ADHD and Autism

How diet affects blood sugar and behavior in ADHD and Autism with Dr. Norm Schwartz

by Mike Mutzel

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iTunes

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About Norm Schwartz, MD

Nutritional Treatment for Autism, ADHD and Bad Behavior in Children by Norm Schwartz, MD
Dr. Schwartz is an integrative medicine specialist with over twenty years experience and an extensive background in treating complex chronic health problems. Formerly medical director of Integrative Medicine for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he is now in private practice. He uses a first line, proactive, low risk, high gain approach to treat a wide range of chronic unwellness, including: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, stomach and colon disorders, chemical sensitivity, autoimmune disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer. He has a special interest in helping individuals and families who are dealing with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and neurodevelopmental disorders using biomedical treatments developed by the Autism Research Institute. As a Defeat Autism Now practitioner he approaches autism as a medical disorder that can be treated and often sees positive change and significant improvement.

Contact Dr. Schwartz

www.normschwartzmd.com

Books and Resources Discussed

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Mike Mutzel: Welcome to Episode #47, this is Mike. I’m so glad that you’re with us. This is actually a video interview where I caught up with Dr. Norm Schwartz who is a medical doctor who treats a lot of autistic and Down syndrome patients. He also treats ADHD as well. So if you have children, or have family or friends with children that have learning disorders or mood issues, energy issues, you definitely would learn a lot from this episode. This was jam-packed, and you can watch all the videos—I broke them up into four different videos. We talked about mitochondrial function, heavy metals, environmental pollutants, methylation, glutathione, and much more. So you can go to highintensityhealth.com/drschwartz and watch all those videos and get access to the show notes and additional information as well. I also want to let you know that this segment is sponsored by methylationsummit.com, so that’s an event that if you’re interested in getting access to the recordings, that was with Dr. Ben Lynch, Cheryl Burdette, and David Quig, and that was all about the connection between methylation, detoxification, gut bacteria, and ways to optimize that. But I think you’ll learn a lot about methylation in this episode with Dr. Schwartz because he talks about different forms of B12 and folate, and ways to increase glutathione with vitamin C and all these various components. So I think you’ll really enjoy this episode, and thanks again for tuning in. Again, the show notes will be available at highintensityhealth.com/drschwartz. Here we go.

 

A lot of families with children with ADHD, autism, Down syndrome have sought you out. Is that something that you just had a lot of results with clinically—good results and then it is word of mouth? How did this manifest or come out?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Well, several things—one, my son is somewhere on the spectrum, in terms of ADHD—oppositional. He’s doing very well now, but he had some challenges that—of course, we looked at that. I remember we did a heavy metal when he was four years old; he had high cadmium. At an older age, as we finished, some came from a lot of sugar issues—low blood sugar. But he’s doing well, but my interests are with my family, and then also, feeling for the kids, because I think if I was born today, I’d be autistic. I do have sensitivities myself I’ve had to work with.

 

Mike Mutzel: Okay.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: What would be some more in that chronic fatigue thing. For me, that came about when I had a sailboat and when I first got my sailboat, it actually used mercury in the bottom paint.

 

Mike Mutzel: Wow.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Because it kills everything.

 

Mike Mutzel: Right.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: So I think that was part of my journey to understand that environmental connection. But I feel and feel for the kids, and then, through my networking Autism Research Institute for about six or seven years. I was invited to Thintanks where we’re trying to develop protocols for the kids for detox, for how you could bring the science into the office not having to wait 15 years from mainstream. So I was fortunate to work with a lot of good people, dig deep, and change the whole methylation question. First came out in Martha Herbert. She’s actually a neurologist in Harvard associating, working some protocols and did research on Krebs cycle organic acids with autistic kids, and 80% had abnormalities in that. So just filling that for all the future of our country is not sustainable now with our current crisis.

