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Stanford to the Rescue!

Duh By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

In a development certain to rock the autism world and completely change existing interventions, scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine may have discovered the root problem of autism as well as a similar “devastating group of metabolic diseases”. (“New Test for Mysterious Metabolic Diseases”, Science Daily, February 16, 2009)

According to senior study author Greg Enns, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University and director of the biochemical genetics program at Lucielle Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, “When a car engine doesn’t work, it smokes.  What we looked for is, in essence, biochemical smoke.”

According to the Science Daily article, these metabolic diseases arise from mutations in the cell’s fuel-burning mechanism, otherwise known as the mitochondria.  “Like a car engine, when mitochondria are not burning fuel cleanly, they kick out nasty gunk.  Defective mitochondria produce large quantities of oxygen free radicals-highly reactive molecules that damage DNA and cell structures.  Comparing patients who have a mitochondrial disorder with healthy people in the control group, Enns’ team searched for signs that free radicals overtax patients’ natural antioxidant defense systems.  And they found it.”

The startling evidence they found . . . wait for it . . . was low levels of . . . glutathione!

In another ground-breaking finding the scientists found that “patients taking antioxidant supplements did not have depleted glutathione.”

In the days of the Pony Express it was said that you could get information from one side of the country in less than two weeks.  However, in 2005 a researcher from the University of Arkansas, Dr. S. Jill James, published an article which reported findings of low glutathione levels in 75 autistic children she examined, and normal levels in a group of 75 children without developmental problems.  The problem of low glutathione has been a focus of bio-medical interventions for years.  I guess that information has not yet reached the wild, frontier town of Palo Alto.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Enns said, “You name the disease, you can postulate mitochondrial involvement.  It’s been proposed for everything from poor vision to hearing loss, kidney disease, liver disease, autism spectrum disorders, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers.”

Stay tuned for next week when Stanford scientists reveal shocking evidence that the Earth is . . . round!

Kent Heckenlively is Legal Editor for Age of Autism.


Dale Brose


I found this posting as a result of a news feed I've placed on my Squidoo page (

I am a rep for a company that has a patented glutathione product that is clinically proven to raise GSH levels by almost 300%.

I am very aware of the association between GSH levels and autism, alzheimers and parkinsons. We are restricted to make an medical claims. However, I have such a strong desire to spread the word about GSH and its potential benefit to people that have inflammation or mitochondrial disorder related conditions.

Thank you for this thread, I'm glad I can provide it as a feed to my Squidoo page.

Carolyn M. for Holly


I would definitely advise keeping the Enhansa, since it helps with other problems (its anti-fungal function in particular comes to mind).

I have never used the Kirkman glutathione for my daughter, so I am not familiar with it. I have used prescription transdermal glutathione for her, but not from Lee Silsby. What I used for my daughter is the one from Wellness Pharmacy in Birmingham, Alabama. They also make an oral liposomal glutathione (which does not require a prescription), which I currently give her. Their telephone number is 1-800-227-2627, in case you are interested in checking them out.

I hope this helps.

Julie Swenson

Holly, we have seen such amazing results from two months on Enhansa, that I have eliminated several of my son's other supplements. This is the link to Julie Matthew's website (she is featured on Age of Autism for her book on nutrition in autistic kids...she is not a DAN but she is extremely knowledgeable abut nutrition and supplements) where you can find her Face Book group...she is GREAT at answering autism parents' questions on nutrition and metabolism in autistic kids...I would suggest you join Face Book if for no other reason than to join her group- I am certain she can answer your questions. Good luck!

Holly M.

Here is a question for a broke mom who's two ASD kids tested years ago for low glutathione. I use the transdermal glut from Kirkman. I know that Selby makes a script version which is suppose to be much better. But can't afford to see a DAN etc. to get the script. My son also started to use the Enhansa which is suppose to help glutathione production. Am I waisting my time w/ the Kirkman and Enhansa? Should I be selling body parts to see the DAN and get the script for Selby or can I use oral glutathione? Is it something I need to give forever? ANy help would be appreciated.

Julie Swenson


Excellent point. Now we have Davis AND Stanford both helping out our cause.


