Toxic Metals (Lead, Antimony, Mercury, Aluminum), Reduced Glutathione and Autism

HeavyMetals2     In the study, “The Severity of Autism Is Associated with Toxic Metal Body Burden and Red Blood Cell Glutathione Levels,” researchers “found that the body burden of toxic metals (as assessed by urinary excretion before and after DMSA) was significantly related to the variations in the severity of autism, for each of the four scales. The metals of greatest influence were lead (Pb), antimony (Sb), mercury (Hg), tin (Sn), and aluminum (Al).” This study found significant correlations of severity of autism and the urinary excretion of toxic metals, such that a higher body burden of toxic metals was associated with more severe autistic symptoms. Lower initial levels of glutathione, a key detox molecule in the body, were associated with greater severity of autism.

From other studies we know organophosphates, PCB’s, BPA, and PBDE’s (watch a video  here… )  and the Environmental Health Perspectives review (which can be found here… )  listed the main neurotoxins as:


Lead (Jusko et al. 2008)

Methylmercury (Oken et al. 2008)

Polychlorinated biphenyls (Winneke 2011)

Organophosphate pesticides (Eskenazi et al. 2007; London et al. 2012)

Organochlorine pesticides (Eskenazi et al. 2008)

Endocrine disruptors (Braun et al. 2011; Miodovnik et al. 2011)

Automotive exhaust (Volk et al. 2011)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Perera et al. 2009)

Brominated flame retardants (Herbstman et al. 2010)

Perfluorinated compounds (Stein and Savitz 2011).


There is undoubtedly a role acetaminophen plays in altering glutathione and thus magnifying the toxicity of heavy metals and other toxins, since most toxins need adequate glutathione for elimination from the body.

You can read my blog about acetaminophen here…


Dr. Paul




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