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
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.
As is so often the case, Americans want to reach for pharmaceutical fixes for our various maladies, and so it is with ADHD. Right now, it is estimated that there are more than 6.5 million American children who have been given this diagnosis. Making this even worse is the fact that about two-thirds of these children are receiving powerful, mind-altering medication, the long-term consequences of which have never been studied.
I think it’s very important that we recognize that there’s a strong gut issue that relates to these children, and, for the most part, is being ignored. Apart from the fact that being born by cesarean section dramatically increases the risk for ADHD, as does frequent antibiotic exposure (both of which affect gut bacteria), a high percentage of children with ADHD have straightforward bowel abnormalities in comparison to age matched controls.
I have posted several blogs relating the fundamental role of inflammation to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Indeed, this is one of the central themes of Grain Brain.
That said, we’ve also got to take a look at the role of inflammation in the developing brain because the same damaging effects of the chemical mediators of inflammation in the adult might well lead to issues in the delicate brains of infants and young children.
In a new study just published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, researchers looked at several parameters in infants including the frequency of febrile illnesses, as well as blood markers of increased inflammation including IL-1 beta, IL-6, and IL-4 which is thought to indicate reduction of inflammation.