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From: Sonja Kass (
Subject:         connection between meat / dairy consumption and autism
Date: June 23, 2007 at 4:45 pm PST


I have been following the recent explosion in autism cases with great worry; I
am also near vegan and the treatment of animals we humans use for food
sickens me.

I have noticed that countries that have stricter (and enforced) laws about
giving dairy and slaughter animals hormones (like Sweden and Austria) have
much lower rates of autism, as do populations like the Amish, who do not use
hormones on their animal. A recent study - follow the link below and I paste
the text in at the end of the email - links high levels of hormones with
autism, but does not make further connections where these levels of
hormones come from. A different study published a few months ago found
links between twin births and dairy consumption - dairy consumption
increases levels of hormones in humans, and this causes a huge increase of
twin births since the seventies. This twin birth increase has not been seen in
vegan moms at all, which gives strong hints where the elevated hormone
levels linked to autism could come from.


Study links autism with growth hormones, big heads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boys with autism and related disorders had higher
levels of growth hormones than other boys, which may explain why children
with the condition often have larger heads, researchers reported on Friday.

Boys with autism and autism spectrum disorders were also heavier than boys
without these conditions, the teams at the National Institutes of Health, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cincinnati Children's
Hospital reported.

Other studies had already shown that children with autism have very rapid
head growth in early life.

"The study authors have uncovered a promising new lead in the quest to
understand autism," said Dr. Duane Alexander, Director of the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

"Future research will determine whether the higher hormone levels the
researchers observed are related to abnormal head growth as well as to other
features of autism," Alexander said in a statement.

No one knows what causes autism, a complex developmental disorder that
includes problems with social interaction and communication.

Symptoms range from mild awkwardness seen in Asperger's syndrome, to
severe disability and mental retardation. A recent CDC survey found that 1 in
every 150 U.S. children has autism or an autism spectrum disorder, a less
severe condition related to autism, such as Asperger's.

Writing in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, Dr. James Mills of the NICHD and
colleagues said they compared the height, weight, head circumference and
levels of growth-related hormones to growth and maturation in 71 boys with
autism to a group of 59 healthy boys.

The boys with autism had higher levels of two hormones that directly regulate
growth -- insulin-like growth factor-1 and IGF-2. The boys also had higher
levels of hormones that indirectly affect growth.

The researchers did not measure the boys' levels of human growth hormone,
which for technical reasons is difficult to evaluate.

The boys with autism and those with autism spectrum disorders had a greater
head circumference on average, weighed more and had a higher body mass
index than the other boys, although there was no difference in height
between the two groups of boys.

Girls are much less likely to develop autism than boys, and the researchers
were unable to recruit enough girls with autism to participate in the study.

Several genes have been linked with autism, but environmental factors may
also play a role, experts say.

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