Monday, December 06, 1999
By Maureen Kennedy Salaman
She wasn't a scientist, she wasn't a researcher, she wasn't a doctor. But she was a possessed with the dauntless determination of a mother's love--that same determination showed by mothers throughout the centuries that may largely be responsible for the survival of the human race.
Dixie Tafoya was the director of Adoption Options, a Louisiana-based adoption agency specializing in the adoption of physically-challenged children, when she adopted her daughter Madison, then 12 weeks of age. Resolved to the belief that she would raise a physically and mentally challenged little girl who would need special help, she heroically set out to do what little she could.
Then came the moment she realized her presumptions might be wrong. Dixie's routine for changing Madison's diapers always ended with a playful rub of her tummy. One morning, when Madison was eight months old, her mother told her, "Well, honey, I'm too tired. You're going to have to rub your tummy yourself." When Madison responded with a rub of her stomach, Dixie realized that her daughter was not retarded yet, but if she didn't do something she would be.
Discovering the Truth
Dixie began helping Madison by finding out everything she could about why Down's syndrome occurs. She learned that Down's results from genetic abnormalities in chromosome structure. She likens it to a cake recipe. If you mix cake batter with too much of some ingredients, it will bake into something like a cake, but won't be what the recipe intended. With Down's syndrome, there are too many ingredients in the human "recipe."
Normally, a human being has 46 chromosomes, but people with Down's syndrome have 47. The extra chromosome, called trisomy 21, causes a genetic overdose that leads to numerous metabolic imbalances.
She discovered that her ex-husband's nine-year-old nephew Zach with Down's syndrome was not only not retarded, but doing so well in school he was consistently on the honor roll, and had none of the typical Down's features. Dixie found out from Zach's mother that from the time he was nine months of age, Zach had been on a special nutritional program originally developed by Dr. Henry Turkel.
Since the 1940s, Dr. Turkel presented over 5,000 cases of children with Down's syndrome who had shown remarkable improvement to the NIH and the FDA The agencies rewarded his success by restricting him to practicing only in Michigan on patients from Michigan.
He discovered early on that Down's syndrome was not a birth defect resulting in a vast array of subsequent physical and mental problems; but rather is a metabolic disease. Taking cues from Linus Pauling, he developed a therapy that included antioxidants, enzymes, a thyroid supplement, a diuretic and a stimulant.
Using Today's Technology
When Dixie first got Madison, she had skin rashes, constipation, and a history of frequent respiratory and ear infections. It appeared to her intelligent mother that Dixie's immune system was compromised, and having some knowledge of the benefits of nutritional supplementation, proceeded to discover what she needed.
Realizing today's technology might add to what Dr. Turkel discovered, Dixie turned to geneticists and biochemists to isolate exactly what was missing in Madison. Reading medical journals and consulting with various doctors, including Dr. Turkel, Dixie developed her own formula for Madison using nutrition to compensate for the genetic overdose. She emphasizes that Down's syndrome is a genetic defect alright, but not something than can't be corrected. The original genetic defect causes nutritional deficiencies, that, when corrected, results in a reversal of the symptoms of Down's syndrome. However, the key to reversing Down's is to start the program before the child reaches 11 months of age.
Her only regret is that she didn't start sooner. She has noticed that children who are started on metabolic therapy very early in life--while in infancy--show few developmental delays, if any, and even fewer signs of Down's syndrome.
Nutrients to Consider
The nutrients that Dixie gives to Madison may not be all that your Down's syndrome child needs. Everyone is different, with different needs and different weaknesses. However, to give you an idea of the kinds of nutrients needed for Down's syndrome, here are some of the supplements Dixie gives to Madison.
Dixie discovered early that Madison would need amino acids. A French scientist, Dr. LeJeune, showed almost identical amino acid deficiencies in 79 Down's syndrome individuals. One of them, serine, is found to be particularly deficient in Down's patients. Dr. Evan Jones of North Carolina University, an expert in the field of amino acids, has said that a serine deficiency can contribute significantly to many of the problems associated with Down's syndrome, including mental retardation. The first thing Dixie did was give Madison food sources of B vitamins, and supplements of antioxidants and amino acids.
Malabsorption is a big issue with Down's children. Due to their imbalances they are lacking in many enzymes necessary for the proper breakdown and assimilation of food and the life-giving nutrients contained in it. Minerals and protein are especially are hard to break down without proper amounts of amino acids, digestive enzymes and stomach acid. Because of this, vegetables and fruit which naturally contain digestive enzymes are important, as are nutritional supplements that contain digestive enzymes. For Down's children and adults, I whole-heartedly recommend a formula in solution which delivers vitamins--especially brain boosting B12--and minerals directly into the cells, bypassing the factors that can result in the malabsorption problems typical of Down's, such as allergies, chemical sensitivities, bowel problems and low stomach acid.
For a concentrated source, and for maximum absorption, look for a supplemental formula that combines freeze dried sprouts and vegetables, and the digestive enzymes that come with them, so as to provide the B complex and all other essential vitamins and minerals needed for proper brain development. A good antioxidant formula combines vitamin C with bioflavonoids, odorless garlic, acidophilus and green tea extract for immune-system boosting.