 

Mike Mutzel: You hit on a couple of things. You hit on heavy metals, which I love to explore more, and blood sugar imbalances. Now, I gathered, from what you said, is low blood sugar—maybe hypoglycemia.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Right. A lot of what we blame in ADHD is clearly low blood sugar. One of my most memorable memories from medical school, not quite known, a women came in; she’s diabetic, and have both her legs amputated, took four people to hold her down. She was cursing and screaming. You can imagine the scene. It was really quaint, and so I had no idea what’s happened and their residence said, “Give her glucose.” Within 40 seconds, she went from a hospital angry, a threatening person to a sweetest grandmother you can imagine. Her blood sugar turned out to be 40, so she had given herself too much insulin—lower her blood sugar. So I saw right there dramatically; brain cannot function. It took me a while to understand, but yeah, with your brain on your short-term runs on glucose. What we see, of course, happening is so many kid’s a roller coaster. Blood sugar is a real problem. And, it’s not getting better, but change is happening and attacks on sugars. Great book I was able to recommend the patient’s called “Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss; he’s a New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winner. He spent five years researching the food industry, and Kraft Foods has 300 people working around the clock to get you to eat more. A potato crunch with 3.5 pounds of crunch pressure, and then, the cells in your brain say, “Eat more.”

 

Mike Mutzel: Wow.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: And the fat sugar ratio, about 4.5 to 1, which is the same as mother’s milk. He actually called it the “bliss point” industry. So, they designed the food and then hold things. So the kids are now subjected to this. But there’s more awareness. We’ve had two seminars here: “Food Is Healing and Walking.” We’ve had 350 people or 450. So, I think the interest is there, and people understand food as pretty basic, but starting with diet is really hard to begin with anyone I see.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah, now, let’s hit on this—explore a little bit—so people understand the mechanism here, because a lot of adults now—people are insulin-resistant or type-2 diabetic. There is 20 percent of the adult population is prediabetic.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: And it changes today as 1 to 3 chance of being diabetic by the time they’re 40 years old. Okay, I’m sorry.

 

Mike Mutzel: No, no, that’s really good info. So, when we see these children now with low blood sugar, they may have insulin resistance but they don’t have diabetes yet. So, it’s this reactive hypoglycemia. Do you want to dive into this low blood sugar and these ADHD-like symptoms, Dr. Norm?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Sure. The basic thing as I’m saying before is in the short term, we use glucose for fuel. So if that glucose is low, most likely from an overconsumption of sugar, because in a natural environment, free sugar is very hard to find. If you think about it, there’s honey and maple syrup; that’s it. Fruits, of course, have various sweetness. But our physiology, I think, was never designed—we’re talking about normal physiology—get this blast of sugar. The technical issue, I think, is a kid might have four or five grams of glucose in their bloodstream. So if you pour in a drink that has like 8/9/10/11 teaspoons of sugar in it— a typical size of soda—that huge rush of glucose is going to disrupt the system, and the pancreas responds by putting out insulin, but since it’s not designed to do that, it usually overproduces insulin, which then lowers the blood sugar—that roller coaster we call it. So the kids get very irritable when the blood sugar drops, say below 70/80. Now, the body assigns very well for that because once your adrenal ends in monitoring your blood glucose, that drops more than 2 percent your glucose level. It sends there supporting your adrenaline, which then takes a part of your body literally to take more glucose. And, you can see a lot of kids are pretty wired with the large people, and what we’re calling hyperactivity is probably just overdriving sympathetic nervous system.

 

Mike Mutzel: That’s awesome. Medically, we call that reactive hypoglycemia.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Right.

 

Mike Mutzel: Okay.

 

Dr. Norma Schwartz: Yeah, overcompensation. And then that will be based on genetics in individuals. But how you deal with this addiction question is—I’m sure you deal with it, too, in your work. I really urge the family, “Is it possible to do an elimination diet?” We see better results that way. And then, when working with parents, I’ll give, kids who are seven to nine years old, I will talk to them directly and say, “Here’s my phone number. Don’t complain to mom or dad, this is my idea. If you want to talk, call me.” And I do get called. A nine-year-old boy was calling and saying, “I want a glass of milk.” So I said, “Okay, tell me you’re having no such change in the diet,” and he said, “I’m not fighting with my mom as much.” So, we’re trying to engage the kids and to challenge the family. As as we noticed, there’s more gluten-free and grains—more consciousness out there.

