By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
A few weeks ago, at my homepage blog, I highlighted the benefits of breastfeeding on baby’s health(http://dr-lobisco.com/breastfeeding-and-healthy-america-epigenetics-in-children-ii/). This week continues this topic of the power of food and lifestyle choices on the health outcomes of our future generations.
Below are some articles summarizing the power of choice on our health and our children’s:
How Baby is Born and Breastfeeding Effects Gut Health
We now know that the majority of the immune system and neurotransmitters are located in the gut. How the baby is born, as well as if the child is breastfed, has lasting health effects reported below (emphasis mine):
Infants may fail to develop a healthy mixture of intestinal bacteria if they are delivered by Caesarean section or do not drink breast milk, researchers are reporting.
Previous studies have linked the presence of certain gut microbes to healthy digestion, bowel regulation and stimulation of the immune system. When those microbes are missing or disrupted, people are more likely to suffer ailments like inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, cancer and allergies.
Seeking to understand how the microbes are developed in early life, a team of Canadian researchers collected samples (dirty diapers, frozen) from newborns at birth and again at 3 months. They found that many children who were delivered by C-section all but lacked a group of critical bacteria found in those who were delivered vaginally. The gut bacteria in children who were fed only formula, rather than breast milk, was also significantly different from those who were given at least some breast milk.
The results were published in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.The presence of gut microbes “serves a very important function during infancy” by “telling the immune cells not to overreact to certain bacteria but to react to others,” said an author of the study, Anita L. Kozyrskyj, an associate professor at the University of Alberta. When those microbes are not present, the immune system is more likely to overreact to something benign, like food or dust.
DOUGLAS QUENQUA. Healthy Bacteria in Babies. NY Times: Science. February 25, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/science/breast-milk-promotes-healthy-gut-bacteria-in-babies-study-says.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=2&
Mom’s Diet and Breastfeeding
Mother’s obesity can predispose her fetus to heart attacks by causing the first clinical sign of cardiovascular disease before birth. Diet during pregnancy and early childhood have lifelong health effects on children.
A third of a newborn baby’s blood is outside his body in the umbilical cord. Routine cord clamping deprives neonates of their birthright to their own lifesaving blood.
Routine caesarian deliveries and umbilical cord clamping are depriving children of the edge that can mean life or death.
Suboptimal breastfeeding may be responsible for taking the lives of tens of thousands of infants each year. Along with perfect nutrition, mother’s milk provides life-saving antibodies and immune system factors to newborns
Mercola, J. Why Is a Child’s Health Often Damaged at Conception? Mercola.com. March 21, 2013. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/21/baby-health-during-pregnancy.aspx
Magnesium Links to Testosterone
Diet and lifestyle of dad supports healthy baby too! In one study, dads who exercised and supplemented with magnesium had increased levels of testosterone than controls (emphasis mine)!
This study was performed to assess how 4 weeks of magnesium supplementation and exercise affect the free and total plasma testosterone levels of sportsmen practicing tae kwon do and sedentary controls at rest and after exhaustion. The testosterone levels were determined at four different periods: resting before supplementation, exhaustion before supplementation, resting after supplementation, and exhaustion after supplementation in three study groups, which are as follows: Group 1–sedentary controls supplemented with 10 mg magnesium per kilogram body weight. Group 2–tae kwon do athletes practicing 90-120 min/day supplemented with 10 mg magnesium per kilogram body weight. Group 3–tae kwon do athletes practicing 90-120 min/day receiving no magnesium supplements. The free plasma testosterone levels increased at exhaustion before and after supplementation compared to resting levels. Exercise also increased testosterone levels relative to sedentary subjects. Similar increases were observed for total testosterone. Our results show that supplementation with magnesium increases free and total testosterone values in sedentary and in athletes. The increases are higher in those who exercise than in sedentary individuals.
Vedat Cinar, Yahya Polat, Abdulkerim Kasim Baltaci, Rasim Mogulkoc. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Testosterone Levels of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects at Rest and after Exhaustion (abstract). Biological Trace Element Research. April 2011, Volume 140, Issue 1, pp 18-23. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12011-010-8676-3
Drugs in Pregnancy
A consideration for mom’s on antidepressants (emphasis mine):
Consider antidepressants, used by about 5 percent of pregnant women. Certain brands are suspected of a small risk of heart defects. Studies suggest a version called SSRIs may increase risk of a serious lung problem at birth – from 1 in 3,000 pregnancies to 3 in 3,000 pregnancies, Chambers said. Also, some babies go through withdrawal symptoms in the first days of life that can range from jitteriness to occasional seizures.
Women have to weigh those findings with the clear risks of stopping treatment, she said.
“The time to be thinking about all this is when you’re not pregnant,” when your doctor can consider how to balance mom’s and baby’s health and might switch brands, Chambers said.
That’s what heart attack survivor Kelli Tussey of Columbus, Ohio, did. The 34-year-old takes a variety of heart medications, including a cholesterol-lowering statin drug that the government advises against during pregnancy.
Neergaard, L. Hard to find good info on drug safety in pregnancy. The Seattle Times: Health. March 12, 2013. http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2020540079_apusmedhealthbeatpregnancydrugs.html?syndication=rss
I will be posting my March 2013 Top Holistic Health Reads shortly. Make sure to check out my homepage (dr-lobisco.com) to learn about the headliners:
Mediterranean Diet Impact on Heart Health
The Updated Hormone Replacement Guidelines
Important Drug Updates!