I actually emailed the Standford and begged him to look into this in the autism population. He emailed me back and said no need to beg he was already working on it. Very nice email exchange, sent me the paper, etc.

This is where the answers will come from. Forget vac/unvac epidemeology that will be disputed no matter who does it. We can and will establish what happened medically to our kids and how to treat it and that (when coming from places like Stanford) will not be denied.

It is my new mission to contact and encourage researchers.


I agree with Henderson. This is wonderful news! Now, we have mainstream scientists agreeing with us concerning Glutathione. For years now, "mainstream" quacks have been saying that DAN doctors are shiesters and crooks and use pseudoscience to harm kids. Well, what do you know? They've been right about Glutathione, so what else are they right about?

Good job, Stanford! Keep up the good work. Your Skittles are in the mail as reward.


Guys... I'm married to a research scientist (very different field). I was over the moon that stanford "proved" this. So should you be... now we can say "standford says" re: gluatathione to all the scientists and doctors in my university neighborhood. Nothing is "real" to scientists unless it is proved in a well designed study, with controls, yada, yada. I, like you, know that this is a no brainer to us. BUT... our n=1 studies we are all running are meaningless. Our DAN's multiple n=1 studies are meaningless. This is FANTASTIC news guys. We need to support "mainstream science" and the bigger the name "stanford" the better, or we are no where with our GPs.

Harry Hofherr

Kim, we took our son to his former Pediatrician and mentioned his low glutathione level and the guy asked what glutathione was.

When Eric began loosing his speech the guy actually said, "Boys develop slower than girls." This was after Eric had begun to speak.

And to think they let that guy into med school and then gave him a license to PRACTICE medicine.


Tell a garden variety ped you don't want to use Tylenol because it lowers glutathione. I dare you. (Not, really, but you know what I mean.) J&J is their friend. Tylenol flows like mother's milk -- oops, wrong analogy, they give out formula instead of mother's milk, don't they? Ask your ped if he knows what is glutathione and watch the blank stare. As he picture Pamela Anderson's ass....

Kathy Blanco

My neuro told me this fifteen years ago..does it take that long for Stanford to acknowledge that autism is a metabolic, infectious, immune and toxic overload problem?

My neuro was probably the first person in the autism community who saw mitochondrial problems in autism...he said and I quote after my sons evaluations.."gee, I think I maybe need to go back and look at all my autistic kids now"...

PLUEEZ, take your head out of the clouds gentlemen, reality is about to hit the fan...autism is not so 1 + 1 = 3 anymore. How about actually testing them, and touching them (pediatricians just love that one...they never do)....I have to BEG my GP now to look inside my sons' ears, and or to look down his throat, take his pulse, etc...clueless...I think most doctors are afraid of the answer of what autism is...and the answer is...yes, you caused it...

Julie Swenson

Just wanted to say THANKS to Stanford for clearing that up...'cuz we all had no idea- I can now call my DAN doc and tell her that she was right all along and now we can alllll stop guessing about that pesky glutathione conundrum. In a similar story fresh out of the brains at Stanford, walking into a wall of glass shards will cause bodily harm.

All Stanford had to do was wait until actual autism-researchers completed THEIR studies and glom off of them. Bang up job, Stanford.


When I sent this "news" around to lists a couple weeks ago, I thought folks were asleep at the switch. Of course this is not really news, but thanks Kent for acknowleging the press release. While this is not NEW science to "us", it does mean that Stanford is helping our cause- and I am grateful, when another University jumps on board. I mean look at it this way- atleast they used the money wisely> Devil's advocate- It could have been another "autism gene" study, or Prozac trials on our kids, yes? Send a note of thanks to Stanford or one of the research team or funding sources. Reward good behaviour like it's an ABA program!

From Boyd Haley, PhD:

Good grief, this has been known for years. I have been pushing parents of autistic children to get blood glutathione levels measured for years to show that something has caused them to be under oxidative stress. Dr. Jill James and others have shown that autistics (as well as other illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis) have very low glutathione levels. Also, nothing will lower glutathione levels in biological systems as effectively and long term as mercury toxicity. As a precaution, parents should also know that Tylenol (acetometaphen) is quite effective at lowering glutathione and they should avoid using it.

sue cranmer (sparkil2)

My daughter, Shannon works with Dr James. They both truly care about our kids and finding help for them. Dr James and her research will continue to discover things that really help our children not the stuff we already know like poor eye contact. Some researchers do care and are working for us.

Cindy Stolten

Same Stanford that just released this issue of their magazine. Found on vaccinationnews.

Special report Vaccines Under The Gun

Craig Willoughby

Isn't it completely amazing that a certain group has been treating low glutathione levels for years now. Let's see, yes, I believe it was the PARENTS.

Oh, wait, right....they can't listen to us. Something happens to a person's brain when they have children, and they suddenly lose the ability to understand science and biochemistry (that was sarcasm, if you didn't know).

"Stay tuned for next week when Stanford scientists reveal shocking evidence that the Earth is . . . round!"

The Earth is round?!?! No!!! Next thing you'll be telling me is that it's the Earth that revolves around the Sun....

Yay Science!!


Kent, thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is GREAT news...although it's not so much news.

"Stay tuned for next week when Stanford scientists reveal shocking evidence that the Earth is . . . round!" Not to worry. Validation...validation...validation is what evidence based medicine requires. It's what will force the mainstream to accept what we already know as truth...over time.

Unfortunately there is so much that is wrong with evidence based medicine, as the medical establishment defines it. Mostly, it denies patients many treatment options that are backed by sound studies and/or would not be harmful even if they ultimately are not helpful and it teaches doctors to ignore what they may see over and over in their own practice and only to rely on what science tells them, as if the validation of truth through science actually "creates" that truth. In my opinion this is one example of arrogance that permeates our medical establishment. They act as though they are inventing truth.

The travesty of evidence based medicine is that doctors do not share treatment options with patients until that standard is met. Doctors don't "practice" medicine any more and they certainly are not critical thinkers.

Our own beloved pediatrician told me that in medical school they are rigorously trained not to question the medical establishment because doing so would put everything they are taught into question. To me that says they are actually trained not to think. That may be a big leap on my part but it certainly seems to stand true in my personal experience with doctors.

And I haven't even touched on the financial issues that make so many valid avenues of study impossible under this model, especially ones that might lead to cures rather than treatment.

I know I am preaching to the choir here but we have to celebrate news like this and just keep treating our kids in the meantime. We all know they don't have the 20 to 30 years that evidence based medicine requires. We will continue to apply treatments that we know make sense and will not harm our children. We know we are doing the right thing because our kids are getting better and recovering.

We must celebrate new studies that continue to validate what we already know because eventually they will bring the opportunity for recovery to every person affected by autism. It is truly a crying shame that the mainstream won’t offer that opportunity now.

Maurine Meleck

Wait---do you think this theory will do anything to throw overboard the rainy weather, old father. cold mother, too much tv,right-left-handed children theories of autism?
Hmmmmmmm-wonder how many years this will take?


Julie Obradovic

Wait, wait...let's think, here...thinking, thinking...what blocks the uptake of glutathione???? Hmmm, wait, it's coming to me...Oh, Yeah!


Think it could be related? (that would be sarcasm)

I have rotten tomatoes

Back in the days of the Pony Express, the news messengers were not bought and paid for by big Pharma.

On the East Coast we have institutions like John Hopkins and Kennedy Kreiger touting miraculous treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy for treating self injurious behaviors in autistic children.

The academic institutions have been corrupted by pharma money and our children are a cash cow for them as long as our children remain inappropriately treated.

I pitty any autism parent who still places trust in "the current mainstream political-medical system".

David Taylor

Point well taken: Stanford vs. Arkansas was never a contest for our lamestream, braindead media. Kudos to the family-run Science Daily for their continuing focus on our children.

Another point here is the importance of autism community forums like this one where important news spreads fast, whether it is from Arkansas or Melbourne, Florida.

Our Davey has been on glutathione transdermal rubs for five years as well as supplements to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Maybe one day the overpaid whitecoats whoring their science for funding will take a look at our children.

Nah. Nevermind.

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