this means a problem with your immune system is a problem with your gut and vice versa).

Gastrointestinal (GI) Dysfunction:

ASDs and brain/gut syndrome are all related to GI dysfunction. With GI dysfunction, toxins are not properly eliminated out of the gut. This is because the microflora are out of balance and the lack of whole food in the diet make it impossible for the gut to function properly and eliminate toxins as it should. Toxins then enter the bloodstream through the gut and affect the Central Nervous Cystem (CNS) among other parts of the body. These toxins affecting the CNS, leading to ASDs and other disorders.

Research has shown that treatment of GI dysfunction in people with autism and ASD early on is vital to reversing autistic symptoms! This is why both Dr. Jan and Dr. Cannizzarro recommend Juice Plus+ to help improve digestion, reduce oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, balance the immune system, and help the body detoxify. They have seen many of their autistic patients improve dramatically through nutritional changes.


Every year 10,000-12,000 new manmade chemicals never before exposed to the human body enter our environment, and through our environment enter our bodies. We are overloaded by toxins. Studies show 234 foreign chemicals cross the placenta into the fetus and over 170 are present in breast milk. Babies today don’t stand a chance against all these chemicals when they lack the good microflora in the gut and lack whole food nutrition. Thus, Autism is a multi-generational disorder. Because  the parents lack proper microflora and whole food nutrition, the babies do not have the right microflora and whole food nutrition as well, making themvulnerable to these toxins and other disorders.

As Dr. Young said, we have become “denatured” – our food is no longer natural, it is processed. We need more natural foods, whole foods, like fruits and vegetables.

Our probiotic strength has decreased with generations because of antiobiotics in our medicines, food supply, and water. This deficiency in probiotics has led to the epidemic of autism.

“Probiotic” means “for life” whereas antiobiotic means “against life.” We need more probiotics and less antiobiotics, less anti-pregnancy, anti-heartburn, less high-sugar foods, less processed foods, and more fiber.

There are two approaches to autism treatment

1) Biomedical

2) Applied Behavior Modification

We will only talk about biomedical. Biomedical involves 4 parts:

1) dietary

2) supplements

3) detoxification

4) medication, if needed

Juice Plus+ helps improve the dietary aspect by providing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. It also helps in the supplement arena because it is concentrated and low in calories and low in sugar (so it does not lead to candida overgrowth, like starchy, processed, and high-sugar foods which is a huge problem for ASD patients). Juice Plus+ helps improve digestion, improve circulation and supports a balanced immune system.

DAN – Defeat Autism Now

Dr. Cannizzarro got interested and involved with DAN several year ago. He feels we need to make private decisions right now to deal with autism, not wait for public policy decisions which take 20 years after the research has been done. The research has been done today and we know that we can do something about autism and even reverse it in many cases if caught early enough. We can prevent it from happening in future cases by focusing on inter-generational health with whole food nutrition.

The consensus will soon be that whole food is the pathway to ending autism, something that many autistic parents have figured out on their own. Dr. Cannizzarro has seen incredible improvements and changes in his autistic patients who have taken Juice Plus+ and undergone other dietary changes.


One major problem with ASD patients is they cannot detoxify. Glutathione has been researched extensively and is vital to detoxification. Many of the foods that help the body produce and use glutathione are found in Juice Plus+.

Dietary intervention is critical to autism treatment – more and more doctors are realizing this every day.

What changes make a difference:

1) gluten-free

2) caseine-free (dairy-free)

Some patients have seen incredible improvements in 30 days or less by removing all gluten and dairy from the diet. Many parents have even received a first hug from their autistic child within 30 days of changing their diets – an incredible event for that family.

Other dietary modifications which have been helpful to some autistic patients include: removing soy, removing corn, removing all starches, removing artificial colors and sweeteners, and others. Starches and sugars lead to candida overgrowth which is one of the big problems for people with ASD and related to leaky gut syndrome and the inability to detoxify.

Juice Plus+ is predigested, broken down by the juicing process, but still living because it is never heated so it is easily digested even by patients with the worst GI dysfunction. Even those who have incredible eating disorders and can only eat 3-4 foods can still use Juice Plus+. Also, Juice Plus+ is gluten-free so it is safe. You cannot recover from leaky gut and candida overgrowth without adding in whole food nutrition!

Also, avoid chemicals in the home. Rule: if you can’t eat it, don’t use it. Reduce chemical exposure for autistic people. Other helpful things include skin brushing and saunas to help the body naturally detoxify.

Juice Plus+ builds a foundation of wellness which we all need today. We can effect many generations today and future generations through our nutritional decisions and we can end multi-generational disorders like autism when we embrace proper whole food nutrition.

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