Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase Homeopathic Disc (PST) 12C

It's been estimated in unpublished data by Dr. Rosemary Waring that approximately 80-90% of children with autism struggle with the function of the enzyme called Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase (PST) either because of low sulfate levels or because of a defect in this enzyme that detoxifies environmental toxins, food dyes, additives, some medications, phenols made by the body and phenols obtained in the diet. It is to her credit and research that this information is available to us, and that through it, Elaine has developed the PST Disc, which is making a significant difference in the lives of those suffering from this deficiency.

1) What is the PST Disc?
Monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) is a mitochondrial enzyme that is very vulnerable to inhibition by stress, high estrogen, lipid peroxidation, heavy metals, high amounts of phenols, high amounts of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, and some parasites. Respen-A™ works to increase the activity of the MAO-A that is not inhibited by these factors. However, the benefit of Respen-A™ is limited by the availability of the amount of MAO-A that is not being inhibited. We need to try and eliminate as many of these MAO-A inhibiting factors as possible.

A large percentage of MAO-A inhibition in ASD is due to the build up of phenols, which are antioxidants in plants. Everyone has been told that we should have 6-8 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, but this may very likely be detrimental to a person who has ASD. Parents should know that just because a supplement or compound comes from nature does not mean that it doesn't have side effects, especially when given in higher doses than would be obtained from food as in the case of supplements.

Dr. Rosemary Waring’s research has found that 80%-90% of people on the spectrum have deficient activity in the enzyme called Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase (PST). This enzyme is needed to break down phenols and to produce sulfate ions, which are needed for detoxification of environmental chemicals, salicylates, phenols, food additives and some medications.

Because almost all foods contain phenols, it is nearly impossible to avoid them altogether, but if the sulfation pathway is not functioning well, a person may not be able to process the phenolic compounds as fast as they consume them. There is a cumulative effect. When the phenols start to build up in the body, they can result in negative reactions such as; night waking, night sweats, irritability, eczema and other skin conditions, extreme emotional highs followed by very low moods, head banging and other self injurious behavior, aggression, headache, dark circles under the eyes, red face/ears, and diarrhea. Hyperactivity is more common in children’s reactions, whereas adults often experience chronic fatigue.

So what is causing the deficiency of the Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase enzyme? Phthalates destroy the PST enzyme. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used to help dissolve other materials. Phthalates are in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, lubricating oils, and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays). People are also exposed to phthalates by eating and drinking foods that have contacted products containing phthalates. Some exposure can occur from breathing phthalate particles in the air. Children crawl around and touch many things, then put their hands in their mouths. Because of that hand-to-mouth behavior, phthalate particles in dust might be a greater risk for children than for adults.

Obviously, we can’t completely eliminate our exposure to phthalates, but we have developed a homeopathic topical disc of PST that appears to imitate your natural PST enzyme, in that, those children who demonstrated phenol sensitivity prior to using the homeopathic PST disc can now eat foods high in phenols with no symptoms of phenol toxicity.

2) What are phenols?
Phenols and salicylates are chemical compounds found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and some medications. These compounds are excellent antioxidants, so we typically think of them as very healthy. However, high levels of phenols and salicylates in certain foods seem to negatively affect some children with autism and individuals with sensitive digestive and immune systems.

The term phenol refers to a large group of chemical compounds found in plants. Salicylates are a specific type of phenol. These beneficial compounds are mainly secreted by plants, animals or microbes to protect themselves against invaders; toxins, bacterial/fungal infections, insects, UV radiation damage, pesticides and inhibitors.

Processed and packaged foods contain phenols. However, many of these are synthetically produced phenols that manufacturers add to artificially flavor, color, and lengthen shelf life (preservatives).

A child with a Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase (PST) deficiency will have trouble processing foods high in phenols. PST is an enzyme that breaks down phenols, allowing the body to use what it needs and excrete what it doesn’t need. Accordingly, people with a PST deficiency have trouble detoxifying and clearing away phenols and salicylates, causing them to accumulate. As a result of this accumulation, symptoms of phenol sensitivities develop.

