June 12, 2014
Federal officials on Tuesday announced major changes in advice to pregnant and breastfeeding women by recommending consumption of at least 8 ounces of low-mercury fish per week.
It is the first time that the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration have issued recommendations on the minimum amount of fish that pregnant women and children should eat. The previous advisory, issued in 2004, included only maximum amounts to protect their fetuses and young children from mercury, which can harm developing brains and reduce IQs. Click here to read more.
That is a good step in the right direction. Now we need to be made aware of the levels of radioactive chemicals showing up in the fish as that is equally if not more concerning to human health.
January 6, 2014
Millions of people worldwide suffer with infertility and recurrent miscarriage and in thousands of unexplained cases, hypothyroidism may be the underlying cause. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has warned that 1 in 10 Americans suffer from thyroid disease. Despite this staggering statistic, half of patients remain undiagnosed. Many of these people will be in their childbearing years. Click here to read more about a news release on this topic.
What most doctors do not know is that the timing of when you test for and treat thyroid in pregnancy is crucial in preventing miscarriage. The type of thyroid treatment is also essential to a healthy outcome.
I will be giving a talk in our medical practice on Wed January 29th at 6:30PM on integrative medical options for fertility, and how to test for, and treat, thyroid imabalances throughout pregnancy.
June 25, 2013
This is a timely publication…the Lancet offers excellent guidelines on preventing disease in children with proper nutrition to the mother and to the baby.
AANP via The Lancet – Ten Nutrition Changes Could Save Lives Of A Million Children- (Monday, June 10, 2013)
Nearly 15 percent of all deaths in children under age five (a total of over 900,000) can be prevented, and over a fifth of all cases of growth stunting averted, if 10 nutrition interventions are scaled up to cover 90 percent of the population in the 34 countries most affected by malnutrition, according to a new study on maternal and childhood malnutrition.
More than half of this cost would be accounted for by India and Indonesia, both countries with sufficient financial resources to make a substantial contribution to the cost of stepping up the fight against malnutrition. The scientists estimate that prevalence of stunting in children under age 5 would be reduced by 20 percent.
The ten interventions include providing folic acid, calcium, and balanced energy protein and micronutrient supplements to pregnant women; promoting breastfeeding and delivering appropriate complementary feeding to infants; providing vitamin A and zinc supplements to children up to the age of five; and using proven treatment strategies to manage moderate and severe malnutrition in children. This study was released June 6, 2013 by The Lancet.
April 11, 2013
From the The New York Times (nytimes.com) – Air Pollution Tied to Birth Defects – By Nicholas Bakalar – (Monday, April 08, 2013)
Exposure in the first two months of pregnancy to air pollution from traffic sharply increases the risk for birth defects, a new study has found. Researchers used data from two large studies carried out in eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley in California. One has tracked birth defects since 1997, and the other has recorded concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter at 20 locations in the valley since the 1970s. The results are posted online in The American Journal of Epidemiology. Setting aside defects attributable to other known causes, there were 849 cases of birth defects.
The researchers adjusted for smoking, maternal age and other variables, and compared these cases with 853 healthy control subjects.They found that a mother living in areas with the highest levels of carbon monoxide or nitrogen oxide concentrations (the top 25 percent) was almost twice as likely to give birth to a child with neural tube defects — severe and often fatal defects of the brain and spinal cord— as one living in areas with the lowest concentrations.
I hope that all of us do the best that we can, to pay attention to the impact of environmental pollutants on health, and take action to reduce the toxic load on our planet and our children.
March 5, 2013
A new double-blind study that was published on line in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that pregnant women who consumed DHA (an omega 3 essential fatty acid) had larger babies, a longer gestation, and fewer preterm births.
In the study, 154 healthy women were randomly assigned to consume 600 mg of DHA per day during the second half of pregnancy and 147 women were assigned a placebo.
After the researchers adjusted for maternal education, socioeconomic status, prior pregnancy, smoking and other risk factors they discovered that the babies of the DHA mothers weighed nearly a half a pound more, were longer and had slightly larger head circumferences. And in the group of mothers on placebo, 5% gave birth at 34 weeks or less, whereas among the DHA group, only 0.6% gave birth early. The lead author, Susan E. Carlson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Kansas, says that is a dramatic reduction in preterm labor as compared to the general population.
There were no side effects reported.
Most Americans consume too much of the other essential fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 9) and not enough of the omega 3 (which DHA is classified as). So balance here is key. DHA is rich in sea foods and meat however I do not advise pregnant women to consume these foods in order to get DHA, as they also contain high levels of toxins (heavy metals and other environmental toxins that get stored in the animal fat).
I will often recommend the vegetarian source of DHA available on the market today, that is derived from algae. One easy way for a pregnant woman to be sure she has the right balance of essential fatty acids, including DHA is by consuming 1-2 tablespoons per day of Udo’s DHA Oil Blend while avoiding vegetable based cooking oils and packaged foods that contain oil, like chips and crackers. Just be sure to keep the Udo’s DHA Oil Blend refrigerated and do not cook with it. Always keep it cold as the fatty acids are vulnerable to heat sources.
January 28, 2013
Check out the latest article by Dr. Gina, on hormone health in the childbearing years, published in LA Parent magazine.
Click here to access the La Parent article.