One common thread I read about in many newsgroups relating to autism is the use of antifungal drugs like Nystatin and Flagyl to treat this common neurological disorder. There is a lab that claims to have a series of markers that prove that many autistic children have yeast (that nonsense will be the subject of another blog later this month) and it is a major part of their disease. They go on to show that they have many case studies from parents showing remarkable recoveries because of the use of antifungal therapy. This they go on to pontificate, is proof positive that they are right. Sorry, but that isn’t proof as there may be a stronger alternative reason.
One of the things that antifungal drugs may do is they may downregulate Phase I detoxification which is typically high in autistic children. The importance of this? If a child is toxic from solvents, heavy metals or other environmental insults, upregulated Phase I (increased) may create more neurotoxic byproducts than the Phase II detoxification system can handle. When we give the child an antifungal and they do better are we really just killing yeast or are we releaving the pressure caused by the neurotoxins floating around their system?
Well then, if we are lowering the Phase I detoxification pathway by using antifungals, isn’t this good regardless of why? Absolutely not. By abusing these kind of drugs we increase the likelihood of creating a new drug resistant fungus that may cause incalcuable long term damage to the child. Upregulating Phase II detoxification also known as conjugation reactions, is a better, safer and more productive choice.