Ok.. now that I have put the fear of god into you about our environment (sorry, but this stuff is very real!), I want to swing your attention now to the standard protocol here in Australia for medicating babies.
In my last article I talked about the liver pathways, and how they are put under pressure by a variety of different environmental chemicals and substances. Specifically, I'd like to look at the most commonly prescribed paediatric medications in Australia, their effects on the liver, and potential complications.
Paracetamol; Ibuprofen (Nurofen); Teething gel (Bonjela) - Three of the most widely used 'safe' medications for babies under the age of 1.
Teething gels: Bonjela and the likes, contains high levels of Salicylic acid, which is the active pain killing ingredient in Aspirin. In some countries, Bonjela has labeling cautioning against its use in children, given its salicylate content. As usual, Australia are a long way behind the 8-ball.
Many years ago, Aspirin was once given freely to young children for pain, but then the link between It and a condition called 'Reye's syndrome' (a condition that caused swelling of the liver and brain!) had its use revoked. It was after the studies linking the two that Paracetamol became part of standard protocol instead of Aspirin. In America, the FDA recommends that aspirin not be given to children under 19yrs of age. In the UK the age is 16yrs.
If Reye's syndrome is swelling of the liver and the brain, and has been linked to high doses of concentrated Salicylic acid… Then surely in a child who is more susceptible, lower doses of Salicylic Acid might be a factor in their behavior??
Some medications, topical preparations and foods might contain reasonable levels of this stuff- and remember it is accumulative, so the more that goes into the system over a certain period of time, the more the symptoms of toxicity might present.
NOTE: I would also like to point out that genetic mutations such as MTHFR mutation, will impair the methylation of salicylates in the liver. What this means, is that without the correct support there will be an even larger burden on the liver if exposed to any Salicylates.
Paracetamol: The standard protocol medicine for babies with fever or pain in Australia.
In fact, there are still many health nurses and practitioners who will recommend a child is dosed with it prior to getting their vaccine, in order to reduce any onset of pain or fever. When you understand that the liver is required to detoxify the adjuvants in the vaccines, you will know that this prophylactic approach is a bad idea indeed!
Detoxification of Paracetamol requires and depletes the liver's Glutathione stores. It binds selenium-containing proteins that underline the Glutathione system, and by doing so has a similar action to Mercury in the body. It is because of this pharmacokinetic action, that research is suggestive that Paracetamol may be implicated in disorders of depleted Glutathione such as Autism and Asthma.
An interesting study: In 2013 Dr William Shaw, director of Great Plains Laboratory, observed that Cuba vaccinates all of their children, especially against measles, yet their autism incidence is only 1/300th of ours in the U.S. What’s the difference, according to Shaw? In Cuba, Paracetamol is limited by the embargo. Cuba prohibits over-the-counter Paracetamol, and only rarely allows it to be prescribed for vaccinations in special cases.
In clinic I see many behavioural children, and most of you know of at least one. Many of these kids appear to react to foods and their chemicals- Salicylates, Glutamates, Benzoates, Preservatives… all of the food chemicals that required detoxification by one of the pathways we have been talking about.
I wonder how many of these children were already weakened in the relevant liver pathways, and then dosed up on these drugs? Remember that we are talking about an accumulative load- so over time these enzymes become worn down.
Perhaps the foods are the final straw? Perhaps the vaccines were the tipping point? But consider that there was a great 'bioaccumulation' of these toxins in that child, and even moreso in their mother, a long time before those triggers set the symptoms off.
What can be done to help?
I know that when all of that information is smashed together, it seems overwhelming and probably makes you feel helpless!?
Rest assured, with the right help you can detoxify your life and your body, and reduce the overall load that is placed on that liver of yours.
Sulphur containing foods and amino acids stimulate Phase 2 Detoxification.
For efficient liver detoxification, the liver cells require sulphur- containing amino acids such as Taurine and Cysteine. The nutrients Glyine, Glutamine, Choline, and Inositol are also required.
Eggs, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, cauliflower), raw garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots are all good sources of natural Sulphur compounds which enhance Phase 2 detoxification.
Epsom salts, or Magnesium sulphate, is an extrinsic source and can be used in baths or foot baths.
Substrates of the glycine pathway
Salicylates and benzoates are detoxified primarily through glycination. Benzoate is present in many food substances and is widely used as a food preservative. Many other substances are detoxified as well via the glycine conjugation pathway. Patients suffering from xenobiotic overloads and environmental toxicity may not have sufficient amounts of glycine to cope with the amount of toxins they are carrying. Reduction or removal of Benzoate preservatives will help reduce the overall load.
Whilst this list is not extensive, it is a massive step in moving toward health liver function and therefore better overall health. The biggest step, however, would be the removal of the environmental toxins and drugs and/or foodstuffs that place unwanted load on that liver.
Yes, there is sometimes the genuine need for these drugs, and I certainly am not suggesting that you remove them at the expense of your child's wellbeing. However.. be mindful that overdose is possible, that these things do wear the enzymes in the liver down, and quite often there is a more natural alternative to the drugs that come without the harmful side effects.
Stay tuned.. my next article is all about the gut flora, and its role in mood, immune modulation, and how pesticides and medications affect their balance.