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Strengthening Your Child’s Resistance to Disease
Super Healthy Kids:
Strengthening Your Child’s Resistance to Disease
By Jane Sheppard Cover Design by Gavio
Copyright © 2002, 2004 Jane Sheppard. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. First published in 2002, second printing in 2004 Published by Future Generations 1275 Fourth Street, #118 Santa Rosa, CA 95404 707-570-0408 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.healthychild.com
The information contained in this booklet is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose any illness, prescribe, or treat any health problems. The contents of this document should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for consulting with a qualified health professional.
This book is dedicated with love to Jenna Sheppard, a super healthy kid, my greatest teacher and my inspiration, and to future generations of super healthy kids.
I wish to thank Rob Harris for his support and assistance during the writing of this book and for his ongoing support and technical assistance with www.healthychild.com. I extend my deepest gratitude to the many writers, teachers, practitioners, healers, and educators who are passionately working to bring about a major transformation in the way children are treated and cared for in this society. I am also in deep gratitude to the children who have come to teach us how to live and love.
Table of Contents
Introduction……………..........………………….…..1 Survival Depends on the Immune System.......…...6 A Shift in Our Approach to Health………………..8 Antibiotics Weaken Immunity…………….....…...11 Vaccines Do Not Create Immunity…..…..............19 The Amazing Immunology of Breastmilk…....…26 Nutrition for Healthy Immunity………...........….37 Natural Supplements for Superimmunity…...…58 Immunity-Strengthening Herbs……………........67
Table of Contents
Healthy Thoughts and Feelings Create Healthy Immunity…………………............…...…...80 Allergies…………………...…….………….…...…...85 Our Children’s Toxic Environment…............….....88 Chronic Immune Dysfunction……….......…...…...93 Integrating Healthy Immunity-Building Into Your Family’s Lifestyle……………........….....96 Checklist for Building Healthy Immunity…........101 Works Cited….………………………….......……..105 Resources……………………….……............….....112
The only true way to prevent disease is to have a healthy body with a strong natural defense system. We have all been blessed with an immune system that, when functioning properly, defends our bodies against pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and other toxins. This system of immunity consists of many different complex processes that work together to keep us healthy. It is virtually impossible to germ-proof your children. Unless you keep them in a plastic bubble, they are going to be exposed to germs on a daily basis. This is not necessarily unfavorable because exposure to viruses and other germs can actually strengthen a child’s immune system. Germs are abundant everywhere, especially in situations such as daycare or school, but exposure does not mean a child will get sick. Many people talk about a cold or a flu “going around” as if it were making the rounds infecting every child in its path. The reality is that out of all the children exposed to the virus, only a portion of these children will get sick to some degree, and others will not succumb to the disease at all.
It is the strength of the immune system and overall health of the body and mind that determines illness, not the strength of the germs. A child with a weakened immune system will be vulnerable to colds, flu, and more serious illnesses. The immune system is working all of the time. It continually strives to overcome the many pathogens that try to enter the body, usually without expressing any symptoms of disease. When your child’s body is exposed to a pathogen, an immune response occurs. This is a cooperative effort by the different components of the immune system to restore balance and health. The body needs a lot of resources for mounting and sustaining this response. If it has not had enough good nutrition, sleep, love, and other important substances, the response will be weakened enough to let the pathogen take hold and result in disease. Even healthy kids get sick sometimes, but a healthy body can recover quickly without any complications. The goal is not to prevent all childhood diseases, but rather to decrease the number and severity of the diseases.
Acquiring innocuous childhood diseases can help to build immunity and give your child lifetime protection against these diseases. Lifetime immunity is important since these diseases can have serious negative effects if acquired as an adult. Philip Incao, M.D. warns parents that standard childhood illnesses, such as chicken pox, measles, mumps, and even whooping cough, may be of key benefit to a child’s developing immune system, and it may be inadvisable to suppress these illnesses with vaccinations (Incao 2000, 2001). When your child does get sick, you can help the body resolve the illness by boosting its ability to handle and expel the disease rather than suppressing the symptoms with toxic drugs. When you build up the immune system through natural whole foods, herbs, and other methods we discuss in this book, the body will move into a more vitalized state of health. Is it possible for a child to have an immune system so strong that he or she rarely gets sick? A child who sails through childhood without ever having an ear infection, only a few minor colds, and no full-blown infections? Absolutely – this describes my 9-year-old daughter and other exceptionally healthy children. These are children with super strong immunity.
