Category: Parenting

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

autism_specturm_disorder_gut_Bacteria

Autism and Gut Bacteria – Hope Moving Forward

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

autism_glyphosate_gmo_pesticide_herbicide

GMO and Autism

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

Root Causes of Autism

Root Causes of Autism

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.

prenatal_probiotics_healthy_baby

Prenatal Probiotics – Paving the Way for a Healthy Baby

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

probiotics_childhood_ear_infection

Probiotics for Childhood Ear Infections

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

gluten_sensitivity_youth_mental_illness

Consider Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Psychosis

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

asthma_epidemic

Asthma – An Epidemic Explained

So much has been written in scientific journals recently about how the loss of microbes in the gut, especially earlier in life, affects the immune system. For example, researcher Marsha Wills-Karp, at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, recently revealed how early life exposure to antibiotics is associated with a substantial increased risk for the development of asthma.

Asthma has become an epidemic in America, affecting 1 in 12 Americans and totaling around $60 billion in direct medical costs, as well as lost work and school days, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

When we are exposed to antibiotics, which may well be a necessary medical treatment, the intervention isn’t really a targeted assault on a particular offending organism. Rather, these days doctors prescribe “broad spectrum” antibiotics that are effective in wiping out a vast array of organisms, well beyond the offending agent, and this may include some of the good guys as well.

Continue reading

dha

DHA Improves Sleep in Children

Sleep disorders in the pediatric population are common, occurring in as much as 30-40% of children. When children don’t sleep well, it sets the stage for a variety of other problems including poor general health, fatigue, declining school performance, depression, behavioral issues and weight gain.

A new study reveals an intriguing finding that explains not only what causes some children to struggle with sleep, but more importantly, what might well provide a safe remedy for the problem.

British researchers publishing in the Journal of Sleep Research evaluated the sleep patterns of 395 children aged 7-9 years. In addition, they performed a blood analysis on these children to measure their levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Continue reading

birth_microbiome

The Critical Role of Early Life Decisions in Creating the Microbiome

In Brain Maker, I dedicated a lot of space to exploring how we initially form our microbiome, the collection of more than 100 trillion organisms that live within our intestines. Certainly early life experiences are critical in the creation of what is now a looked upon as representing a new “organ” within the human body. As you will recall, I talked about how important it is for children to be born through the vaginal birth canal, if that is not medically precluded, and, also, I emphasized how fundamentally critical it is that children breastfeed, from the perspective of creating the best, most health-preserving, microbiome possible.

In a new report from researchers in Sweden, Dynamics and Stabilization of the Human Gut Microbiome During the First Year of Life, researchers evaluated gut microbiomes of 98 mothers and their infants during the first year of life. Continue reading

From Birth to (Micro)Biome

From Birth to (Micro)Biome

It’s well-documented that children begin building a microbiome that influences the state of their health from the moment of birth, which is why a choice such as method of delivery (C-section vs. vaginal) is so important.

Breastfeeding is equally important for building your child’s microbiome AND brain. Did you know breast milk is nature’s richest source of DHA? Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding in this video.