3) What are phenols found in?
Dietary Phenols: Polyphenols, flavonoids, resveratrol and salicylates are naturally occurring phenols produced by plants, and are found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grain and multigrain foods. The foods highest in phenols are all berries, dark-skinned grapes, pomegranates and other fruits with dark red and purple pigments.

Chemical Phenols: preservatives (TBHQ) (Benzoate or benzoic acid itself is a phenol-compound that has an antimicrobial effect, which is why it is used as a preservative in many foods), bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastics, but also toluene, petroleum, benzene, coal tar and xylenol. Many chemical phenolic compounds are found in disinfectants, antiseptics, food additives, detergents, fungicides (used for waxing citrus fruits), soaps, vaccines as a preservative, artificial food colourings/dyes (red, orange, and green are the worst offenders), artificial flavorings, food and cosmetic preservatives (BHT and BHA), mouthwash, toothpaste, lotions, household spray cleaners, and medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

There are also synthetic phenols, phenols made in the body (dopamine, epinephrine, estrogen, et al) and phenols from the environment that have estrogen and endocrine disrupting properties.

Phenols limit signals from the nerves to the muscles so they are used to treat spasms. Yeast overgrowth produces phenols.

For in-depth chemical info and categories of phenols see:

4) How do you know that you may have a problem with phenols?
Being more sensitive to colorful fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs (even medicinal herbs), and foods containing salicylates can be an indication. This is problematic because it includes many of the healthy foods that we need for fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Parents will often note that rashes or behaviors get worse when their child has consumed anything with a lot of color, including beverages. This can sometimes be mistaken for sugar-reactions when it is more due to the high phenol content.

Other things that may indicate a problem with processing phenolic compounds include being more sensitive to chemicals, suffering with infections or gut dysbiosis and getting worse every time you try to treat them.

5) What are the symptoms of Phenol-Sulphur-Transferase (PST) defect?
If the sulfation pathway is not functioning well, a person may not be able to process phenolic compounds as fast as they consume them. There is a cumulative effect. When the phenols start backing up in the system, it can cause a myriad of negative reactions and symptoms. Symptoms of phenol overload include:

  • trouble falling asleep at night, night waking for several hours
  • insomnia
  • night sweats
  • dark circles under eyes
  • irritability, hitting
  • hyperactivity in children
  • self-injurious behavior, head banging
  • stimming
  • eczema, and other skin conditions
  • red cheeks/ face/ ears/ fingertips
  • runny and/or stuffy nose
  • lethargy
  • inappropriate laughter (often at night time)
  • diarrhea, sometimes constipation
  • emotional extremes; extreme emotional highs followed by very low moods
  • allergy-type symptoms such as hives, asthma
  • chronic infections such as ear and sinus infections
  • nasal and sinus polyps
  • headaches
  • abdominal pain
  • colitis
  • gastrointestinal inflammation
  • sensitivity to noise, light, touch
  • fatigue
  • bed wetting and day wetting
  • aggression, esp. when exposed to petroleum-based phenols
  • learning difficulties such as dyslexia, speech difficulties
  • chronic fatigue in adults
  • Only a few of these symptoms need to be present. These symptoms are also typical of salicylate sensitivity.

    Note that the symptoms of phenols building up are the same as those symptoms associated with deficient MAO-A activity.
    High polyphenols inhibit MAO-A.

    6) What are parents seeing in their children using the PST Disc?
    The Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase (PST) disc has proven to help clear phenols. Reports from parents using it for their child are that they are seeing even better results with this disc than with the Respen-A™. In fact, one parent has reported that her son has been doing just fine off the PST disc for up to two weeks!