My daughter has been exposed to many diseases throughout her nine years of life, including pertussis, chicken pox (5 times), and zillions of colds and other viruses. She regularly comes in contact with kids with runny noses and terrible coughs. But her strong immune system is powerful enough to ward them off. Sometimes she gets a stuffy nose for a day or two, and occasionally a fever for a day, but she will usually go the entire “cold and flu season” without a single infection. What makes my daughter and other children like her have such strong immune systems? Perhaps genetics may have something to do with it. But research is showing us that it has more to do with a healthy environment right from the start. A baby needs to be nourished during the entire pregnancy with organic, whole foods and lots of love and nurturing, then exclusively breastfed and given an ongoing diet of love, attention and healthy food. Particularly important is what is not allowed to enter the baby’s system during and after pregnancy and the first few years of life – environmental toxins, vaccines, and unnecessary antibiotics.
If your child is overly susceptible to illness, you may want to take steps to enhance his or her immune system and make it as strong as possible. Prevention is the way to avoid subjecting your child to continuing cycles of antibiotics or other medications. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do to strengthen your child’s immune system and overall health to defend against disease. The powerful tools of prevention include long-term breastfeeding, good nutrition, natural therapies, a healthy mental attitude and emotional well-being, a nontoxic environment, avoiding unnecessary antibiotics and vaccines, low stress, and plenty of rest and exercise. We will discuss each of these components in detail throughout this book. Rest assured that there is still plenty that you can do to strengthen your child’s immune system right now, regardless of whether this child was breastfed, was vaccinated, how healthy the pregnancy was, or what the state of the diet is now. There is always something more you can do to improve your child’s health. It is never too late to begin.
Survival Depends on the Immune System
There are many good reasons to strengthen our children’s immunity and overall health. We can avoid trips to the doctor and keep our children off antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs, saving time, money, and stress on ourselves and our kids’ little bodies. We can experience the sheer pleasure of watching our children experience life with exuberance, energy and vitality. Even more critical, we’ve entered into a time in which chronic diseases are increasingly prevalent and serious acute diseases are more difficult to treat. Incidences of allergies and asthma, both signs that the immune system is not functioning properly, are dramatically increasing in children (CDC 2002 and Incao 2001). Due to antibiotic resistance, serious diseases such as bacterial meningitis and pneumonia are becoming more difficult to treat, making them even more life threatening. New strains of the tuberculosis bacterium have been found to be resistant to standard antibiotic treatment. The bacterium that causes pertussis (whooping cough) is mutating to develop resistance to the vaccine, and current disease strains of pertussis are not in6
cluded in the pertussis vaccine formulation (Farrel 2000, Mooi 1998). An increased number of children are prone to recurring infections, taking excessive rounds of antibiotics. Additionally, babies and children are regularly exposed to pesticides that can compromise their immune systems, increasing their risk of disease (NRDC). The threat of bioterrorism may be facing us; a threat that modern medicine is ill equipped to deal with. Having a compromised immune system will not only put you and your children in greater jeopardy from a bioterrorist attack, but the vaccines meant to protect against these attacks are dangerous, especially to a weakened immune system. Survival depends greatly on the strength and power of our immune systems – now more than ever before. We need to have strong immunity now, and we will not get it from vaccines and antibiotics. These toxic drugs will only weaken our defenses more.
