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The Wrong Way to Detox

The reason birth order is a predictor of pollutant levels in the bodies of children is that women can pass along as much as half of their PCB burden to their fetus during pregnancy.

November 6, 2012 |
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Acknowledgements

Images thanks to: Marion County, Oregon and Mothering Touch.

Transcript

There is one proven way to accelerate the removal of these toxins: transfer them… to your baby. Changes in blood concentrations of PCBs during pregnancy. Some women, cut their levels in half! They just deposited it, in their child.

So much so, that a significant predictor of pollutant levels in young people is their birth order. The first born gets first dibs on mom’s toxic waste, leaving less for their baby brothers and sisters down the line.

Same thing with breast milk concentrations. This is how much you have in your breast milk after your first pregnancy, but by the next few you’ve already passed about 20% along to your first born. And even the mothers who were breast fed as infants tend to have higher levels in their breast milk when they grow up suggesting a multigenerational passing down of toxic pollutants.

So what women eat now, may affect the levels of toxins in their grandchildren. This of course raises the question whether one should breast feed at all given the levels of PBCs in human breast milk. “Researchers have long debated the adverse effects of exposure to PCBs on children versus the benefits of breastfeeding.” And the conclusion is, breast is still best: “Breastfeeding should continue to be encouraged….” So, the best thing we can do for ourselves and our families, and their families… is to lower our dietary exposure as much as possible.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Other videos on breastfeeding include Cow's Milk Induced Infant Apnea, American Vegans Placing Babies At Risk, and Antioxidant Power of Plant Foods Versus Animal Foods. If you can't breastfeed, what's the best infant formula? See yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day The Best Baby Formula. Unfortunately even before your baby is born our diets may be exposing them to pollutants. See CDC Report on Environmental Chemical Exposure, DDT in Umbilical Cord Blood and Food Sources of Perfluorochemicals. Eating a more plant-based diet will help reduce exposure and the resulting DNA damage. See Plants vs. Pesticides, DNA Protection From Broccoli, and The Best Detox.

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Protecting Our Babies From PollutantsApple Peels Turn On Anticancer Genes, and Heading Shrinking from Grilling Meat

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Other videos on breastfeeding include Cow’s Milk Induced Infant Apnea, American Vegans Placing Babies At Risk, and Antioxidant Power of Plant Foods Versus Animal Foods. If you can’t breastfeed, what’s the best infant formula? See yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day The Best Baby Formula. Unfortunately even before your baby is born our diets may be exposing them to pollutants. See CDC Report on Environmental Chemical Exposure, DDT in Umbilical Cord Blood and Food Sources of Perfluorochemicals. Eating a more plant-based diet will help reduce exposure and the resulting DNA damage. See Plants vs. Pesticides, DNA Protection From Broccoli, and The Best Detox.
     
    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • Bruno L.

    Breaking a sweat with vigorous exercise, is a great way to detox.

  • Thea

    Wow.  That’s almost a sci-fi story, passing on those PCBs to fetuses. 

    I remember hearing a statistic once (who knows how good it was) that women who have at least one kid are less likely to get certain kinds of cancer.  I wonder if this is one of the reasons.  Perhaps we pass on that cancer risk to the kid.  Sick really.

    Well, I appreciate the info, and especially the part at the end which puts the information into perspective.  Breast milk is not perfect, but it sounds like the pros appear to outweigh the cons – for those people who can do breast milk.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Mama!  (Jim Carrey scarred me for life in Liar Liar)

    • http://nutrientuniverse.blogspot.co.uk/ JamesKB

       Lol

  • Jessica

    Question for Dr. Gregor: I used to eat a lot fish and sushi and I had my mercury checked about a year or so ago and I had a level of 10. I have drastically reduced all animal products, including fish and I’m now 20 weeks pregnant. I just had my mercury level checked again and it’s <4. Do you think my body cleared it or based on this video do you think it's already all been transferred to my growing baby?

    • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD

      Congratulations on improving your diet and reducing your mercury load plus the many other compounds found in meat, dairy, eggs and fish. The half life of mercury in the body is between 1 and 3 months. So your body will continue to lower the amount of mercury in both yours and your baby’s body. You have followed the correct path to maximize your baby’s health by eating properly. Your body cleared the mercury and will continue to lower the amounts in your body assuming you don’t start consuming fish again see http://nutritionfacts.org/video/maternal-mercury-levels/. I would add another comment… many Ob/Gyn providers are unaware of the importance of a proper whole food plant based diet to the health of the mother and fetus. My daughter during her two pregnancies had to “prove” to her physicians that she was taking in adequate protein in her plant based diet.

  • New Subscriber

    I heard that hemp seed is one of the most beneficial forms of protein. Do you have any information about it? I’ve been drinking hemp “shakes” with almond milk. Is that healthy or not?

    • Toxins

      Protein is not difficult to come by unless you are not getting enough food. As long as you are eating enough calories from whole plant foods, you will be getting enough protein. The 2 go hand in hand.

      • Fiona Vegana

        +1. I wish more people in the general population knew this!