Tag Archives: prenatal care

The herbicide glyphosate is similar to glycine, an amino acid

The herbicide glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic and as a mineral chelator (a protein that can bind and transport minerals). It has been in use as an agricultural herbicide since 1975. However it’s use greatly increased in the last ten years since genetically modified Round-Up Ready crops were developed. A professor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been researching glyphosate and it’s possible role in the development of autism.

Professor Seneff gave two presentations at an Autism One conference earlier this year. The PowerPoint slides to the lectures are available in links included in the Tweets below, click these links for the pdfs to each video: people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/2016…

The first video includes more information about the chemical similarity between glyphosate and glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that provides methyl groups. Glyphosate is very similarly shaped but has an extra side chain and it wouldn’t provide methyl groups. It is possibly similarly shaped enough, however, for glyphosate to be incorporated into the structure of proteins instead of glycine. It would be like a puzzle piece that fits into another piece but won’t allow any other pieces to be added. Glyphosate may fit in glycine’s spot within a protein but then wouldn’t provide any methyl groups and the extra side chain could interfere with receptor function – like having an extension cord with prongs that no longer can fit into an electric socket because the socket is already blocked with something else.

The risk to health if this is true could be significant. Many proteins contain glycine and any one of them might be important in a variety of ways which glyphosate could disrupt. This is in very early stages of research but the impact could also affect vaccinations because the collagen used to culture material for vaccinations could contain glyphosate instead of glycine if the animals from which the collagen was obtained had been raised with feed containing glyphosate residue.

Zika virus that grew in an environment that contained glyphosate might have it incorporated into proteins instead of glycine which could be making the disease far more dangerous prenatally than it had been in past decades before glyphosate became widely used. Zika infections had not been associated with microcephaly until recently. The second video goes into more detail about how glyphosate could be making Zika more dangerous.

Professor Seneff explains in more detail about the glycine/glyphosate similarity in the first video:

I will get back to this topic after rewatching the videos and taking notes on the recommendations she makes about food and lifestyle strategies for reducing glyphosate exposure or reducing glyphosate levels that may be stored within the body.

9/20/2016 Update: See the following posts for more about glycine and glyphosate:

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Environmental toxins and neurodevelopmental disorders in children

A consensus statement has been released by the Project TENDR group regarding environmental toxins and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children which include ADHD, autism, and learning and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.  Read more: http://scienmag.com/scientists-physicians-and-advocates-agree-environmental-toxins-hurt-brain-development/

An excerpt lists the environmental toxins the group has identified as potentially  increasing children’s risk of developing ADHD, autism or other neurodevelopmental or learning disorders (the bold font was added by me):

The chemicals and pollutants highlighted in the consensus statement as contributing to children’s learning, intellectual and behavioral impairments are:

* Organophosphate (OP) pesticides

* Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used as flame retardants

* Combustion-related air pollutants, which include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter

* Lead, with primary sources of water pipes and paint

* Mercury

* Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial chemicals that were commonly used in electrical equipment and now pollute landfills and water

More information on each of these compounds and how families can protect themselves from them is on the Project TENDR website: http://projecttendr.com.

A comparison to  a checklist on one of my older post’s for toxins to avoid in the hopes of preventing autism included four of the groups: 2. PBDEs, 6. PCBs, 4. lead and 5. (methyl) mercury. And 3. formaldehyde is also a combustion-related air pollutant but I will need to add the other combustion-related air pollutants and 1. Organophophate pesticides.

Other risks for neurodevelopmental disorders developing in children may include:

A list of toxins to avoid can be useful for generating a list of foods and lifestyle choices that may be more beneficial or more of a risk for an expectant infant.  Note the phrases “May be,” “might help,” or “might harm” are suggestions rather than firm claims; there are no guarantees in life. Evidence based medicine likes to suggest that there is enough evidence to support a recommendation as being conclusive but the evidence typically does not provide guidance that is clearly 100% for or against something and generally is averaging results for a large group of people so the “average” patient may not even exist in real life. Results might have been clustered at extremes, with a group that was helped and a group that was harmed by the research substance. The average statistic would be from the middle of both groups and might suggest that all people will be helped that middle amount of a little bit rather than that half the people may be helped a lot and half the people may be harmed a lot. People vary in their body’s ability to detoxify and in their body’s supply of nutrients available for detoxifying or for growth and repair. Evidence based medicine frequently looks at the averages of all patients rather than looking at individual results.

