What I’m Reading This Month: Antibiotic Use In Infancy & Later Allergies, Metal Neurotoxins & Neural Epidemics, and the Latest Research on Nutritional & Dietary Interventions for Autism
The sheer volume of health, wellness, and medical news and commentary available on the internet can be overwhelming. Every month, get a taste of what integrative medicine leader Dr. John Gannage finds interesting (and digestible) on the web.
A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that infants given H2 blockers or P.P.I.s were more than twice as likely to have a food allergy as those who were not; the risk was especially high for allergy to cow’s milk. Those given antibiotics were at a 14 percent increased risk for food allergy, a 51 percent increased risk for anaphylaxis (a potentially fatal type of allergic reaction), and more than double the risk for asthma.
The authors suggest that both antacids and antibiotics disrupt the normal intestinal bacteria and that this may explain the association.
Point of emphasis: When considered in combination, for some, the human body may become easily over-burdened.
“Many published studies have illustrated that several of the present day neurological epidemics (autism, attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s) cannot be correlated to any single neurotoxicant. However, the present scientific examination of the numerous global blood monitoring databases for adults that include the concentrations of the neurotoxic elements, aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) clearly indicate that, when considered in combination, for some, the human body may become easily over-burdened. This can be explained by changes in modern lifestyles. Similar data, solely for pregnant women, have been examined confirming this. All these elements are seen to be present in the human body and at not insignificant magnitudes.”
The latest research shows that biomedical treatment including a gluten/casein/soy free diet combined with nutrient supplementation can improve the symptoms of autism. Sometimes, for some children, we have to dig deeper.
Is your toddler having trouble settling down at bedtime? Turn out the lights and shut off the electronics well before the sleeping hour.
“Exposing preschoolers to an hour of bright light before bedtime almost completely shuts down their production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and keeps it suppressed for at least 50 minutes after lights out, according to new University of Colorado Boulder research.”
I strongly believe that reactions to foods make up a large component of the cases I see in Integrative Medicine.
At the very least, it’s a starting point. A thorough dietary history, and identifying a timeline for symptoms, while understanding the possible effect of dietary histamines and salicylates, for example, are an important part of the assessment. A while ago a patient brought to my attention (because we learn a ton from our patients) the entity known as Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome (SNAS), which I’ve added to my inventory of possible food reactions and inquiry.
It’s satisfying to effect a positive clinical result through diet change alone, especially when patients have sought help for years without answers or lasting results, and can get off meds.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is widely used in plastics, receipt paper and canned food linings.
“A review of more than 30 scientific studies concludes early life exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemical BPA leaves children more susceptible to hyperactivity later in life.
The review, published today in Environment International, suggests environmental chemicals such as BPA may be partly to blame for the recent spike in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral issues in children.”
“The rate of U.S. children with ADHD has been increasing. About 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed, according to the most recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
The causes of the disorder remain unknown—some suspected causes include brain injuries, alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy, and premature or low birth weight babies.
However, scientists have increasingly warned that environmental exposures may be in part behind the rise.”
This is astounding on so many levels. The low levels, the high risk, the ubiquitous exposure, its association with adult cardiovascular disease, and the well-respected publication that this research appears in. Not a new association, as my previous literature review and powerpoint presentations attest.
Am I obsessed with lead? Perhaps. But maybe we all should be, at least talking about it more. And doing something about it. I was at a conference over this past weekend in NYC concerning brain-injured children. I was in conversation with a paediatrician speaker and noted expert. Sadly, she knew little about lead, its modern-day sources, and its effects. Let alone oxidative stress in general and other ways that the blood-brain barrier can be damaged, and how inflammation can ensue in addition to infectious triggers. It always amazes me what the chemical industry has not been held accountable for when it comes to chronic illness in the young and old alike.
We are in equilibrium with whatever is happening in our environment, and it can be an unhealthy equilibrium, especially if we make choices that inadvertently expose us. We are not test tube organisms in a controlled scientific environment. and therefore only exposed to one factor, such as a Strep bug. Not just Strep. Not just mercury. Or lead. Or glyphosate. Or aluminum. Or cadmium. Or other pesticides. Or flame retardants. Or PCBs. Or Arsenic. Or BPA. Or other single chemicals from the myriad of toxicants, many neurotoxic (the brain is very susceptible to oxidative stress) or vasculotoxic (blood vessels are injured leading to plaque). Simultaneous exposure occurs daily. It impacts genetic expression, and activates inflammation. More so if we don’t nourish ourselves properly.
“Our findings suggest that, of 2-3 million deaths every year in the USA, about 400 000 are attributable to lead exposure, an estimate that is about ten times larger than the current one. The key reason for this difference is because the previous estimate assumed cardiovascular disease was only evident at concentrations of lead in blood as low as 5 μg/dL. Our findings show that concentrations of lead in blood lower than 5 μg/dL (<0·24 μmol/L) are associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and ischaemic heart disease mortality. In other studies, amounts of lead in blood lower than 10 μg/dL (<0·483 μmol/L) were associated with cardiovascular disease mortality, but our study is the first to test whether the relation with cardiovascular disease mortality was evident in a population with concentrations of lead in blood below 5 μg/dL (<0·24 μmol/L). These results suggest that low-level lead exposure is an important, largely overlooked, risk factor for death in the USA, particularly for cardiovascular disease deaths.”
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