 

Mike Mutzel: That’s really great. So you really put the onus on the child and get them to realize for themselves how the diet is improving their own life.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah.

 

Mike Mutzel: And I love how you mentioned yourself is available and vulnerable for people who call you. Let’s talk about the metals. I think this is something that a lot of people…

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, it’s become, unfortunately, a contentious controversy, but we do know that mercury is probably one of the most toxic, almost on a weight basis. And in terms of the consciousness, the awareness, I think it could be—it’s not what it needs to be. In over 40 percent of our mercury exposure is from breathing from the coal fire power plants. Thousands of tons of coal, there is mercury that gets in the air, in the rain, falls down, becomes biological forms of ethyl-methyl mercury. So we don’t recommend stopping breathing, but my test for people—anyone who’s eating fish more than two times a week have elevated levels. So, in terms of the best way to monitor an individual, I think, is a challenge test. It’s very safe; I’ve not seen a problem. We use DMSA, which is Chemet, which is FDA-approved for treating lead. The way it works—our exposures are not going to be toxic dump exposures; there are small microscopic levels meaning millions of a gram, and when it gets into the system, your body removes it from the bloodstream just trying to put it out of the way—the blood stored in bone, spleen, brain to get it out. I suggest a blood test, unless if you have a recent exposure, is not going to be helpful. I do explain it to patients because it can be confusing. If you go out at 12 o’clock midnight and you look on the road, there are no cars. Where are the cars? They’re in the garage. So, the challenge test looks in the garage just to pull out what you can’t see in the bloodstream.

 

Mike Mutzel: Great analogy.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, I think that’s the way to do it. Otherwise, we can measure oxidative stress as can relate to it. Some really good advances in the testing for DNA OX phase, DNA 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine. It’s a very simple measure in the first morning you’re in, and that will look at oxidative DNA, which I think a lot of kids are on a tremendous oxidative stress as being missed. But the heavy metals, of course, across the spectrum are the reason why we’re scared about rice containing it. Any house built before 1980 is going to have lead paint in it. There’s an interesting story I will mention for your listeners because it’s a side commentary, but Herbert Needleman was a researcher at Harvard, and he found out in the early 70s that the higher the lead, the lower the IQ.

 

Mike Mutzel: Oh, wow.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: It was very clear there is correlation. And the lead industry that time is the better manufacturers. Once their huge smear campaigning will shoot out those laboratory years. One has had malpractice; he was vindicated. But it’s so scary because it almost didn’t get simulated data dangerous of lead, and now, of course, it’s taken for granted.

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: And, it’s also our knowledge base. When I was a student, we consider the level of 40 safe, then it was dropped to 20, then it was dropped to 10, then it was dropped to five, which most labs cannot measure below five or three depending on the labs, so we still don’t know the toxic effects on that level. So that’s my concern about what we’re doing an article, which I can share with you if you want to put on your website.

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: About environment and autism, and understanding this whole connection that our systems are very sensitive, that it’s only biology that’s being affected. You mentioned my chart on the wall.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yah, I will show that after. It’s a great chart.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: What I like to mention is that every biological live form in the planet has the Krebs cycle—has the same biochemistry. If you went back to the dinosaurs, they can go on a chart. Everything alive biologically will map to that same chart, and if you go to one of the most inhospitable places on earth, a hot sulfur prevents, three miles below, the bacteria use the Krebs cycle to get them reversed for synthesis. So to me, that’s what I look at—it’s the big picture—fundamental causes and that so many critical control points were disrupting with our monoamine. So, that said, the good news is it’s remediable—easy to remediate heavy metals that could be. It really works well for the kids— Epsom salt baths. Very simple formula there— for every 6 ounces of bath water, one cup of Epsom salt, half a cup of baking soda. That will help increase the detox and keep the skin from drying out right before bed. So that’s magnesium and sulfur—the Epsom salts. It helps to detox and helps kids relax, and there’s a lot of magnesium deficiency. Another good thing about heavy metal testing is you can tell the healthy minerals because the chelate or DMSA will bind to all cations with a 2+ positive charge, so you see your magnesium levels and vanadium and chromium. You can look at the trace minerals and the toxic metals, and we can see many kids have low healthy minerals because the body will preferentially absorb the healthy minerals. And then, right below calcium on the periodic table is lead; so if calcium’s here, the body will take out the calcium rather than the lead.