Preventative health guidance can suggest that something may help or may be more harmful ,but on an individual basis a health suggestion can not be guaranteed to prevent ADHD or autism in every case, anymore than vaccinations can be guaranteed to be safe for every individual or to never have been associated with autism as an adverse reaction in a few individuals. Vaccinations have been associated with encephalitis as an adverse reaction that leads to autism like symptoms over time.

Rates that are increasing exponentially are likely to plateau or slow down at some point but do we really want to find out how much worse an exponential rate can get before trying to do something about it? Autism used to occur at a rate of about 4.5 children in 10,000 just a few decades ago (1966), in 1994 the rate was as high as 15-40 children per 10,000, and now it is somewhere closer to 1 child in 68 or 1 child in 45 depending on which study or group of children you’re looking at. In 2012 the rate was 1 child in 88.


Clinicians can identify ASD in children as young as two years old, although children from ethnic minority groups are usually diagnosed at a later age than their Caucasian counterparts. ASD is commonly comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, intellectual disability, epilepsy and other genetic conditions like fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, congenital rubella syndrome, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Angelman syndrome. Until recently, there was little, if any, epidemiological research focusing on the prevalence of ASD in adults. In 2011, one study reported the prevalence of ASD in an adult sample to be 1%, with higher rates for men (1.8%) than women (0.2%) (Brugha T et al, Arch Gen Psych 2011;68:459–466).

Similarly, there are few studies evaluating outcomes and prognosis for adults with ASD. Given current prevalence rates, the population of adults with autism is expected to rise 625% by the year 2030, and the estimated lifetime cost per individual with autism, including caregiving costs and lost productivity, can reach up to $3.2 million (Ganz M, Arch Ped Adol Med 2007;161(4):343–354).

White male children seem to be the group most at risk for developing autism, currently, and Asian children may be the group least at risk (the iodine content in sea weed may be a protective dietary factor and rice may have less risk of having the pesticides that are suspected of being neurodevelopmental toxins than wheat or corn).

The 2010 U.S. census showed a total of 138,053,563 males (49.1% of total population) and 143,368,343 females (50.9% of 281,421,906 total population). http://www.infoplease.com/us/census/data/demographic.html

If approximately 1.8% of adult men have autism and 0.2% of women have autism that would mean approximately 2,484,964 men and 286,736 women may have autism (2,771,700 total) and which might cost up to  $8,869,440,000,000 dollars in lifetime caregiving costs and lost productivity (almost 9 trillion dollars) — and that estimate would just be for the 2010 total. The rate of autism occurrence has increased since 2010. If the rate increases 625% by 2030 then we may expect 17,323,125 adults to have autism at a cost up to $55,434,000,000,000 in caregiving and lost productivity costs (55 trillion dollars)(and approximately 90% would be males, 15,590,812, (with a 1.8% incidence rate) and 10% females, 1,732,312 (with an 0.2% incidence rate)).

Males are more at risk and white males in particular are at greater risk for developing autism. Female hormones may be helping protect the female infants brain development or a milder form with less behavior changes may not be being diagnosed based on the current diagnostic criteria. If we would like infants to have traditional health expectations in the future then it might be worth considering that the baby factories (pregnant women) are malfunctioning at increasing rates, (autism seems to be set up during the prenatal stage that flairs up in the child later in life), and with a personal cost of increasing rates of autoimmune disease (one in nine women of childbearing years are estimated to be diagnosed with some type of autoimmune disease – (see excerpt below). Glyphosate may be inhibiting the ability to activate vitamin D which is essential for the pregnancy and the baby’s development and the woman’s autoimmune risk. Taking Vitamin D supplements can be great but expected benefits might not be seen if the CYP enzymes necessary for activating the vitamin aren’t functional due to glyphosate.

