Dr. Magryta: Forces affect immune function, baby food safety
Avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals
If you have an allergic phenotype — a tendency toward allergic diseases like allergic rhinitis, asthma and eczema — then you really want to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs. Having this allergic phenotype means that your immune system releases chemicals that promote the release of certain cells which in turn release chemicals — like histamine — that cause those nasty symptoms of sneezing, wheezing and itching.
It turns out that EDCs promote the polarization of the immune system which leads to a shift away from effective pathogen killing in the body — making you more susceptible to infections and inflammation.
EDCs are of no value to us as humans. We should avoid them at all costs (the list includes BPA, fire retardants, lead, arsenic, mercury, PFCs, pesticides and other items). Learn more at www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors
Baby food remains contaminated
So says a new published report from the Healthy Babies Bright Futures Non profit group. They state: “The problem, uncovered nearly a decade ago, is far from solved. New tests of 168 baby foods commissioned by HBBF found toxic heavy metals in 95% of containers tested. One in four baby foods contained all four metals assessed by our testing lab-arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child’s IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats.”
They noted that of the samples tested from around the country, 94% had lead and over 70% had cadmium and arsenic levels that are considered concerning by the FDA.
Why is this a big deal?
Heavy metals are toxic to many of our cells, especially the ones that rapidly grow and that are highly metabolic like neurons.
Lead, for example, can enter our bodies through drinking water, eating contaminated food, inhaling lead filled dust or other sources. Once in the body, it diffuses across cell membranes, disrupting many normal cell surface functions, rendering the cell dysfunctional.
Acute lead poising will lead to brain and kidney damage whereas chronic low level lead toxicity will cause long term brain damage and cellular toxicity.
Rapidly growing babies are at the highest risk for these negative effects.
From my perspective:
1) If our food companies will not keep our foods contaminant free, we should stop buying them. Make your own food from organic sources at home.
2) There is no amount of a heavy metal that is good for a baby.
3) Filter all drinking water with a good quality reverse osmosis filter or at least a good quality carbon type.
Dr. Chris Magryta is a physician at Salisbury Pediatric Associates. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org