    The results have been significant in that children that couldn’t tolerate foods high in phenols can now tolerate them, and the effects of the Respen-A™ have increased. Parents are finding that, since using the PST homeopathic disc to increase this detoxifying pathway, their children are needing less and less of the Respen-A™. So why is this? Remember that Respen-A™ is a homeopathic dilution of reserpine, which has been shown to double the activity of MAO-A. So as the detoxifying pathways start clearing the build-up of things that can inhibit MAO-A activity, more MAO-A is freed up. As the MAO-A activity increases, less of the Respen-A™ is needed.

    We have found that parents of children that are using the PST Disc use it in one of three ways;

  • Together with the Respen-A™
  • Alternating a few days of the PST Disc with a few days of the Respen-A™ Disc
  • By itself

  • In any of these examples some parents are also using AM4 every third day.

    7) Why should I be concerned about phenols?
    High amounts of phenols inhibit MAO-A, which in turn negates the Respen-A™ and PST discs. Issues arise when our phenol detoxification system becomes overwhelmed with too many phenols from environmental chemicals, bacterial toxins, processed foods containing high amounts of phenols, etc. In severe cases, it depresses the CNS (central nervous system). This is why we see neurological problems such as hyperactivity, aggression, learning difficulties and other behavioral issues in children with phenol sensitivities.

    In addition to phenol overload, parents using polyphenols for their children should also be aware that phenols are strong inhibitors of iron absorption.

    8) How does the Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase (PST) Disc work compared with the Respen-A™?
    Respen-A™ increases the activity of MAO-A. But, as you know, it can only do that if the MAO-A is not being inhibited by certain supplements and factors. One factor that inhibits MAO-A is high phenols. The Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase enzyme (PST) breaks down phenols. Dr. Waring has found that this enzyme is deficient in 80-90% of people with autism. The PST disc mimics the enzyme to keep the phenols from building up and inhibiting MAO-A.

    Imagine that you are driving a Tesla to work, which by the way can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.6 seconds. Only, the freeway you need to travel on is 6 lanes wide and has bumper to bumper traffic that is moving slower than you could walk. The MAO-A, which the Respen-A™ wants to activate in your body, is the Tesla. The bumper to bumper traffic is the phenols blocking the way. The PST disc clears the 'traffic (phenols) off the freeway' (clears the pathway) so that the MAO-A can 'get to work' (do its job of being the roots to the Tree of Life in your body).

    Here's the difference between the discs: the Respen-A™ activates the MAO-A, which wants to do its job but can't be very effective when phenols are blocking the way IF your child has phenol sensitivity. The PST disc clears the pathway of phenols so the MAO-A can be utilized by the body.

    9) How can I order the PST Disc and how much does it cost?
    If you are interested in trying the Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase Disc (PST), it can be ordered by sending an email to . The cost for a month’s supply is $50. Shipping costs are separate.

    10) Should I use Respen-A™, or PST first?
    If you see a worsening of symptoms when your child eats apples or berries, which are high in phenols, then we recommend using the PST Disc first when deciding between the Respen-A™ and PST discs.

    11) Does the PST Disc help with anything else?
    This detoxification pathway processes other phenolic compounds including salicylates, artificial food colourings, artificial flavorings, and some preservatives. Besides requiring PST, research has found that salicylates further suppress the activity of any PST enzyme present. Food dyes also have been shown to inhibit the PST enzyme.

    12) Dr. Rosemary Waring did research that showed that B6 can inhibit human sulfotransferase, but it is activated by magnesium: if you have at least a 1:1 mix of B6:Mg there is no problem. Hence, if you have a problem with B6, try to see if taking magnesium with it will help. Have you tested this?
    We’ve had several people try this and they didn’t notice any difference whatsoever.

    13) Does using the PST Disc require calcium supplementation?

    14) Can I use PST and Respen-A™ together?
    Yes, however, when using PST and Respen-A™ together, the need for calcium is greater because the MAO-A is so much more effective at pushing calcium into the bones. You should probably increase to 2400 mg of calcium carbonate a day when you are using PST and Respen-A™ together, otherwise you will have lower back pain. The most calcium is pushed into the pelvis area.