Iodine, zinc, and folate and B12 deficiencies during pregnancy also seem to be involved in increased risk of autism developing in the child later in life. And vitamin D is involved in autoimmune disease risk. Vitamin D receptors work within the immune system and help the body to be less allergic to self or for the mother to be sensitized to the expected infant’s DNA. Low vitamin D in the mother could be increasing her risk for autoimmune disease later in life (microchimerism – a few cells with infant’s DNA in the mother or cells with maternal DNA in the infant may be involved in autoimmune antibodies developing) and increasing the infant’s risk for developing autism later in life. Just giving more vitamin D might not be helping as expected if the herbicide glyphosate is inhibiting the enzymes necessary for activation of the vitamin.

Depending on which diseases are called autoimmune disease, minimally 23.5 million people in the U.S. have some type of autoimmune disease. Excerpt:

Or slice these statistics another way: while one in 69 women below the age of fifty will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to estimates, as many as one in nine women of childbearing years will be diagnosed with an autoimmune illness, which strike three times as many women as men — and most often strike patients in their prime. According to the National Institutes of Health, autoimmune disease affects far more patients than the 9 million Americans who have cancer and the 16 million with coronary disease.

Rates of type 1 diabetes are perhaps the most telling. Data over the past forty years show that type 1 diabetes, a disease in which immune cells attack the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, has increased fivefold. The story regarding childhood-onset type 1 diabetes is more disturbing. Studies show that the number of children with type 1 diabetes is skyrocketing, with rates increasing 6 percent a year in children four and under and 4 percent in children aged 10 to 14.

Type 1 diabetes researchers insist that today’s rapid rise in this disease cannot be explained by either better diagnostics or by more people suddenly becoming genetically susceptible to type 1 diabetes; rather, a change in environmental factors is the “more plausible explanation.”

The average patient with autoimmune disease sees six doctors before attaining a correct diagnosis. Recent surveys conducted by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association reveal that 45 percent of patients with autoimmune diseases have been labeled hypochondriacs in the earliest stages of their illnesses. Some of this, no doubt, has to do with the fact that 75 percent to 80 percent of autoimmune disease sufferers are women, who are more easily dismissed by the medical establishment when hard-to-diagnose symptoms arise. In half of all cases, women with autoimmune disease are told there is nothing wrong with them for an average of five years before receiving diagnosis and treatment. Patients — most especially women — are often left feeling both confused and marginalized, or worse, labeled as psychosomatic malingerers.


Also from that article: the rates of autoimmune disease have been increasing in many industrialized countries, not just the U.S.. And autoimmune disease seems to be more associated with living in urban areas than rural ones. Rates of Type 1 diabetes in children under four years old  has increased six percent and four percent for older children — that is just not right, not traditional, and not fair to our children or their future world. They will have to take insulin shots for the rest of their  (potentially shorter than expected) lives.

If glyphosate inhibits CYP enzymes then it may be affecting the pancreas as CYP enzymes play a role in detoxifying toxins within the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer may be associated with malfunction of CYP enzymes in the pancreas.  http://www.flandershealth.us/chronic-pancreatitis/the-role-of-enzymes-in-pancreatic-diseases.html

Inhibition of the CYP enzymes might not be involved though, another reference suggests the CYP enzymes in the pancreas of patients with chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer are elevated — but maybe the levels are elevated because the enzymes are not functioning as normal and the body may be making extra to try to compensate for the malfunction – we don’t know what we don’t know until we learn it or admit that we already learned it a long time ago but have been in denial.  https://books.google.com/books?id=J38lUlOxgoEC&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=CYP+enzymes+role+in+the+pancreas&source=bl&ots=EMkv-013SF&sig=ONq1DMQh6NaVs3uZc77Ay9cKHL0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsqZ6G1NzNAhXE2R4KHaWLBAAQ6AEIJTAB#v=onepage&q=CYP%20enzymes%20role%20in%20the%20pancreas&f=false

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Iodine deficiency and PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an inaccurately named chronic condition that used to be rare but now may afflict 1 in 15 women. [1] It is inaccurately named because it can also affect men — who don’t have ovaries. I’m having trouble finding the link that I’m thinking of but hypogonadism can occur in men and women. [see below, 3, 4, 5, 6]  Gonadotropin dysfunction and insulin resistance seem to be consistently involved in the problem for women. It is a common cause of infertility and may affect 6% of women. [7] PCOS in women is actually a syndrome that is cause by an imbalance in the pituitary gland of the brain which causes increased androgen production in women.