 

Mike Mutzel: I see.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: And vice versa. So, making sure the essential minerals are healthy, but the good news with the program, you can reverse heavy metal toxic overload. High-dose vitamin C is also helpful therapy because it will help the body get rid of the toxins; not just heavy metals, but pollutants and pesticides. You can stop me from going on.

 

Mike Mutzel: No, no, that’s great. I’d love to talk about minimizing exposure—any tips you can share with us for testing the home.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, that’s, of course, a long list. I do work with them because I don’t want you going crazy and doing all this tonight. I can give you some good resources that I use for patients.

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: That will list everything from water filters to non-toxic pest repellants to cleaners to water filters to cosmetics. I’m really filled of having it well-known. So, every little effort parents can make to find out what things are safe to use. Practically speaking, I do recommend no plastic.

 

Mike Mutzel: Right.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Put everything in glass. Trying to keep up the healthy minerals because that can block the toxic ones. Moderate levels of ascorbate can really be helpful.

 

Mike Mutzel: Oral?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Just oral, yeah.

 

Mike Mutzel: Okay.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: And then, really taking the time to research what’s in the ingredients.

 

Mike Mutzel: Of cosmetics or food or both?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Of all of the above. And then, the Environmental Working Group, you may have heard, has a Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen worth spending our money. But food is our biggest source, I would say.

 

Mike Mutzel: You mentioned the elimination diet. Do you want to describe that for our folks if they haven’t done that or don’t know about that?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Sure. I often say to patients, “I don’t want you eating wheat, dairy, citrus, soy, corn, chocolate, artificial colors, preservatives.” So I usually just tell them, “Yeah, I just want to get your attention.” But wheat and dairy are the big ones. Corn GMO—you may have spoken with other scientists, physicians about GMO, but I do think it’s a huge mistake what’s the arguments given well that genetics doesn’t modify the human cells, but it allows higher levels of herbicides and pesticides to send their residues, which do disrupt their own gut bacteria. A really good work by Dr. Seneff at MIT; she’s very much interested in documenting the adverse effects of GMOs. But the whole corn question, we find that’s almost as problematic as we eat, and then I do make it comprehend. So, the citrus and the soy, colors, and preservatives, sugars.

 

Mike Mutzel: And chocolate…

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: We do find for many kids that’s just too disrupting to their systems. The Autism Research Institute has been keeping parent reports since the 70s. They have like 30,000 parent reports in terms of adverse reactions; chocolates is one of the highest. So for those, we can be a little more selective. But for the kids, chocolate’s definitely out there; it has a problem. I also point out that you can react to food in many different ways; there’s no one way, there’s no one blood test. I think some of that have misguided people to—like an IgG testing—and everyone shows up ­with dairy and wheat. But I think that’s more gut permeability showing, but those are often protective antibodies. Those IgGs have class 4 antibodies. So, it’s a challenge, but I’m fortunate in most people I see want to make these changes.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: It’s not like that I’m seeing a part of the insurance plan or just having to get to the office, but they’re really interested because it’s not working for most of us. The reality is when it affects us directly, that’s when we’ll pay attention. As you know, the rates of ADHD and autism have been going up every year. When I was a medical student, it was one in 10,000.

 

Mike Mutzel: Wow.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, and now, it’s one in 52, and we’re saying we’ve missed it? I mean, we have to. As we know, physicians in the previous century are much better clinicians to someone that did calculations that about 300 million kids were missed.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Before the first case of autism by Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist at Hopkins, published 11 cases in 1943. Interestingly, four or five of those parents of the kids were professionals who worked with mercury. Mike, you know what I’m saying is.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: It’s pretty obvious like something’s going on here.