    15) If the PST works for my son, does this correct the problem or is this something he will always need?
    Because we aren't correcting the cause of the PST destruction, most likely your son will need to stay on the PST Disc. This is also what we have seen with the Respen-A™.

    16) When traveling on an airplane, should the PST be packed in a suitcase that is checked through to destination or in a carry on? Do the scanners damage the discs?
    Best to carry the PST onboard with you as scanners at airports will affect its viability. Please ask to have it hand inspected to avoid damage.

    17) When a person is using the PST Disc is there the same issue with conversions in terms of 5-HTP?
    The PST is just removing the inhibition on the MAO-A by high phenols. The Respen-A™ speeds up the MAO-A breakdown of serotonin into its active aldehyde so the Respen-A™ can burn through the serotonin, but this is not the case with the PST.

    18) When using the PST Disc, does one still need to make sure to have a serving of meat daily?

    19) What is the shelf-life of the PST Disc?
    Each PST Disc has a shelf life of two years when stored in its original packaging. Therefore, we can ship a 12-month supply of the PST Discs to decrease the cost of shipping if you desire.

    We realize that the ZipSeal of the packaging might fail when opened daily for twenty nine days, and recommend being gentle when pulling the ZipSeal apart. If the ZipSeal fails, fold the top of the package over a couple of times, and use a bag clip on the corner. DO NOT STORE THE PST DISCS IN ANY OTHER TYPE OF PACKAGING! The ZipSeal packaging is occlusive, meaning it will keep light and air out, therefore allowing for a two-year shelf life. Exposure of the discs to air for 15 minutes will destroy their viability, so we recommend cutting a disc from its ‘sheet’ and replacing that sheet securely back in the ZipSeal bag before putting the disc on your child.

    Once the PST Disc has been activated on the skin it is active for 16-24 hours. This is why we suggest that you put a disc on the child in the morning, and remove it when they go to bed at night. The adhesive tape included with the PST is waterproof, so your child can swim or shower while wearing the PST Disc.

    Do not store the disc package next to a microwave as it will destroy the viability of the product.

    20) Does the PST help resolve gluten issues?
    You should see the same benefit with the PST as you do with the Respen-A™ in being able to eat gluten again. We suggest waiting 7 days after starting the PST Disc before reintroducing gluten.

    21) My son is gluten-free and dairy-free and we'd like to start him on the PST Disc because we know that he has an issue with phenols. How many days should we wait before reintroducing both?
    After one week on the PST disc it is slowly reintroduce gluten first, then dairy.

    22) If a child is starting on the PST Disc, will they have the same issue with gluten or inositol being necessary to release the serotonin?
    Not with the PST, but if using the Respen-A™ too, then yes.

    23) How long should I wait after starting PST before introducing AM4?
    We have seen most people see some benefit of the PST in the first week. Therefore, start the AM4* in the second week. The AM4 may not show full benefit until it has been worn 4-5 times.

    *High alanine inhibits MAO-A. The AM4 Disc reverses the effect of alanine on MAO-A. It is worn 1 day on, two days off. One pack of ten discs is $25. Incidentally, though the mechanism as to ‘why’ is unknown, AM4 delivers remarkable results for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, excluding frontal lobe dementia.

    24) Can we try the PST Disc before the Respen-A™? Our son has toxins that need to be cleared, like mold, and he might have better focus if we try PST.
    As for detoxification, the MAO-A detoxes everything, while PST is just one pathway. As for PST vs. Respen-A™, some people respond better to the PST Disc and you are welcome to try it first.