A Shift in Our Approach to Health
Many of us are beginning to understand that we can no longer rush our children to the doctor for antibiotics to treat ear infections and other common illnesses. It’s now time to go back to natural medicines that are gentler, without harmful side effects; medicines that work to support the immune system rather than overpower it. Modern or allopathic medicine views disease as coming from outside the body. This view says that a virus, bacteria, or parasite invades the body and makes it sick. Medical doctors are trained to diagnose an infection and immediately eradicate it with powerful antibiotics. These drugs kill the bacteria in the body – both good and bad, stop the symptoms so the underlying cause is not addressed, and weaken the body even further in the process. Taking antibiotics may stop the present bacterial infection, but unless the underlying pattern of dysfunction is stopped – in most cases a weakened immune system - the infections may recur and come back even stronger than before. When a child has an infection, the immune system works to expel it through natural processes such as fever, skin rash, diarrhea, runny
nose, and coughing. These normal reactions are known as the acute inflammatory response and are signs that the immune system is working properly. In fact, this inflammatory response helps to strengthen the immune system and should not be suppressed (Incao 2001). When drugs such as fever reducers, cough medicines, antihistamines, or other medications are given to suppress these vital functions, a child may become worse since the body is not allowed to do what it needs to do to drive the virus out of the body. This may be why complications sometimes accompany a minor disease such as chicken pox. In order to strengthen our children’s immune systems so they can be super healthy, we need to look at disease and healing in a completely different way than we’ve been taught by modern medicine. When we look at disease holistically, we see that the cause of disease lies within the body, and in most cases the body can heal itself if given the opportunity. We can allow the immune response of fever, runny nose, and coughing to continue to do its job of expelling the disease from the body. The body’s innate life force is powerful and intelligent – a lot wiser than manmade drugs.
Pharmaceutical drugs can greatly diminish this life force, as can unhealthy food, negative emotions, and toxic chemicals. But if we shift the body into a healthy, vital state through natural methods, the life force is then allowed to do its miraculous work of healing the body and keeping it healthy and whole.
Antibiotics Weaken Immunity
Antibiotics have saved many lives over the past 50 years. We are truly fortunate to have them available for life-threatening bacterial infections. Unfortunately, for a long time now, doctors have been prescribing antibiotics excessively and indiscriminately. The Center for Disease Control estimates that of the 235 million doses of antibiotics given each year, between 20 and 50 percent are unnecessary. These are drugs that can undermine our children’s health and impair their immune systems. If you want your children to stay well with strong immunity, keep them off of antibiotics whenever possible. Antibiotic misuse is most likely to occur in children with ear infections (otitis media), the number one reason a child is brought to a doctor. Antibiotic therapy is the most common treatment of ear infections by doctors in the U.S. A report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ 2000) suggests that children may not always need antibiotics to treat an ear infection. Researchers found that nearly two-thirds of children with uncomplicated ear infections recover from pain and fever within 24 hours of diagnosis without antibiotic treatment.
Over 80% recover fully within 1 to 7 days. Other countries do not always treat ear infections with drugs at the first sign of infection. The norm is to watch and see how the infection progresses over the course of a few days (AHRQ 2000). The purpose of antibiotics is to kill harmful bacteria. Otitis media means middle ear inflammation - not necessarily bacterial infection. Many cases are caused by viruses or allergies, particularly to milk and dairy products. Of the cases of otitis media that do not respond to antibiotics, it’s been found that in up to 70 percent of these cases, there are no harmful bacteria (Schmidt 1990, Skoner 1988). In these cases, antibiotics are useless and damaging to the immune system. Antibiotics have been shown to increase the likelihood of repeat ear infections. One reason is when a doctor prescribes antibiotics, the underlying cause of the ear infection is usually ignored and left untreated. Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is commonly found in the nose and throat. This bacterium is thought to be responsible for many cases of ear infections, which is why antibiotics are prescribed. However, your child can have pneumococcus and not be sick. It usually causes trouble if it gets trapped in
the middle ear. Once trapped, the bacteria can reproduce rapidly and become an infection. This scenario could be the result of an allergic reaction to a certain food, which can cause congestion as well as significant pressure changes and obstruction to the eustachian tube of the ear. In the case of an allergy induced ear infection, eliminating the allergen from a child’s diet or environment will also eliminate the obstruction, allowing the bacterial fluid to drain. Antibiotics may kill the bacteria and stop the present infection, but if an allergic child continues to be exposed to the allergen, repeat ear infections are likely to occur. A weakened immune system is the underlying cause of many ear infections. Treating the child with antibiotics without correcting the cause will likely create a continuing cycle of repeat ear infections. Many children are dealing with this. A typical scenario is the child is diagnosed with acute otitis media and antibiotics are prescribed. The symptoms disappear in about a week, but return again in the near future since the original cause was not addressed. The child goes back to the doctor for more antibiotics. The cycle continues.