The current mainstream medical consensus is that the cause of the syndrome is unknown. However the condition is closely associated with iodine deficiency. While iodine is best known as a mineral necessary for the thyroid gland but it is an essential nutrient for the ovaries, mammary glands, prostate and the endocrine glands.

Iodine lack is known to be a factor in the development of breast and prostate cancer. Sixty patients with a variety of cancers were studied. All sixty patients were found to have serious iodine deficiency.[2]

Continuing to claim that the cause of conditions is unknown perpetuates inaccurate treatment by the mainstream medical community while denying patients a simple cost effective treatment of the actual underlying cause of their symptoms. And cancer risk may be increased if the underlying nutrient deficiency is left untreated or is only treated with thyroid hormone if hypothyroidism. Providing an external source of thyroid hormone helps some symptoms of hypothyroidism but would leave the rest of the glands in the body undernourished if the condition is due to low iodine and/or elevated levels of bromide, chloride or fluorine.

The pancreas is also a gland [8] and insulin resistance in PCOS could be due to iodine deficiency in the pancreas causing insulin resistance that leads to gonadatropin dysfunction. One of the hormones produced by the pancreas is insulin. Glucagon is the other hormone produced by the pancreas. Both are involved in control of blood sugar levels. Insulin helps cells take glucose in and glucagon signals the liver to make more glucose out of glycogen, a longer chain form of carbohydrate that contains the individual molecules of glucose.[8] Levels of glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1) were reduced in patients with PCOS. Decreased incretin production may be involved in the insulin resistance seen in patients with PCOS. [9] Incretin refers to a group of hormones that include GLP-1. They help lower blood glucose levels by signalling the pancreas to make more insulin. [10] So maybe dysfunction of the pancreas or dysfunction of the insulin being produced is an underlying problem.

Iodine is chemically very similar to bromide, chloride and fluoride except that the iodine makes functional thyroid hormone. Bromide, chloride and fluoride can be taken up by the gland and incorporated into hormone production but would produce a hormone that might show up on a lab test as present but is dysfunctional within the patient who continues to experience negative symptoms of hypothyroidism — how do I know — first hand experience.

My symptoms of hypothyroidism went away after using a high dose iodine supplement. It is considered a risk by the mainstream medical system because it can cause hyperthyroidism in some patients — which I also learned the hard way but I stayed on the high dose supplement too long and wasn’t aware of the need to take selenium at the same time. Selenium is used in the enzyme that helps break down excess thyroid hormone. I’m doing better now with stable thyroid hormone levels and an overactive thyroid that remains stable when I avoid certain foods and iodine sources. The undiagnosed hypothyroidism and fibrocystic breast pain went away with the iodine supplements and decreasing levels of bromide, chloride and fluorine may also have helped reduce risk for breast cancer or other cancers.

So learning things the hard way isn’t the easy way to learn but as Francis Bacon (1561-1626) famously said, “Knowledge is power,”  and I would rather have healthy thyroid function then unhealthy function or no thyroid gland at all. (The standard treatment for hyperthyroidism is to treat it with radioactive iodine to decrease function or to surgically remove it. But autoimmune hyperthyroidism is actually a bone marrow problem that attacks the thyroid and other areas of the body and the radioactive iodine treatment can increase risk to the other areas of the body.) Having learned things the hard way makes me more motivated to try to share information so that other patients can get help that helps rather than harms or who get the message that I kept getting – your lab tests are normal so you must be healthy and your symptoms must be psychosomatic (all in your head) so go see a therapist and talk about your troubles there — no help, dismissive, and disabling — that type of message encourages the patient to ignore the symptoms that they are sensing and to simply consider themselves as crazy.