Dixie added yogurt (determining that at the expiration date it produced less mucus) supplemented with the contents of an acidophilus capsule to coat the intestines and help with digestion, avoided any rice cereals and gave her absolutely no uncultured cow's milk. She gave her vitamin C with bioflavonoids three times a day and a multi-vitamin supplement.
Conventional physical therapy showed no progress so Dixie decided to forego it and treat her like a normal child, encouraging her to walk. She also added new supplementals. She gave Madison a liquid amino acid formula.
She also found that Madison needed more than the usual digestive enzymes. As with all Down's syndrome children, her absorption was compromised, so she needed more than the usual amounts of enzymes., so she fed her lots of raw vegetables, and avoided raw legumes and nuts because they have enzyme inhibitors. Madison was still too young for most capsules and pills so she concentrated on enzyme-rich raw vegetables instead.
Zinc and vitamin B6 was also emphasized for Madison because zinc helps normalize body growth and blood sugar factors like IGF-1, found deficient in Down's syndrome patients. Vitamin B6 is needed with zinc and helps the mind/body connection. Then she found a formula with coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant needed because of the tremendous amount of free radicals produced by Madison's extra chromosome.
Researchers now emphasize all the antioxidants for this same reason. Recommended antioxidants include selenium, vitamins A, C and E; beta carotene and glutathione. Other nutrients important to brain chemistry and muscle function are highly absorbable minerals in solution, essential fatty acids and the B vitamins, particularly B12.
Dixie lost valuable time before targeting just the right nutritional therapy for Madison. She started when Madison was two years of age and within two weeks of starting nutritional/metabolic therapy noticed she was getting definite calf muscles. Within three to four weeks Madison no longer felt like a rag doll. At two years she couldn't climb one step. Six weeks after starting nutritional therapy she could climb a flight of stairs, up and down.
The greatest change in her facial features occurred during the first three months on the program. Madison went from a flat face, typical of Down's syndrome, to almost normal. It was such a dramatic change that some people who had not seen her in a while did not recognize her.
Madison's hair grew ten inches in one year. Down's syndrome children typically don't have any hair, or slow-growing straight hair--never curly. Madison's hair is so long she sits on it, and it ends in curls.
Just before her second birthday, Madison was diagnosed with nystagmus (constantly twitching eye movements) and moderate to severe near-sightedness. Specialists said she needed surgery. A year later, just after her third birthday, her eye exam was normal. She had perfect vision--without glasses.
Today, Madison is a bright, talented, normal six-year old. She plays video games, does puzzles, talks normally, walks normally and thinks normally. She will always have Down's syndrome, but she will never again show it.
Help for the Down's Syndrome Parent
Thanks to Dixie, who is sharing her knowledge, you can get specialized, metabolic help for your loved one. Dixie has founded Trisomy 21 Research, dedicated to uncovering therapies that work to reverse the symptoms of Down's syndrome. For information call them at (504) 769-TRIS. Representatives there say you'll get all the information you need to either convince your doctor to try nutritional therapy, or do it on your own.
For continuing coverage of Down's syndrome, and a subscription to Smart Drug News, contact CERI--the Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute, who graciously gave me the information contained here. Call them at (415) 321-CERI.
The Cell Therapy Option
I wanted to cover this option because I have personally seen it work with Down's kids. I have been to Germany and seen busloads of improved Down's children receiving cell therapy. I know firsthand the value of cell therapy because I've had it done numerous times. Live cell therapy is not to be used instead of nutritional therapy. Nutritional therapy is the most valuable treatment option available. Live cell therapy is an adjunct to nutrition; and may help get more thorough results.
Live cell therapy is accomplished by injecting live cells from animal embryos into humans. Over the past three decades over two million patients have been treated with live cell therapy to retard aging and restore defective organs and cells. A multitude of controlled laboratory and clinical experiments throughout the world irrefutably prove its efficacy.
You've heard the macrobiotic principle of eating only live food--that is food that when planted can still grow? Live cell therapy uses the same basic principle. By injecting healthy cells into the body, they are able to replace the old and sick cells. In the case of Down's syndrome, defective cells are replaced. The cells are not rejected as foreign because the antigens that cause rejection do not develop until three days after birth.
It is important, however, that cells from fresh embryos be used. Old or dated cells will obviously not work. Compare it to the difference between eating corn straight off the stalk and salted corn nuts. How much energy is left from the corn once it has been plucked, fried, salted and packaged? Not much.
If you are interested in cell therapy, look for clinics with a successful history of using the freshest embryos possible. Don't take anyone's word, investigate for yourself. Unfortunately, they have to practice in Mexico or Europe, away from the arm of the FDA. Two clinics I know of that practice live cell therapy are Contreras Oasis Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, P.O. Box 439855, San Ysidro, CA 92143, (800) 700-1850) and Claus Marten's Four Seasons Clinic and Health Resort at Fareerweg 3, P.O. Box 244, D 8183 Rottach Egern, W. Germany, phone: 80-222-6780-24041.
Monday, December 06, 1999