Some children spend months or even years on antibiotics, with recurring ear infections. Research has shown that when antibiotics are used at the beginning of an ear infection, the frequency of recurrence may be almost three times greater than if antibiotics are delayed or not used (Schmidt 1990, Diamant 1974). A truly disturbing practice is the prescribing of antibiotics by some doctors to treat colds, coughs, runny noses or flu. Most upper respiratory infections are viral. Treating them with antibiotics is clear misuse, since the drugs kill only bacteria and are of no value at all in treating viral infections. There are treatments that can relieve the symptoms of a cold, but there is no drug (over-the-counter or prescription) that will cure a cold. There are, however, natural treatments that work very well by strengthening the immune system to effectively deal with a cold. Antibiotics do not just go after the pathogenic or “bad” bacteria. They also indiscriminately destroy the beneficial or “friendly” bacteria that are necessary and vital to good health. Beneficial bacteria exist in the intestines for the purpose of digestion, manufacturing vitamins,
and keeping the pathogenic bacteria in check. Among the more important beneficial bacteria are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidus. They help protect the body against infection. Depleting these organisms can disrupt the balance of the body and lead to suppressed immunity, bowel problems, poor digestion, poor nutrient absorption, malnutrition, and yeast overgrowth diseases such as thrush and vaginitis. In addition to reducing absorption of nutrients, antibiotics can cause important vitamins and minerals to be lost from the body, which can weaken immunity. One of the most common side effects of antibiotics is diarrhea. This can cause a loss of nutrients, especially magnesium and zinc. Some children are on antibiotics for months or even years. Nutritional loss over such a long period of time is debilitating for the body and sets up an environment for more infections. Think twice before accepting antibiotics as treatment for acne. Adolescents treated with longterm antibiotics for acne are prone to poor health during the treatment and later in their teens and 20s. Common health problems from long-term antibiotics include gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, itching, allergies, chronic congestion, bloated abdomen, poor mental concentration and
memory, chronic vaginal yeast infections and bladder infections. A very frightening consequence of indiscriminate use of antibiotics is the development of antibioticresistant bacteria. These bacteria have “learned” to outsmart the drugs and have reproduced a generation of stronger, more resistant bugs. Consequently, there are some serious infectious diseases that are no longer responding to antibiotics. If an infection does respond, it often requires much more of the drug that used to be effective. In the event of a serious bacterial infection, such as meningitis, a much higher dosage of antibiotic may be required or a doctor may have to try different drugs before finding one that will work. The time this takes can potentially be a matter of life or death, since meningitis can be fatal and needs to be treated immediately. Eating commercially raised meat can increase the risk of drug-resistant infections. Antibioticresistant bacteria are commonly found in meat since antibiotics are routinely given to chickens, pigs and cattle to prevent illness and to promote growth. Resistant strains of salmonella are common in ground meats (White 2001). After eating meat, drug-resistant bacteria can survive in
the human intestine for up to 14 days, where they could multiply and potentially cause drugresistant infections (Sorensen 2001). What else is your child ingesting with the antibiotic? Sweeteners, dyes, flavorings, and other unnamed additives are found in antibiotics prescribed to children. These may include saccharin, sucrose, red dye #40, FD & C yellow #5 and #6. These dyes are cross-reactive with aspirin and acetaminophen, which are commonly given to a child during an illness (Schmidt 1994). Even tiny amounts of the chemical additives in antibiotics can cause an allergic reaction in a sensitive child. It’s important to always get a full disclosure of the contents of the drug being considered if your child has allergies or environmental sensitivity. Ask the pharmacist for the insert that comes with the medication. Antibiotics may be absolutely necessary in certain situations, such as a life-threatening infection or when serious complications are present. We are very fortunate to have antibiotics for appropriate situations. However, if you ever do have to use antibiotics, they should be used in conjunction with methods that strengthen the immune system, and the depleted beneficial bacteria should always be replaced. Most importantly, the
cause of the infection needs to be addressed for true healing to take place.
