By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
In previous blogs, I spoke of the power of our environment and its effect on dis-ease outcomes. Therefore what we feed our bodies, how we think, the amount of rest we get, our self-care, and our relationships, can all modulate how our bodies function at the cellular level.
This is why the topic of epigenetics, changing our cellular expression through environmental impacts, is such a passion of mine.
Below are some excerpts on how childhood exposure to nutrients affects their vitality and health.
Effects of Obesity and Heart Risk with Supplements in Children
This study with 25 participants concluded that heart risk outcomes in children could be modulated by a supplement protocol of plant sterols, fish oil, and B vitamins. The researchers used four independent risk factors: LDL-cholesterol, triacyclgycerols, C-reactive protein, and homocysteine.
Daily intake of a combination of plant sterols, fish oil and B vitamins may modulate the lipid profile of hypercholesterolemic children and adolescents. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN89549017
Source: Iveta Garaiova, et al. Effect of a plant sterol, fish oil and B vitamin combination on cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic children and adolescents: a pilot study (abstract). Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:7 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-7. January 8, 2013.
Fast Food Correlates to Eczema and Asthma in Kids: Study
Another study explored the impact of the intake of types of food on rhinocnjunctivitis, asthma, and eczema. The researchers distributed written questionnaires to 13-14 -year-old adolescents and parents/guardians of 6-7-year-old children on food intake over the past 12 months. They found positive associations between junk foods and diseases.
The authors concluded:
If the association between fast foods and the symptom prevalence of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema is causal, then the findings have major public health significance owing to the rising consumption of fast foods globally.
Source: Ellwood, P., et al. Do fast foods cause asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema? Global findings from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three (abstract). Thorax doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-202285. January 13, 2013.
Autism and Folic Acid
Another study reported the link between autism and use of folic acid during pregnancy:
Use of prenatal folic acid supplements around the time of conception was associated with a lower risk of autistic disorder in the MoBa cohort. Although these findings cannot establish causality, they do support prenatal folic acid supplementation.
Source: Suren, P et al. Association Between Maternal Use of Folic Acid Supplements and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children. JAMA. 2013;309(6):570-577. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.155925. 2/13/13.
Choline and Schizophrenia
Besides folic acid, another B vitamin family supplement may help brain development. A randomized placebo controlled clinical trial with dietary phosphatidylcholine supplementation in 100 healthy pregnant women found a positive association between its intake and decreased schizophrenia risk factors.
Amniotic choline activates fetal α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and facilitates development of cerebral inhibition. Increasing this activation may protect infants from future illness by promoting normal brain development. The authors investigated the effects of perinatal choline supplementation on the development of cerebral inhibition in human infants.
CONCLUSIONS Neonatal developmental delay in inhibition is associated with attentional problems as the child matures. Perinatal choline activates timely development of cerebral inhibition, even in the presence of gene mutations that otherwise delay it.
Source: Ross RG, Hunter SK, McCarthy L, Beuler J, Hutchison AK, Wagner BD, Leonard S, Stevens KE, Freedman R. Am J Psychiatry (abstract) Perinatal Choline Effects on Neonatal Pathophysiology Related to Later Schizophrenia Risk.2013 J an 15. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12070940. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 23318559
Learn more about epigenetics and the power of our choices at the links below and my homepage blog this month: http://dr-lobisco.com/epigenetics-the-power-of-health-choices-in-children/