 

Mike Mutzel: Right.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: What’s your experience with that? I mean, that’s…

 

Mike Mutzel: Well, just to clarify right here, you’re saying that it’s not that we’re better at diagnosing it. The prevalence is increasing—without a doubt.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, the best studies would say—and I can show you those, been about three in the past five years—that about 1/3 of the increases of diagnosis might be more awareness on diagnostic substitution; but clearly, 2/3 is a real increase. And just in the past three years, if you look in the studies, associations of autism with moms taking antidepressants during pregnancy—moms taking Xanax during pregnancy—living your freeways using drugs, using flea shampoos during second trimester. A very good study’s in California—moms who live within 2/3 mile of their cultural fields with the highest poundage.

 

Mike Mutzel: Oh.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: That’s the site’s head more than double risk of having autism during their exposure on second trimester. Some professors measured air pollution level here at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee—just another study showing here, pollution correlated. So, it’s going to be a long list. And this is the challenge because it’s not a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. For one kid, it could be five things that’s affecting them, that’s affected their neurodevelopment, probably in utero; for another kid, it could be five different things; another kid, it could be five different things. So it’s not going to be the single curable, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. It just won't work that way.

 

Mike Mutzel: Right. Yeah, multifactorial. Because we talked about the diet, we talked about using minerals to offset some of the heavy metals, anything for the pesticides, plastics, and different petrochemicals that you find to be effective?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yes. One, there is a good testing out now that can actually measure those to give you an idea for these patients. For adult, a 2,000 mg of ascorbate will actually help your body to detoxify. There you can minimize exposure as much as plastics chemicals. Most of those toxins, pollutants, BPAs, bisphenols are fat-soluble, so they’re stored in the fat so the fat detox or saunas or detox that will immobilize your fat will work well. I like combination.

 

Mike Mutzel: Okay. What about IV therapies? For some of the metals and these other compounds.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: IV circulation, but using depositories in the world. Some see it as unnecessary.

 

Mike Mutzel: The IV for children?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah.

 

Mike Mutzel: Okay.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Well, the glutathione can be helpful IV because probably it will detox.

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: I was trying to get back to basics. People don’t realize what’s the highest concentration is on your own body on million basis. Glutathione and ascorbate, like between 1 and 10 million. Most of the time, you can have effect with your treatments without the IVs. We use the cycle of DMSA, usually orally, and then, they also support with glutathione—either topical—or high-dose vitamin C. Interestingly, it’s I don’t think well-known, but vitamin C will raise glutathione more than glutathione.

 

Mike Mutzel: Interesting.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: There are some genetic conditions where children are born with glutathione synthase deficiency. If it’s really severe, you’re not going to survive. But they found that comparing NAC, which is a form of cysteine, to giving vitamin C, vitamin C raised glutathione more than NAC because they have overlapping metabolic pathways, so the vitamin C can salvage the glutathione.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: So that’s the good news for the metals. It can be done orally.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah, and relatively low toxicity—maybe little bowel issues.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Almost none. It’s very, very safe; it’s available over the counter now—the DMSA, actually. I think it’s still harder to get. That was a good thing. I think the FDA moved it; I think it was too available. But it’s still available by prescription.

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure. Now, for these children, what do you do with the heavy metals? Do you do depositories as well or low-dose DMSA? I know people are concerned with that. What do you recommend?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Well, so far, I’ve been, for the past 10 years, just working with oral. It’s always been effective. If you get the healthy minerals, clean up the diet, give the support, monitor it. I’ve never seen one not come down.

 

Mike Mutzel: Detoxifying heavy metals, minimizing exposure, all the toxic foods. I’d love to talk about methylation. You’ve hit on Jill James and her work.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Right.

 

Mike Mutzel: And I think some folks are interested in that. Let’s talk about your experience with using methylation.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, she originally looked at this issue for a Down syndrome. A mom of a child with Down syndrome came to her, and as it turned out in this family, the sibling had autism, and she found the same basic biochemical dysfunction in terms of the methylation factor—the SAM to SAH ratio (S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine)—and that’s really called the methylation factor. The more SAMe you have—do you want to fill that in for your listeners? Can you do that now or later?