Vaccines Do Not Create Immunity
Increasing evidence suggests that injecting a child with nearly three-dozen doses of 10 different viral and bacterial vaccines before the age of five, while the immune system is still developing, can cause chronic immune dysfunction (Neustaedter 1996, Classen 2000, Scheibner 1993, Murphy 1993, Miller 1994). Vaccines may trigger antibody production to a specific disease, but they do not increase genuine immunity; nor do they create healthier children. Many doctors now believe that creating a strong immune system to prevent both chronic and acute diseases is much wiser than trying to manipulate the immune system to prevent certain acute diseases. The constant stress on the immune system from manipulating it with so many vaccines could result in immune system damage and chronic diseases. The toxins contained in vaccines are also linked to nervous system and brain damage, including ADD and autism.
The following is an excerpt from Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective?, by Neil Miller explaining how vaccines may overwhelm and weaken the immune system: Several researchers have noted that vaccines merely “trick” the body into focusing on only one aspect (antibody production) of the many complex and integrated strategies normally available to the immune system. Diseases contracted natureally are ordinarily filtered through a series of immune system defenses. But when the vaccine virus is injected directly into the child’s blood stream, it gains access to all of the major tissues and organs of the body, without the body’s normal advantage of a total immune response. Research indicates that the immature immune system of a baby is stimulated, strengthened, and matured by responding to natural challenges. When the infant gains exposure to viral and bacterial microorganisms in the environment, normal development of the immune system is likely to occur. However,
if the immature immune system is forced to respond to a barrage of vaccinations injected directly into the body, bypassing outer immune system defenses, inner immune system protective maneuvers may be overwhelmed. When natural immunity is curtailed and the immune system compelled to operate in unnatural ways, questions arise regarding its ability to protect the child throughout life (Miller 1994). While investigating vaccines for the past ten years, I have seen and heard countless reports from parents that express unequivocally how incredibly strong their unvaccinated children’s immune systems are. My own unvaccinated daughter is remarkably healthy. She’s been immunized with four years of breastmilk, an organic whole foods diet, and plenty of love and attention. She has never needed an antibiotic, and I know her immune system is strong enough to deal with the diseases that kids are vaccinated against. If she does get an infection, I am confident her strong immune system will respond quickly to treatment The statement frequently heard from vaccine proponents, that “the benefits of vaccination
outweigh the risks”, is misleading since the true risks of vaccination are unknown. In 1991 and 1994, two committees were set up by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assess the causal relationship between vaccines and adverse health consequences. According to the Academy, “These committees concluded that the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relation between a specific vaccine and an adverse effect approximately two-thirds of the time” (NAS 2002). Yet, when parents voice concerns about adverse effects they are told that no causal link has been found and that vaccines are safe. How can they say vaccines are safe when there is simply not enough evidence to make such a conclusion? A report issued in 2002 by the IOM’s Immunization Safety Review Committee calls for more scientific research into the development of the human immune system and identification of genetic and other biomarkers that could predispose some children to vaccine-based adverse events, including autoimmunity. This report found that scientific evidence on whether allergy, including asthma, can be caused by multiple vaccinations was conflicting and concluded that the evidence “was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.” (NAS 2002)
The Committee also concluded that epidemiological studies to date “favor rejection of a causal relationship between multiple immunizations and increased risk for infections and for type 1 diabetes.” But “favoring rejection” does not mean the causal relationship between vaccines and increased risk of infections or diabetes has been ruled out or disproved. The Committee also concluded that they did find some biological mechanism evidence that vaccines could increase the risk of immune dysfunction in some children that could lead to increased infections and allergy, including asthma. The report stated, “The biological mechanisms evidence regarding increased risk for infections is strong.” Yet, press releases were issued from the National Academy of Sciences with the headlines “Infant Immunizations Not Shown to Be Harmful to Children’s Immune Systems” and “Vaccines Don’t Harm Infant Immune Systems”. This type of public relations is misleading to parents. The truth is that a lot more research still needs to be done. The IOM committee made their conclusions not from independent new research, but from a literature review of past studies funded by vaccine manufacturers or done by government groups with financial links to the
vaccine manufacturers and a huge stake in the results. A major flaw in some of these studies was that they looked at children who have received a lot of vaccines and then compared them with children receiving one more vaccine than the “control” group. This tells us nothing. For a true scientific picture, what they need to be looking at is overall incidence of immune dysfunction between fully vaccinated children and children who receive few or no vaccines. No such study has ever been done. Another important flaw of this report is that researchers who have identified links between autoimmune conditions and vaccines were not allowed to present their findings and research to the committee. As Dawn Richardson, president of Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education (PROVE) stated, “The old expression “garbage in garbage out” definitely applies here.” Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center, called the report “an important step in acknowledging the very real basic science research needs of our nation’s mass vaccination system. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the growing minority of children who, for biological reasons, are not able to handle
the increasing numbers of vaccinations routinely being given to all children.” Parents questioning the safety of vaccines want good independent scientific research into this question and are frustrated with the spin control that the public health community continues to put out to the public. The issue of vaccines can be a complicated one for parents. A lot of conflicting information is supplied, making it difficult to know just what to trust. Most pediatricians stick to what they learned in medical school (a narrow view) and are not fully informed about all the aspects and dangers of vaccines. Many resources are provided at the end of this book so you can do your own research and make informed decisions for your children.