Radioactive iodine causes thyroid cancer and the best protection against it is being sufficient in iodine before being exposed to radioactive iodine and the next best protection is taking high dose iodine during a radioactive iodine leak. This was learned by the suffering of people living around the area of Hanford, Washington State, U.S. where radioactive materials were being produced for the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan during WWII. The people of Hanford weren’t told about the protective benefits of iodine however. They eventually received some money from the government in settlement payments but it took many years and lawyers may have received more money from the government .

There are still 1900 corroding barrels of toxic waste in the Hanford, WA area slowly leaking into the ground soil and placing a nearby river at risk and as it empties into the Pacific Ocean, also placing the ocean at risk of radioactive contamination. Leaks occasionally expose workers there to increased danger. The level of radiation overall is no longer a direct risk to citizens living in the area but the barrels need to be stored in better containers for long term safety.

Radioactive iodine is used in X-ray machines and being iodine sufficient makes the radioactive iodine X-ray work less well — but I would rather have citizens bodies work better and prevent thyroid cancer in the first place rather than promote iodine deficiency because it makes X-ray machines more effective. [“First do no harm,” – unrelated to PCOS, a benign type of thyroid nodule that has been routinely treated as cancer has a medical team trying to get it renamed and treated as the benign nodule that it is: It’s Not Cancer: Doctors Reclassify a Thyroid Tumor.]

This wasn’t the topic I meant to write about when I sat down this morning but my search engine turned up link [1] by accident and I wanted to save it — and I wrote a few additional notes on the topic. Consider it a Mother’s Day gift for the 1 in 15 or 6% of women who may be infertile due to iodine deficiency but who are unlikely to be informed of the potential benefits of iodine by the current medical system. Adequate iodine levels during pregnancy may also help protect the infant from autism developing later in life and from congenital hypothyroidism. See previous posts for more information on Preventing autism perinatally – before conception, (Dec. 22, 2015) [11], and the benefits of iodine for preventing congenital hypothyroidism. [12]

Making an educational website for perinatal health education has been on my to-do list since December and I finally bought a domain for the purpose. That is wrapped into the other topic I meant to write about this morning — slow but steady may not always win races but progress is progress.

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

  1. “Iodine and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): What You Need to Know,” Dr. Edward Group, [http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/iodine-polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos/]
  2. Cancer and Iodine *Still under construction,”[http://www.theiodineproject.webs.com/cancerandiodine.htm]
  3. Pituitary and testicular function in sons of women with polycystic ovary syndrome from infancy to adulthood. Recabarren SE, et, al., J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Sep;93(9):3318-24. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18544620]
  4. Male hypogonadism: an extended classification based on a developmental, endocrine physiology-based approach. Rey, RA, et al.,  Andrology. 2013 Jan;1(1):3-16.  [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23258624]
  5. Polycystic ovaries in patients with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism: similarity of ovarian response to gonadotropin stimulation in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome., Shoham, Z, et al., Fertil Steril. 1992 Jul;58(1):37-45. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1624021]
  6. Androgen deficiency, Wikipedia.org, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgen_deficiency]
  7. Polycystic Ovary Syndrom: It’s Not Just Infertility, Hunter, MH and Sterrett, JJ.,

    Am Fam Physician. 2000 Sep 1;62(5):1079-1088, [http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0901/p1079.html]

  8. Medical Terminology for Cancer, 12: The Endocrine System (Hormones),[http://www.cancerindex.org/medterm/medtm12.htm]
  9. Fasting and post-prandial glucagon like peptide 1 and oral contraception in polycystic ovary syndrome. Aydin K., et al., Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2014 Oct;81(4):588-92. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24730585]
  10. Incretin, Wikipedia.org, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incretin]
  11. Preventing Autism Peri-natally – Before Conception, December 22, 2015, [http://transcendingsquare.com/2015/12/22/preventing-autism-perinatally-before-conception/]
  12. One billion IQ points and Iodine, March 9, 2015, [http://transcendingsquare.com/2015/03/09/one-billion-iq-points-and-iodine/]

Life expectancy may be linked to our peers’ and community’s habits

Children learn by example, from peer groups and also from watching their parents or caregivers. “Do what I say, not what I do,” may be a common wish of many parents but the opposite is more true. Children do what they see more than what they are told to do. They learn on average from their peer groups and communities than from their parents. “Why the Poor Die Young,” an article by Derek Thompson for The Atlantic, discusses how community habits may affect the earlier death rates of people living in poverty. Some communities have longer life expectancies than other communities and the link may be that areas that encourage and provide more areas for exercise and more access to healthy foods may also have healthier citizens whether rich or poor. We tend to follow our peers examples, and fit in with the group.  [http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/why-the-poor-die-young/ar-BBrFbCi?ocid=spartandhp]

Living in a state of denial about our real world only makes it more confusing for children.