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure, let’s go for it.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: But that’s your main methylator.

 

Mike Mutzel: Okay.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: And that methylation cycle is somewhat above. It took me 10 years before I can. But connected to the methylation cycle is the folate cycle. And again, for me, coming at it from a pure scientist, exquisite sensitivity and fine tuning in the body, we have probably seven different stages of folic acid in our body.

 

Mike Mutzel: Wow.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: So there’s not one folic; there’s folinic and methylfolate and 5-formyltetrahydrofolate, and many, many forms of methyl. So, these exquisite cycles are fine-tuned and have lasted for a long time. But I think what we see in autism is that we’ve reached a threshold of stability because what I use for analogy, Mike, is when humans build things, the more complex they are, the molecularly they are to breakdown. But natural systems, they’re so intertwined and so complex like good stem stability. So natural systems are stable by their incredible interconnectedness and complexity. So when you start see these breaking down, that’s when we have to be concerned.

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: But the methylation cycle is such a crucial cycle for epigenetic control for detoxification, for DNA synthesis, for hormonal transmitter balancing. Again, this may not be familiar to the listeners, but there are some really good websites. In Amy Yasko’s site—she has a parent who has written a guide for patients so I’ll give you that link; that’s like 20 pages; it goes from the cartoon drawings—simplifying it—to the more complex. So, that’s a crucial factor. Homocysteine in adults is a good marker; for the kids, it’s not necessary true.

 

Mike Mutzel: Let’s explain that. I think it’s really important to look at homocysteine because a lot of people look at that and associate homocysteine with cardiovascular risk factor, which the data is kind of bigger. But what I’ve learned from Jill James is we have methionine and then we have SAM over here, homocysteine being below; it’s in equilibrium with SAH. SAH is an inhibitor of SAM. Do you want to dive into that? And why that is important is because homocysteine then goes to feed glutathione, which we’ve been talking about eliminating all these heavy metals, and glutathione is so important. So, that’s why I think methylation is so important, and sometimes, doctors don’t make that correlation.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yes. I mean, it would be nice if we could get a diagram to refer your listeners to. But the methylation does have a crucial double function with sulfation. As you point out like hands on the clock, if you will, when you look at the 6-o’clock position, homocysteine’s identified down from cystathionine beta synthase into the sulfur cycle, where you get not only glutathione but taurine—another crucial detoxifier. So if the homocysteine is low, then it can’t recycle. And then, you also get what’s called the “methyl trap” or the “folic acid trap” because you do need it. So, it’s a lot complicated by chemistry. If I understood your question, the critical aspect of sulfation is also adversely affected by the lack of methylation factors because then you’ll compromise their pathway. It’s also important for glutathione for viral infections because if you have enough detox potential, which is glutathione and ascorbate—not just glutathione­—then viruses can’t proliferate. So, there’s been a lot of work now with methyl B12 in fatigue, in autism and depression, and a lot of areas. But the good news is that one of the great advances is methyl B12, which is the biologically active form. We use a lot and have a lot of good results with injectable forms of it; sublinguals can work under the tongue, and topicals. But just a really important point I emphasize with patients and if it’s kids with the families, you are the doctor; many of the parents I see have earned the title “doctor mom” and “doctor dad.”

 

Mike Mutzel: That’s great.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Because they have been there­—studying, researching up to three hours on the internet. They know their kid better than anybody. So, a lot of this is going to be determined by your child’s response; we don’t have a technology. As a Star Trek fan, do you remember Dr. McCoy with the body scanner?

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: I want one of those.

 

Mike Mutzel: That will make your life easier, huh?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, actually, I think micro RNAs; for your listeners, that’s the control of the DNA. We were kind of ridiculous now, and I would never could buy it. But we call the junk DNA. Only 2 to 3 percent of your DNA are proteins. So what’s the other 97 percent doing? And we now know it’s a software controlling it, but the micro RNAs have that control. And I think that will reach clinical application about two years.