The Amazing Immunology of Breastmilk
Breastfeeding for as long as possible is the most important thing you can do to ensure your child has a strong immune system. Breastmilk is much more than food. In addition to providing the absolute best nutrition for a growing baby, breastmilk supplies the factors needed to develop strong immunity and protect your baby against disease. Although they have some antibodies from the placenta of their mother, newborns enter the world largely unprotected. With immature immune systems, they are faced with organisms they have never met before and are at risk for infections. Exclusive breastfeeding can greatly lower this risk. Breastfeeding has been shown to be protective against many illnesses, including ear infections, upper and lower respiratory ailments, allergies, intestinal disorders, colds, viruses, staph, strep and e coli infections, diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, salmonella, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well as lifetime protection from crohn’s
disease, ulcerative colitis, some lymphomas, insulin dependent diabetes, and for girls, breast and ovarian cancer (La Leche League). Breastmilk contains lymphocytes and macrophages, which produce antibodies and other immune factors. It provides lactobacillus bifidus, the “friendly” bacteria that help prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria. Another molecule in breastmilk actually kills harmful bacteria. Some components are even directly anti-inflammatory (Hanson, 1998). In addition to providing protection against pathogenic bacteria, breastmilk contains elements that guard against viruses, fungi and parasites. The positive effects of breastmilk on the immune system are long-term. Evidence shows that enhanced immune protection remains for years after breastfeeding is discontinued (Hanson 1998). The immunology of breastmilk is quite amazing. Mother Nature definitely knows what she is doing! When your baby is sick, it makes sense to nurse him or her more frequently. In addition to providing antibodies and other immune factors, breastmilk is a nourishing calorie-rich fluid, which keeps a baby well hydrated. My daughter intuitively knew to nurse more frequently when
she was fighting something off. This frequent nursing managed to keep whatever was trying to invade her body from developing into an actual infection or disease. It’s baffling that some health professionals still believe that there is no benefit from breastmilk to babies after they are a year old. Long-term breastfeeding and natural weaning (letting your child decide when to wean) is by far the healthiest thing you can do. Immune protection continues to improve throughout the duration of breastfeeding (Hanson 1998). The longer you breastfeed, the stronger your child’s immune system becomes. Breastfeeding also adds the loving touch and comfort that is crucial to the emotional well-being of your baby, toddler and preschooler, thus strengthening immunity on another level. Continuing to breastfeed into the preschool years does not make a child dependent on the mother. My daughter decided on her own to quit nursing at age four. This was a gentle, easy transition for her. She is a strong, independent child because she knows she can always get her needs met.
What is Colostrum?