Kanga did it,” is about the potential harm of lying to our current generation of children more than about my sister or me. Whether I think ballet is the best sport is not the point, or that I had an unusual upbringing. That lying to our children is wrong was the point. That denial about the risks of our modern society is dangerous was the point.

Babies are being experimented on with our food supply and medical routines and we are too often assured that evidence based medicine knows what’s best because of the clinical evidence of course. However the clinical evidence has become too tied to corporate profit and a drive to produce patent protected prescription medications. Private companies have become major providers of the clinical trials that are used to gain authorization by the Food and Drug Administration for new drugs and medical procedures.

In an effort to make new medicines safer after the disastrous birth defects caused by thalidomide the prescription drug industry actually ended up becoming more profitable for privately owned drug companies and potentially more life threatening to more people — including to developing infants. Pregnant women are cautioned to avoid all sorts of foods, beverages, and activities but they may be assured that their prescription anti-anxiety medication is probably just fine. It may not be but adverse drug reactions are not consistently reported or monitored. More often the lifestyle choices of the individual are blamed for adverse reactions or it might be labeled as a psychosomatic problem — physical symptoms caused by emotional problems or stress.

We are generally assured that vaccinations are completely safe for everyone even though the official review only did not find a causal link between autism and MMR or the mercury containing preservative called thimerosal. [1] The committee did offer recommendations for increasing adverse reaction reporting and monitoring. On average vaccinations may be safe for the average person but averages are made up of individuals, some individuals may be more sensitive to products containing heavy metals such as mercury or the aluminum adjuvant (immune system stimulator, [2]) that is now being used instead of or in addition to thimerosal.

Aluminum adjuvants have never been tested for safety, it was simply rated GRAS, Generally Regarded As Safe, by the FDA. Calcium phosphate adjuvant is a safer alternative to aluminum which has been found effective in a variety of types of vaccinations and it is a substance that would naturally be available to the body. The aluminum adjuvant is a heavy metal that is of a molecular size that wouldn’t be well absorbed by the intestines from food contamination. The molecular size also makes it too large for the kidneys to be able to remove from the body, so it collects over time, especially in individuals who have metabolic difficulties processing heavy metals. [2])

The committee’s recommendations for improvements in tracking and monitoring adverse vaccination reactions:

Surveillance of adverse events related to vaccines is important and should be strengthened in several ways:

The committee recommends that standardized case definitions for adverse events be adopted.

The committee recommends that formal guidelines or criteria be developed for using VAERS data to study adverse events.

The committee recommends the continued use of large-linked databases, active surveillance, and other tools to evaluate potential vaccine-related adverse events.

The committee supports the development of Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) centers to improve understanding of adverse events at the individual level.

One area of complementary research that the committee continues to recommend is surveillance of ASD as exposure to thimerosal declines.

The committee recommends increased efforts to quantify the level of prenatal and postnatal exposure to thimerosal and other forms of mercury in infants, children, and pregnant women. Excerpt from Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism, BOX 2: Committee Conclusions and Recommendations, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK25349/#a2000af8fddd00068]

Adverse drug reactions also occur with many types of medications including psychiatric prescriptions and improvements in tracking and monitoring are needed for all ages and types of patients.

David Healy, Pharmageddon, from the book synopsis: “For diseases like schizophrenia, we are now doing 10 times worse in terms of life expectancy than we were 100 years ago.” [http://davidhealy.org/pharmageddon-is-the-story-of-a-tragedy/]

If you love someone who is exhibiting changes in their mental health or are someone with mental health symptoms it may be beneficial to visit a functional health specialist or Registered Dietitian or clinical nutritionist for a thorough nutritional assessment. Schizophrenia like symptoms can be caused by several different nutrient deficiencies. See this post for more information about schizophrenic symptoms and nutrient deficiencies that have been associated with the symptoms:

  • The voices that people with schizophrenia are hearing are probably their own inner thoughts, .

