The Wrong Way to Detox

The Wrong Way to Detox
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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.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 the pollution into 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 breastfeed 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Marion County, Oregon and Mothering Touch via flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 the pollution into 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 breastfeed 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Marion County, Oregon and Mothering Touch via flickr

Doctor's Note

Some of my other videos on breastfeeding include Cow’s Milk-Induced Infant ApneaAmerican 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 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 ExposureDDT 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. PesticidesDNA Protection From Broccoli; and The Best Detox.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Protecting Our Babies From PollutantsApple Peels Turn On Anticancer Genes; and Head Shrinking from Grilling Meat.

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

26 responses to “The Wrong Way to Detox

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  1. 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.

    1. Is this true? What about using a sauna? Apple pectin? Activated charcoal? Clay? I am trying to detox and have been told to use all of the above, plus the exercise.

      1. Detox is not “lets just throw this or that at the situation”. Best case, it is a multifaceted, well-thought out and disciplined approach. One must observe and assess the affects as time passes. If one REALLY is serious about a powerful, effective detox… no mamby-pamby two week traipse in the park, go to the Masterfast page on Facebook… and prepare yourself.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

    1. 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.

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

  5. You’ve shown the only reason I can imagine for having more then 2 kids! I’m a staunch believer in Zero Population Growth and am glad to see populations stabilize although you wouldn’t know it when ya see the J curve that represents the population exploding exponentially. Be that as it may, ladies toxin levels go down with every kid we breast feed, sweet FOR US. What a drag for future generations though. So for future generations maybe we should all belong to the Green Party and not have more then 2 pregnancies/live births. Bruno’s idea of working up a sweat works for me, I try to go to the gym 2 days, 1day off, then 2 again. About 5 a week.

  6. Thanks Dr Greger for this and all the other presentations. Every one of them is a valuable viewing experience.

    Not yet highlighted, and apparently not yet gaining much recognition in the body of emerging health information, generally speaking : the role of properly conducted, (water-based) therapeutic fasting. As far as I have been able to determine, it’s simultaneously the fastest and safest way to cleanse (and heal) the body.

  7. Hello,

    I am a huge fan of the site and it is my trusted source of information on health and nutrition. I am also a new mother and I have noticed that so many women can’t breastfeed because they don’t produce breast milk so they have to rely on formula. I was wondering if this may be linked to their diet and if it’s is something you have looked into?

    I saw a source that found a link between having a healthy diet of mostly veggies and fruits and producing breast milk. Seems like breast milk can perhaps become too thick or something when too much animal protein is consumed.

    I haven’t seen any other information about this besides my one obscure source (an orthodox Russian doctor) and I was wondering if you would consider looking into it. I think having this knowledge can benefit so many.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Stella

    1. Hi Stella.

      I looked into this and cannot seem to find anything that shows diet altering milk production and viscosity. It can alter beast milk quality. There may be more information on this in these resources. Dr. Spock’s book “Baby and Childcare 8th Edition and Dr. Greger lists a few resources for feeding infants. All great books with more on lactation. You may also want to peek at info from the Vegetarian Resource Group. If anything else comes up I’ll let you know.

      1. Hi Joseph,

        Not to belabor the point but I guess my more general question is why some women cannot produce breast milk at all. It’s such a common phenomenon and a substantial concern for many women but there do not seem to be any studies dissecting the issue. I would think it has to do with diet and lifestyle (exercise, stress levels, etc.).

        Is there any way you could look into it please?

        Thank you so much as always!

        Stella

    2. Hi Stella,
      I formula fed my first child who I had when I was young and in school, and breast fed my last two children. The reason women don’t breast feed is that it takes time. The babies can’t get enough milk in the amount of time the mother wants to allow that baby to nurse. So no, it’s not because of diet. It is because our society doesn’t allow women the time to sit and breast feed their baby. The mothers are telling you they didn’t have enough milk because it is a better reason than saying, I didn’t want to sit all morning breastfeeding.
      Also, I only had one breast to feed my babies with due to and injury when I was a child. If I can breast feed a child on one boob then with time and patience anyone can do it. So, you can do it. Just have patience and give yourself and your new baby time. I can promise you it is time well spent. It helps you build a wonderful relationship with your child and it will affect your relationship with that kid for the rest of their life.

      1. While that may be true for some people, I can tell you that it’s not always true. I breastfed my first with great success. My second would be distracted, didn’t seem to get enough, and eventually I got so sore that I ended up with mastitis. I was on heavy antibiotics and was forced to put him on a bottle. All of a sudden he started to thrive. He gained weight and was less colicky. I felt contented that he got 5 plus months of whatever I could give him, but we were both relieved to go to a bottle at that point.

        1. That’s true. I also think I benefited with the second kid I breastfed because I’d had a home birth and so my mid-wife interacted with me more and gave me feedback and ideas when I encountered some issues.

  8. I know this is an older video, but I really do hope my question will be answered. Apparently, I can’t breastfeed my babies (it was a disappointing surprise) and can’t afford a wet nurse or breastmilk ($120 a day!). What is a safe alternative?

  9. Dr Greger:

    I have heavy metal toxicity from DDT exposure (cotton fields sprayed close by my home in the 60’s and 70’s), pesticides (every room in our home was sprayed once a month from birth to the time I left home-18 year) and then daily antibiotic use from 15 to 20 years old prescribed by my dermatologist.
    What is the safest most effective way to detox? (FYI-from watching your piece in What the Health and finding this website, I am totally a Vegan)
    YOU ARE AN ANGEL-THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR BRILLIANT COMMITMENT TO STUDYING AND TEACHING US!

  10. There is a very interesting book on child raising from the spiritual perspective, i.e. for the broadminded… probably NOT recommended for someone with narrow minded, orthodox religious beliefs. The book is called “The Art of Personality” by H. I. Khan. At one point he tells a story of a king (a physically vigorous man) who is baffled that a child born of his loins cringes at the firing of a cannon. He asked his wise counselor the reasoning, and the reply is something like, “If you check, you will find the child was not nursed as a babe”. He also talks about the heart quality being developed during nursing.

    It’s one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read!

    Possibly the greatest gift a parent can give the unborn child is the practice of chastity while pregnant. Enjoying while pregnant creates a child with a lusty demeanor. This comes from another source, but makes perfect sense when you understand how drug addictions are passed from mother to child.

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