 

Mike Mutzel: Oh, wow.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, right now, we have the DNA sequence 23andMe, which can be helpful. But what the DNA is doing in terms of what we call “metabolomics” and “proteomics” is going to be more helpful. Sorry if I wandered too much from your original question, or do you want to bring me back to the…

 

Mike Mutzel: No, that’s really good. I mean, I think we need to wrap this back into methylation. We know that, as you mentioned, SAMe and methylation is so important for epigenetics or that higher level control of genetic expression, and then, of course, detoxification like you talked about, but since you’ve seen many children with ADHD, autism, and Down’s, what have you found to be most effective for supporting methylation? You’ve hit on injectable B12, but do we also support the transsulfuration or the glutathione cycle at the same time? What do you find to be [effective]?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: This is biochemical mutuality. I mean, the good news, I would say, for Down’s syndrome is it’s more treatable because some of the abnormalities are pretty well-known; I mean, there’s the very high percentage low thyroid that’s being missed. By high percentage, depending on the research, can be 80 to 90 percent. So, as you know, thyroid is so critical especially for neurodevelopment in utero and early in life.

 

Mike Mutzel: Have you combined 5-MTHFR and B12 together typically?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, I wish the science was there. We have to go by the kid’s response. In my experience, I see 80 percent of my kids do better with methyl B12, and 20 percent do better on hydroxy B12. So hydroxy is the long-acting storage form, and methyl is the shorter-acting active form. So, that’s where the parents have become colleagues and that’s how it works. Welcoming the questions, I don’t mind, because you get better results.

 

Mike Mutzel: Right.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: I mean, I emphasize in my patients, “Doctors have no special intelligence.” We do have training experience, but most the medical thinking is not complex thinking. Actually, the parents will often know more than the physicians in terms of if they spend the time researching the child; especially on chronic conditions, we’re not trained for that.

 

Mike Mutzel: And you embraced that?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: I know.

 

Mike Mutzel: Because other doctors might be like, “Hey, I’m a doctor, who are you to tell me what to do?”

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: I do.

 

Mike Mutzel: Makes you such a good practitioner.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: I do explain that. MD stands for multidimensional, not minor duty. Yeah, that’s my approach. If people choose they wanted to just get their blood pressure meds, then that’s fine. I’m not criticizing that; I think that’s future medicine to be individualized.

 

Mike Mutzel: That’s great. Now, as we wrap up here, there’s one thing that you’ve hit on, and we talked about a lot—the Krebs cycle. I’m going to show all our listeners that wonderful poster. But you talked about a study at MIT in Massachusetts where 73 percent of children with autism and ADHD had mitochondrial Krebs cycle deficiencies.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, that was the study we did that, unfortunately, didn’t get published. The data we got from three practitioners and we had about 300 or 400 kids, and on the organic acids test, those Krebs cycle metabolites were out of range in about 70 percent of the kids.

 

Mike Mutzel: So organic acids is a great test? You looked at ADHDg as the marker of oxidative stress, but also of organic acids to look at intracellular metabolism.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: I do. I can show you an example. We can discuss like 10 different categories.

 

Mike Mutzel: We can show a PDF on there. And while you’re grabbing that, how do we support that? So we talked about methylation, we talked about vitamin C, we talked about minimizing exposure to toxins, the elimination diet—how do we support the Krebs cycle?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Well, what you get on the organic acid Krebs cycle pointers is 246 markers that can help you point the direction. It’s not out in science yet, but hopefully will be. Whether it’s glutathione, whether it looks like toxicity, whether it looks like nutrient deficiencies like NAD and coQ10—that will give you some help. Taking the high-dose ascorbate—I do think—is underutilized. Cytochrome C, which is a transducer in electron transport pathway. And just a backup for your listeners, 90 percent of our energy comes from the mitochondria, that uses ATP—the universal energy currency. So, from electron, to move down that electron pathway; it’s really the fundamental of life, and one of the definitions of life has been electrons through membranes—among membranes—and then, the electrons get through that, which is only 1.2 volts. From the NADH, that’s only 1.2 volt difference. So all the energy of life comes from electrons moving down that potential gradient, and then, electrons create a hydrogen gradient. So electron, of course, pumps hydrogens through the membranes. And if you’ve seen those incredible channel of the ATP turbine…

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Hydrogens actually are turning the turbine to make ATP—ATP combined with phosphorus.