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

The voices that people with schizophrenia are hearing are probably their own inner thoughts

This is kind of breaking news — new news: A research scientist, with the aid of a powerful microphone, was able to record a patient with schizophrenia speaking to themselves in a sub-vocal voice. The patient was not aware that they were speaking at the time.

The research is very early, a first in its field perhaps, but the theory seems to suggest that the patient’s with schizophrenia symptoms may have some disconnect with the normal ability to identify internal thoughts and sub-vocal speech as being self generated and instead are interpreting the internal thoughts as coming from some external source of whatever type the person might think.

(Example of my interpretation of sub-vocal speech: the almost silent muttering under your breath that you don’t notice yourself doing, until suddenly you do notice that you’re talking to yourself, and then you stop because you don’t want anyone to notice. The brain of a someone with schizophrenia may no longer recognize the voices of self-talk, or those of voices in memories or in imagined conversations, as being internally self-generated and instead probably tend to make up some explanation for  whatever or whoever might be doing the talking that is being heard — hearing voices. Our internal chatter can get busy and sometimes pretty mean, it would be scary to not realize that it is just yourself. )

Read more, of the actual article:  [http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2016/03/schizophrenia_and_subvocal_speech_why_schizophrenics_hear_the_voices_of.html]

This seems like very important news — patients with schizophrenia may be able to be gently reminded that those voices are just brain mumbles, and to try to ignore them.

People with schizophrenia are generally not associated with violence unless there is also a history of violent behavior, alcohol or drug abuse, or more persecutory fantasies. [citation missing, I don’t remember where I read that recently, but I posted it in a comment somewhere.]

Mental health symptoms sometimes may be due to underlying issues that could be easily fixed, rather than considering the patient as being ‘mentally ill’ for the rest of their life and likely being placed on medications that tend to have severe side effects. Effective health care would seek for any underlying causes that can be returned to a state of normal function with the simplest solutions possible, “Let food be thy medicine,” the first part of the quote by Hippocrates may be the most important part.

There are several different nutrient deficiencies that can cause symptoms similar to schizophrenia or may be involved in an underlying cause for the condition, this information was from an older post of mine but it was not grouped together:

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Aluminum toxicity and acute onset Alzheimer’s Disease

An industrial worker developed early onset Alzheimer’s Disease after working for several years exposed to air that was contaminated with aluminum dust. Another woman had developed early onset Alzheimer’s years after her local water source had been contaminated with a significant amount of aluminum. [1]

The link between Alzheimer’s Disease and aluminum has been suspected for many years because brain autopsies of patients who died with the disease were often found to have elevated levels of aluminum compared to average. Not all studies found the same increase in aluminum however: “Some studies have reported that the aluminium concentration in the bulk brain samples, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and plaques was higher in AD subjects than controls. Other studies have found no difference.” [2]

As a potential neuro-toxin — a brain toxin — aluminum could also be adding to the risk of neurological problems developing in children. Aluminum is used as a preservative in many vaccinations and children are getting more vaccinations in total now than were given in the 1970’s. “In the 1970s, children got only four aluminum-containing vaccines in their first 18 months of life, but now they typically receive 17.” The following article includes a list of sources of aluminum in food and other products, Read more: [1]

I’m tagging this prenatal care because women who are pregnant or who might conceive would be advised to avoid sources of heavy metal toxins such as aluminum. “Modest evidence of an effect exists for reproductive toxicity following oral exposure, for neurological toxicity following either oral or injection exposure, and for bone toxicity following injection exposure. All other effects were judged to be supported by either limited evidence or no clear evidence at all.” [2]

