Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

Autism, fluoride and gut and metabolic damage


autistic author donna williams aged 5 in leotard. Is there a link between fluoride toxicity, gastro-intestinal damage and Salicylate intolerance commonly found in those with ADHD and Autism?

Salicylate Intolerance is a condition in which some people struggle more than others to metabolise foods high in Phenols and Salicylates. One of the results of this is an inflammatory state, suppressed immunity and an overload on detox processes leading to heavy metal and other toxin accumulation. In people who can’t metabolise it well enough to keep their levels down, Salicylate levels build up and reach maximum saturation around day three of intake which means that if you weren’t effected on day one, by the time your Salicylate intake of day one is built on by that taken on day two and then on day three then you reach your maximum toxic state. The long term impact of being in a toxic, inflamed, immune suppressed, detox-impaired state is pretty imaginable but don’t forget that our information processing, mood balance, impulse control and anxiety management all rest on our gut-immune function and relatively balanced brain chemistry. Can you feel the impending developmental and environmental avalanche yet?Those who suffer from Salicylate intolerance can have a cocaine like effect from the build up of this substance, hence sleep problems, restlessness, agitation, extreme re-activeness, acute anxiety, rage and exacerbated mood extremes are common and ‘normal’. Its easy to imagine the sensory flooding that can happen when you can’t slow down enough to filter or process information properly and personalities react differently to these things… one person will run about like a mad chicken, another will be shutdown staring at the wall. Then, to add to this, those who are Salicylate intolerant very often become addicted to the foods these are in and that addiction progressively primes them to live quite ‘naturally’ in an addictive state.

Salicylates are the natural pesticides in plant products. This means the higher the Salicylate content of a plant, the greater its natural protection against pest invaders. Some of the highest food sources of Salicylates are things like yeast extracts such as our nutritious Vegemite and Marmite, our fabulous Honey and almond, our stone fruits like plums, peaches and apricots and our grapes and berries. Then these foods have around 18 times the ‘high’ level of Salicylate content. Then there are those with around 3-4 times the high level of Salicylate content like oranges, watermelon, granny smith apples and some veggies. So, what did biogenticists do with this information? Well, to reduce the use of pesticide sprays used on plants, they genetically modified plants to increase their Salicylate levels- true… go look it up. So the Salicylate levels of our foods has gone up since the 1970s… the same foods babies start having from around 18mth-2 years old.

But that wasn’t the only change since the 1970s. High Salicylate fruits and veggies which were high in Salicylates but not available all year round now became snap frozen, stored, imported and available all year round. So where before the 1970s you wouldn’t get a high Salicylate load all year round, now you usually do all compliments of the large Supermarkets which keep us happy with ‘choice’, the choice to eat a wider range of always available, Salicylate boosted plant matter whenever we like whether its in our artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives, our jams, our cordial, the orange juice or Ribena we replaced water with or those grapes and honey coatings and Vegemite we crave.

There have been cases of children born to mothers who had a diet extremely high in Salicylates who were agitated and irritable from birth. Were the mothers, themselves, Salicylate intolerant or perhaps liver enzyme production isn’t so good when the liver is under burden through pregnancy? Perhaps it is feasible there are other babies of mothers who had a diet high in Salicylates who are ‘overloaded’ and ‘shutdown’ in a similar way, being more passive than most. Where it wouldn’t effect all children, if a child were predisposed to Salicylate intolerance it would theoretically be those ones who were effected. And those children who were not born with this addicted state may well teeter along rather non-autistically till 18mths-2 years when the parents ‘thoughtfully’ give the child its daily bottle of cordial, juice, the Vegemite on the dummy/pacifier, the veggie and fruit puree they unknowingly stacked with those fruits and veg high in Salicylates along with a daily dose of fluoride. So why should fluoride have anything to do with Salicylate levels?