    25) Is there anything else that can be done to eliminate phenols?
    It is impossible to completely eliminate phenols and salicylates from the diet as they are in most foods we eat. However, you can minimize the problem by:

  • Eliminating foods that trigger your child’s symptoms (i.e., foods found, via elimination diet, to cause physical or behavioral symptoms).
  • Restricting vegetables, fruits, spices, legumes, and nuts that contain the highest levels of phenols.
  • Reducing or eliminating exposure to non-food sources of phenols (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, mint-flavored toothpaste, etc.).
  • Supporting the Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase (PST) pathway by using the PST Disc.
  • In addition, you can supplement sulfate ions, such as with using a magnesium sulfate cream and applying it several times a day as sulfate ions only last in the body 1-5 hours. If you've ever noticed that your child seems to respond well to Epsom salt baths, but the effect doesn’t last long after the bath, most likely they are deficient in sulfate ions due to deficient activity of the Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase enzyme.

    26) What else is known about PST?
    It appears that the sub-optimal activity of Phenol-Sulfur-Transferase (PST) is a function of low plasma sulfate levels rather than of deficits in the actual enzyme. Thus, any food or chemical that requires or uses up sulfate during its breakdown will make the situation worse. Common foods that can cause this problem include apple juice, citrus fruit juices, chocolate, and Tylenol™. This detoxification pathway processes other phenolic compounds including salicylates, artificial food colourings, artificial flavorings, and some preservatives.

    Many coloring materials, whether of natural or synthetic origin, possess phenolic groupings. Acetaminophen (paracetamol - Panadol, Tylenol™) is also detoxified by this pathway, which is why we see either hyperactivity or lethargy in children with a severe PST problem when given acetaminophen. Therefore, Tylenol™ should be avoided for kids with a PST problem.

    PST/sulfate deficiency also impairs the metabolism of classical neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, impairs breakdown and metabolism of the bile pigments bilirubin and biliverdin, and decreases secretion of pancreatic enzymes and bile from the gallbladder and biliary tract into the intestines. This would result in low uptake of certain vitamins and other nutrients from the intestines, reduced activity of gastrin (and subsequent reduced secretion of stomach acid, mucus, and pepsin in the stomach), and, probably, reduced production of secretin further downstream.

    Excess boron interferes with the metabolism (breakdown and excretion) of phenols. Boron is found in apples, pears, grapes, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and legumes. Supplying these substances, especially apples, pears, and grapes, or their juices in large amounts to PST deficient children, will cause a build up of phenols, amines, salicylates, and other toxic substances normally cleared by PST.

    The bottleneck can be cleared in one of three ways:

  • Reduce the amount of phenols and toxins entering the body. This is the basis of the Failsafe diet and the Feingold diet. These diets remove the hard-to-process artificial colourings, flavorings and preservatives.

  • Supply more sulfate. This increases the ability to process toxins out of the body. Sulfate may not be absorbed well from the gut, so simply giving more sulfur directly by swallowing supplements may not produce satisfactory results. Therefore, a way to get sulfate into the body is through Epsom salt baths. Many parents report that giving Epsom salt baths is beneficial to help their child’s body process phenols. Sulfate is thought to circulate in the body for up to nine hours.

  • The simplest method is to use the PST Disc.
  • Vitamin B6 and/or p-5-p (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) can aggravate the PST problem of some children by making it difficult for the child to process phenols. B6 in the form of p-5-p inhibits PST activity. This could be why some children show adverse effects when supplements high in p-5-p are started.

    The main source of free sulfate in the body is the amino acid cysteine, which is obtained from the breakdown of protein. One of the sulfur containing amino-acids used for this purpose is taurine, which is reported to have an anti-opioid effect.

    Cranberry juice has been anecdotally reported to reduce or even eliminate these effects. Whether this is due to the sulfur content of the juice or some other mechanism, including placebo, remains to be determined.

    (A majority of the information shared in this answer is borrowed from an article from All Natural Advantage)

    27) Is glutathione in any dose or form allowed?
    Glutathione is okay but should only be used in low doses as it is an oxygen free radical scavenger. Glutathione is an antioxidant in plants i.e., a phenol. So if a person has phenol sensitivity, it will diminish the effects of the Respen-A™ and PST Discs. Best to start protocol without it.

    If you would like additional information on phenols, see links below:

    You may also resource past newsletters containing info on phenols and PST under Respen-A™ News, link below: