Acetaldehyde and Autism

What someone wrote on another forum intrigued me so thought I'd share it here. This was their post:

Autism, or spectrum conditions, is caused by an excessive amount of endogenously produced acetaldehyde, in relationship with the digestive tract.

Acetaldehyde is best known for being the substance that your body makes when drinking alcohol but I have noticed that the body can also produce acetaldehyde by itself. This leads to the weirdest symptoms and one of them is that it influences the brain a lot. And I have no doubt about it that when you have this whole process young enough as a baby in sufficient amount it can change your brain permanently.

I started a blog about my findings at you can go to for getting more of an idea what it is about. Because I developed practically all of the symptoms of ME/CFS because of my illness I have also a post on the Healthrising ME/CFS forum (in general discussion) with some more info, so that might be worth following too.
There are researchers who believe that autism and ME/CFS have a connection and I think that too (same process just later in life).


This morning I made a boring version of a risotto. I suppose you could say more of a rice porridge really! I put the rice and chopped onion with water in a pan, then cooked it until the water all absorbed. Usually I fry the onion in olive oil at the beginning but I wanted to try cooking in a boring fat-free way!  Afterwards when I was around people I had less anxiety than usual, it was quite surprising. Then later in the day I found this research online:

Emissions of volatile organic compounds, including aldehydes, formed during heating of cooking oils: coconut, safflower, canola, and extra virgin olive oils were studied at different temperatures: 180, 210, 240, and 240°C after 6h. Fumes were collected in Tedlar® bags and later analysed by GC–MS. The emissions of volatiles were constant with time and increased with the oil temperature. When the temperature of the oil was above its smoke point, the emission of volatiles drastically increased, implying that oils with low smoke point, such as coconut, are not useful for deep-frying operations. Canola was the oil generating the lowest amount of potentially toxic volatile chemicals. Acrolein formation was found even at low temperatures, indicating that home cooking has to be considered as an indoor pollution problem.

If I understand what I've read cooking oils releases aldehydes. I found this research on aldehydes:

Their presence in organisms is linked to different types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

The toxic aldehydes are a result of degradation of the fatty acids in oil, and although some are volatile, others remain after frying. That is why they can be found in cooked food. As they are very reactive compounds they can react with proteins, hormones and enzymes in the organism and impede its correct functioning.


This website explains more about acetaldehyde including what it does to the body and where we tend to get it from our diet:

Alcohol is the main source but also milk, fermented foods like probiotic yogurts, and even some fruits. 


I'm not anti-Autism or trying to promote a cure, just trying to look at ways to ease the most difficult bits. I think I'll be trying to eat a more boring diet now, avoiding cooking with oils/fats. It seems worth it if it will reduce anxiety. I think I'll have to stop drinking alcohol too. Anyone got any thoughts on this? Have you also noticed you get less anxiety if you don't fry foods and avoid alcohol and foods with acetaldehydes? Opinions/thoughts welcomed!