Fluoride toxicity (yes the stuff in toothpaste and water which is also sold commercially as rat poison) is known to be corrosive to the mucous membranes lining the cut, cause gastro-intestinal inflammation and INCREASE THE EFFECT OF SALICYLATES. Each year children are admitted to hospital emergency departments from fluoride toxicity from eating toothpaste and it is not recommended for infants under 2. But what of children with autism who eat the stuff? And what if they eat the stuff daily? What happens to the impact of their dietary Salicylate levels? What happens to gut inflammation? If they then display arching, tics, behavioural disturbances, self injury, do we just say, ‘oh that’s the autism’? And now we’re pondering an incidence of one in 60 with ASD should we ask how many of these kids are eating toothpaste? I did. I was shocked to find that at least 6 hands went up whenever I asked parents if they had a child who ate fluoride toothpaste. How many other parents were too guilty to put their hands up or had never considered such a question? Doses as low as 16 milligrams of fluoride can be lethal to a child. When the warnings were made about fluoride toothpaste and toddlers, did anyone think about people with autism regularly eating toothpaste? Quite simply, if you can’t learn how to use a chainsaw, don’t by one. If you have a child who will eat toxic gut corroding, metabolism disturbing levels of a known toxin sold commercially as rat poison, then don’t buy that product. Non-fluoride toothpaste is for sale at all health food stores, even low salicylate ones (ie baking soda, lemon rather than mint). Has anyone else looked into fluoride and autism? Yes.


by Andreas Schuld
founder of Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children

Parents of autistic children have reported vast improvements in their child’s autism when fluoride was eliminated from the diet. Fluorides and fluoride-aluminum compounds have been established as the universal G protein activator in laboratory investigations, meaning it can activate all G protein families.

Now Salicylates aren’t evil, just like Gluten isn’t evil and cow’s milk isn’t evil and for most people I’m sure that low sensible levels of fluoride aren’t evil either. But if you give Gluten or cow’s milk to someone intolerant to these substances, you can effectively be ‘poisoning’ them. Salicylate intolerance is similar. And then allowing any child to eat fluoride toothpaste, particularly if they already have gastro-intestinal disorders or Salicylate intolerance, is probably as bad as feeding your dog chocolate. Yeah, sure, most dogs won’t keel straight over and die from it but its widely known that chocolate and dogs don’t mix.

Some people have coeliac severely, others mildly. Some people have mild Salicylate intolerance, others have it severely. Some can cope with keeping their Salicylate levels moderate, others need them kept very strictly low and they may need to avoid substances which accentuate the effects of Salicylates. And remember that most people are not Salicylate intolerant. In fact Salicylates are great anti-cancer properties… so that nice natural pesticide has some good points too.

But for me, personally, I live with a low Salicylate diet not because its fun or easy because its neither, but because I have to. I was born in 1963. Our backyard had plum trees and then when I visited my father his workplace had a nectarine tree. I ate them till I was drunk. On TV a bear ate honey straight from the pot, so I copied and did that for years. We had colored lemonade home delivered and bags of colored popcorn and strawberry and chocolate topping. As the addict who now would eat nothing which, by contrast, was not on my preferred intuitive ‘drug’ list, my family was glad if I ate or drank at all. In the 1970s when supermarkets had a fruit-revolution, we had bowls full of grapes, watermelon, strawberries, apricots, peaches, mandarins and I ate them like an addict. Every day I had Vegemite or Marmite but not as much as my whirlywind brother, “the Vegemite kid” who ate it direct by the spoonful.

When I came off Salicylates at the age of 25 after being diagnosed with Salicylate intolerance as part of my general health collapse, I went through withdrawal, pulled my hair, slapped myself, ripped my clothes, pulled off the fence posts and collapsed in despair. Whenever my Salicylate levels accidentally go high, I become a beast then equally so as I come back down and go through withdrawal, albeit smaller. This is where I live. It’s OK, I know no different. It was all about ‘choice’. For the record, I ditched the fluoride toothpaste in my 20s when I was diagnosed with an allergy to fluoride and only after fluoridosis was recognised in my teeth, did I also ditch the fluoride in water (most filters don’t filter it, so I rely on spring water which doesn’t have added fluoride). My teeth aren’t complaining.

… Donna Williams

autistic author, artist, composer, screenwriter