  1. Mercola.com, Aluminum Toxicity and Alzheimer’s Disease, [http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx]
  2. Human Health Risk Assessment for Aluminum, Aluminum oxide, and Aluminum hydroxide, [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782734/] *Low iron intake might increase risk of absorption of aluminum. bone abnormalities are more prevalent than symptoms of cognitive impairment in cases of people with aluminum exposure. However, “Occupational aluminium exposure was significantly correlated with a variety of neuropyschiatric symptoms including; loss of coordination, loss of memory, and problems with balance.” “The majority, but not all, of epidemiological studies identified, reported a positive association between aluminium levels in drinking water and risk of cognitive impairment dementia, or AD. There is some evidence to suggest silica in drinking water is protective against the development of dementia.
  3. Siegfried Gursche, MH, Silica – The Forgotten Nutrient, [http://www.alive.com/health/silica-the-forgotten-nutrient/] (I forgot about it, but pregnant woman might want to remember silica: “Pregnant women benefit greatly from adding silica to their diets, as it prevents stretch marks.” According to this article the nutrient silaca might also be helpful for people suffering from Crohn’s Disease, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems. And silica may be protective against cancer, and is important for healthy hair and skin. Food sources include: oatmeal, millet, barley, potatoes, whole wheat, Jerusalem artichoke, red beets, corn asparagus, and rye.)

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Prenatal Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with the infant’s risk for developing Multiple sclerosis later in life

Vitamin D deficiency at levels equal to or below 12 ng/dL in prenatal women was associated with the baby’s later risk for developing Multiple sclerosis as an adult. No potential reasons for the association were discussed in the article. Read more: [http://neurosciencenews.com/vitamin-d-ms-3809/]

Two to three servings of dairy products fortified with vitamin D provide an adequate amount of vitamin D for the average person. A pregnant person may be recommended to have one additional serving per day for both the vitamin D content and the calcium. Mushrooms and egg yolk are natural sources of vitamin D. Canned salmon and sardines provide vitamin D and are a good source of calcium due to the tenderized bones that remain in the prepared fish. Sesame seeds, almonds and other nuts, beans, seeds, and deep green vegetables are also non-dairy sources of calcium.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Cuddle cure – oxytocin relieves pain

Oxytocin is a hormone released only from the hypothalamus but which has functions throughout the body. A primary role is during late pregnancy when levels increase during labor and delivery contractions. Pain relief would be important during labor and delivery. Oxytocin was recently found to have pain relieving affects. Read more: [http://neurosciencenews.com/pain-oxytocin-neurology-3808/]

*This is filed under prenatal care because it would be helpful information to incorporate into childbirth education classes. Nature provides internal pain relief. “Breathe, massage, relax,” was my primary tip for labor and delivery. The body and muscles need oxygen and stress and fear can cause a tendency to stop breathing rather than breathe deeper which is what over-worked muscles need.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a lactation educator and Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./


The newborn female’s brain may be better protected from lack of oxygen than the male newborn’s

An increased amount of a certain type of estrogen receptors in the female newborn’s brain may help reduce risk of damage caused by lack of oxygen compared to newborn male infants. A type of protein also needs to be present. Researchers are working on a medication based on the receptor and protein which may help newborns who have had oxygen deprivation recover without suffering long term brain damage.

Read more: [http://neurosciencenews.com/hie-female-neurology-3584/]

So maybe this type of estrogen receptor also is helping female infants resist developing the clinically significant changes that later may lead to an autism diagnosis, compared to the number of male infants.

Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Use of asthma drugs prenatally possibly related to autism

Recently released research suggests there may be an association between the use of some asthma drugs by women during their pregnancy and an increased rate of autism for the infants.
Login required: [http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/857417]

[https://spectrumnews.org/news/clinical-research-asthma-drugs-do-not-increase-risk-of-autism/] – This older article is viewable. It mentions one asthma drug that seems associated with autism in children when used by prenatal patients during the third trimester for the off-label goal of stopping pre-term labor. It was only a small number of patients in the study. The drug however may not be effective for stopping pre-term labor anyway, and there are some patient and animal studies  that suggest a link between the drug and autism and neurological effects for babies.

Protecting the baby’s brain development throughout the whole pregnancy is probably the best goal – and that isn’t a new goal. Avoiding stress and exposure to strong chemicals and infectious risks are standard goals for prenatal health education.

Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./