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.
The Wrong Way to Detox,
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.
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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 post: Protecting Our Babies From Pollutants
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