 

Mike Mutzel: That’s cool.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: So that critical pathway is really complex, really efficient. In so many ways, it can be disrupted; but one of the ways to establish it is with high-dose vitamin C because it’s an electron donor. I’m not sure if I’ve answered your question, but see what we see with things that we can usually correct, then it will be coQ10, NADH and B complex deficiencies, and heavy metals. And that’s really the good part of what we do is the body will correct itself. So that’s a common phrase that I learned many years ago. If you’re sitting on three tests, getting two tests doesn’t make you two-thirds better.

 

Mike Mutzel: Right.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: But at some point, the body can reestablish its balance. So that’s our job—is to look and twirling people as we can to the imbalances; not to correct, but it’s a challenge. The other thing is you can look at is check their mitochondria or ammonia levels and some amino acids; but with all that knowledge, there’s only a handful things that will correct mitochondrial function and another controversy. Some of the mainstream groups of parents and some clinicians have really tried to support the mitochondria in autism. But I feel it’s very safe when you use just a small coQ10; L-carnitine (we haven’t mentioned that), which feeds the mitochondria fatty acids; and then, NADH; and the glutathione. There are some really good research using phospholipids for mitochondrial dysfunction, and I think that could be helpful for different formulations that we have.

 

Mike Mutzel: Now we know glyphosate and different compounds in genetically engineered foods contains surfactants, which I recently caught up with Alex Vasquez, and he showed a lot of research on these surfactants which help to puncture cell walls of plants, damage our own mitochondria. And he talked about their critical cellular components and the differences in electricity really drive life is really problematic. So, your health is something you focus on.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: And as you mentioned, that’s what’s intriguing, too, because mitochondria is actually bacteria, greatly the symbiosis theory. Lynn Margulis—she passed away recently, but she was a researcher at University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She was kind of a hippie in the 60s, and she was saying, “Well, life is a synthesis.” But she had this interesting idea. She was considered very fringe and wacky, but that the mitochondria being a bacteria—that synthesis happened like 3.5 billion years ago. If that was true, then there should be DNA in the mitochondria. So she looked for DNA, and she found it. So then, this is the beauty of science—she had a hypothesis and she tested it. So when she found the DNA, she went from a fringe-hippie to a respective scientist.

 

Mike Mutzel: Right.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: But it’s a harder way thinking that we are really a symbiosis, and that the bacteria have created life on earth. I think that’s something we kept in mind when we have our review that we can use antibiotics and vaccines to kill it. That’s not going to help.

 

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Bacteria create life on the planet—in the rocks, great soil­—synthesis in mitochondria for energy in our cells. So it’s really a fascinating story. I will mention one book, “Earthdance,” by Elizabeth Sahtouris; she’s an evolution biologist, and she has a fascinating view, which for me, is very helpful, but she pointed out that bacteria were able to create life on earth by working together. They exchange information; they have a certain intelligence. You yourself have to be the bacteria and know how they work together.

 

Mike Mutzel: I like that.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: It’s really more than that, but it’s really worth checking out because I think it’s a brilliant synthesis in understanding that is connected.

 

Mike Mutzel: Sure. “Earthdance.”

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Yeah, “Earthdance.”

 

Mike Mutzel: We’ll put that in the show notes—highintensityhealth.com/drschwartz.

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Okay.

 

Mike Mutzel: So Dr. Schwartz, how can our listeners learn more about your work and contact you?

 

Dr. Norm Schwartz: Well, I’m just working on a website—normschwartzmd.com I have more information on that coming up, and do more talking. That’s what I enjoy.

 

Mike Mutzel: Well, thanks so much for joining us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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