In this section you will find everything pertaining to the subject of parenting and how to power up the brain health of your child. Whether you are wondering about proper nutrition during pregnancy or how to nurture the microbiome of your toddle, this Parenting section explores all the latest science and information on improving the brain health of your child and stimulating brain development!
Some posts to get you started:
Improved Attention From Your Child? Feed Them This
Formula Feeding and Infant Obesity: Role of the Gut Microbiome
We often talk about the importance of method of birth on a newborn’s health, not only in the short-term, but in the long-term. Research has found, again and again, that vaginal birth, and the experience of going through the birth canal, exposes a child to various microbes that form the basis for their own gut microbiome. Continue reading
Food allergies, and a specific skin condition called eczema, are rapidly increasing in the youth population. Now, in what may be the largest study of its kind ever performed, researchers are studying a woman’s diet during pregnancy, as well as duration of breast-feeding post-birth, to assess a child’s susceptibility to allergies, as well as risk for conditions like eczema and autoimmune disorders. British investigators, evaluating over 1.5 million people, have come up with some very compelling information.
The research is what’s called a meta-analysis, meaning that it is review of previous studies (over 400 in this case) involving over 1.5 million people, and dating as far back as 1946. The researchers discovered that there was a weak, but nonetheless demonstrable, relationship between breast-feeding and reduced risk of eczema during infancy, as well as reduced risk for type I diabetes. In addition, probiotics seemed to reduce the risk of allergic reactions to cow’s milk.
The data, however, was much more supportive of the relationship between taking a probiotic supplement while 36 – 38 weeks pregnant, and during the first 3 to 6 months of breast-feeding, and risk for childhood eczema. In fact, in those women taking probiotics, risk for eczema in their child was reduced by 22%. The scientist noted that most of the probiotics contained a bacterium called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Continue reading
For some time, we’ve been discussing the long-term health implications of method of birth on a child’s future health. Specifically, we’ve been looking at what being born via c-section, instead of a vaginal birth, means for your risks for health complications, including obesity. A new paper, published in the journal science advances and co-authored by the great Dr. Maria Dominquez-Bello, looks at the statistics relating to weight gain in rodents born via c-section or vaginally. Their finding is not very much unlike what you would expect.
With more than 6.5 million American children being diagnosed with ADHD, and close to 70% of them being medicated, it sure makes sense that we should consider how lifestyle factors, including diet, may affect a child’s ability to pay attention in school.
Certainly, DHA is important, as research has demonstrated significant improvement in focus in children with higher levels of this omega-3 fat. Continue reading
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is continuing to increase in the United States. Current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that the prevalence of autism currently stands at 1 in 68 children, with incidence rates of 1 in every 42 boys and 1 in every 189 girls.
Without question, it’s been very difficult to try to determine what may be causing this virtual epidemic to be worsening over time. Over the past five years, researchers have been focusing their efforts in an attempt to relate risk for autism to events occurring not in the brain, but in the gut. Continue reading
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the prevalence of autism continues to rise here in America. Their surveillance study identified autism spectrum disorder in an incredible 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls).
Clearly, no one yet knows the cause of autism, but more and more research is pointing to the possible connection between autism risk, and exposure to the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in the common weed killer Roundup. Continue reading
Autism is a subject on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and an area of ongoing medical research. The more we study, the more we begin to learn what could be at the root of autism, and factors that impact baseline risk for autism, like childhood exposure to antibiotics.
Eczema is becoming a fairly common problem in young children. This condition is characterized by frequent outbreaks of reddened, inflamed skin with significant itching. But beyond the discomfort, it is now recognized that when children are diagnosed with eczema, they have a much greater risk of other immune issues, like persistent inflammation of the nose and eyes, as well as full-blown asthma.
It’s now become clear that the level of inflammation in the human body is determined, to a significant degree, but the health and diversity of the bacteria living in the gut. In fact, an astounding 70% of the immune cells in our bodies are clustered around the intestines!
So it’s no surprise that researchers have begun looking at ways to modify the gut bacteria in children in hopes of balancing inflammation and the immune system, specifically as this relates to eczema. Continue reading
Kids get a lot of ear infections. In fact, it has been estimated that as many as 80% of children will experience at least one event of an acute ear infection, technically called acute otitis media (AOM).
Often, as a consequence of AOM, kids will continue to have ear problems called secretary otitis media (SOM), characterized by persistent fluid in the middle ear cavity. This may occur on both sides, and is the reason some children ultimately have ear tubes inserted, to drain the fluid.
In a recent study, medical researchers in Italy explored the effectiveness of oral administration of a probiotic in a group of 22 children between the ages of 3 and 9 years, with a history of recurrent ear infections. The treatment group received a daily dose of a single strain probiotic, Streptococcus salivarius K12. Continue reading
Hardly a day goes by without someone telling me a story about a miraculous improvement in some form of medical condition when a person decided to eliminate gluten from his or her diet. No doubt, most would find it fairly easy to accept the notion that some people may have improvement from, for example, gastrointestinal issue by going gluten-free. To be sure, it’s pretty well accepted these days that some people with chronic headaches may improve on a gluten-free diet as well.
But the idea that a psychiatric issue might be related to gluten sensitivity seems a little bit more difficult for people to generally accept. Nonetheless, we are seeing ever more frequent citations in well-respected medical journals that clearly make this connection. Continue reading