The evidence in the past few years continues to accrue, pointing to a defect in the methionine synthase homocysteine-to-methionine pathway as being behind the development of autism. In the next few days, I will lay out the evidence for how we address that problem and probably end the human-caused autism "epidemic" of the past couple decades.
1) Proper support of the methione synthase pathway requires having the right kinds of folate and cobalamin. In the pursuit of cheap and stable vitamin supplements, we have made a mistake using cyanocobalamin and folic acid. Those should be phased out in multivitamins and fortified foods as soon as possible and replaced with other, more appropriate forms of B12 and folate.
2) Glycine betaine should be a standard part of multivitamin formulations. It supports the betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase (BHMT) minor homocysteine-to-methionine pathway. The best way to get glycine betaine in the diet appears to be via ingestion of the water used in boiling beetroot and spinach, which is supported by the low autism rates found in places where such liquid is commonly included in regional cuisines, such as Poland (barszcz czerwony) and the Punjabi region (saag or palak puree).
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how disappointed and heartsick I am that modern medicine and health initiatives have, due to cost considerations, led to heavy mass usage of inferior forms of B12 and folate and consequently inflicted pervasive developmental disorders on so many children, including one of my own relatives. I love science, medicine, public health initiatives, proper vitamin use, and capitalism. Something went seriously awry in public health policy in many countries, and it's time to fix it.
**This is one of a series of posts. Here are the links to each entry in the series.**