From LaLeche League www.lalecheleague.org Colostrum is the first milk your breasts produce in the early days of breastfeeding. Highly concentrated in nutrients, it contains substances that will defend your baby against many harmful agents. The concentration of immune factors is much higher in colostrum than in mature milk. Colostrum actually works as a natural and 100% safe vaccine. It contains large quantities of an antibody called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is a new substance to the newborn. Before your baby was born, she received the benefit of another antibody, called IgG, through your placenta. IgG worked through the baby’s circulatory system, but IgA protects the baby in the places most likely to come under attack from germs, namely the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs, and intestines. Colostrum has an especially important role to play in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. A newborn’s intestines are very permeable. Colostrum seals the holes by “painting” the gastrointestinal tract with a barrier, which mostly prevents foreign substances from penetrating and
possibly sensitizing a baby to foods the mother has eaten. Colostrum also contains high concentrations of leukocytes, protective white cells, which can destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Later, when you are producing mature milk for your baby, the concentrations of the antibodies in the milk will be lower, but your baby will be taking in much higher volumes of milk. The disease-fighting properties of human milk do not disappear with the colostrum. In fact, as long as your baby receives your milk, she will receive immunological protection against many different viruses and bacteria.
Reprinted with permission Kathryn Orlinsky, 1999 http://www.kjsl.com/~boynews/ImmunologicalPr otection.html The immunological properties of human milk may be as important as the nutritional aspects of human milk. How do we know that human milk really does make a difference in preventing disease? Many studies show that children who are fed human milk substitutes end up sick or hospitalized at a much greater rate than children
who breastfeed. For example, diarrhea was significantly reduced in infants fed human milk compared with bottle-fed and weaned children (9, 19, 20). Most bacterial infections are caused by organisms that are already colonizing the host, usually in the gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts. Human milk may prevent the growth of these bacteria. There are several ways in which human milk protects children from infection. Human milk contains antibodies (immunoglobulins) which can help ward off disease in the infant. Human milk is particularly high in immunoglobulin A (IgA); (10) there is more IgA in human milk than in serum (6). IgA binds to viruses and bacteria, particularly those that enter through the gut and other mucus membranes. This is especially protective of infants, who are always putting things in their mouths. In addition to antibodies, human milk also contains lysozyme and lactoferrin, two anti-bacterial enzymes which protect against a host of infectious agents, including E. coli and Staphylococcus (3). Human milk also contains whole immune cells called white blood cells. Many of these cells are phagocytes, so called because they engulf bacteria
and viruses, especially if these germs have IgA attached to them. Other immune cells in human milk include B cells, which make antibodies, and T cells, which attack diseased cells (17). How can these antibodies and other proteins help the infant if they are swallowed and digested along with the nutritional components of human milk? It turns out that these immune factors are resistant to proteolysis in the infant’s gut (7, 8). Ninety percent of the IgA in human milk exists in a complex with secretory component (SIgA) (10). SIgA is resistant to trypsin digestion in the neonatal gut (22). Another way human milk protects children from disease is by favoring the growth of beneficial microorganisms. These benign colonizations prevent dangerous infections from taking hold. For example, bifidobacteria are more numerous in breastfed infants than in those fed with human milk substitutes (1, 3). This may be because of nucle-otide salts present only in human milk, however, when these nucleotide salts were added to the human milk substitutes, the growth of bifido-bacteria was still discouraged (1). Breastfeeding may also favor the proliferation of bacteria with decreased virulence (15, 21). These strains may be more sensitive to bactericidal
agents in serum, more prone to agglutinization, or less able to attach to epithelial surfaces (14). Human milk does not contain the same proportion of immune cells and antibodies that are found in the mother’s blood, nor does it contain a stationary amount of these protective agents (4). Human milk contains much more IgA and less immunoglobulin M than serum does (6). In addition, the type of T cells predominantly found in human milk is different from the predominant type of T cell found in serum (17). This is because the mammary glands themselves contain lymphoid cells which produce the IgA antibodies needed by the breastfeeding child (10, 13, 18). This mechanism is functional throughout lactation. In addition to providing protection from specific germs in the infant, the production and secretion of these immunological factors by the mother’s mammary gland may be linked to the development of the child’s own immune system (4). Skeptics have said, “yes, human milk benefits infants, but older children cannot continue to receive immunity by breastfeeding, can they?” The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Children enjoy health benefits for as long as they breastfeed. Studies have compared weaned children with breastfeeding children at 30 months (16)
and at 36 months, (20, 23) and found them to be sicker. In some parts of the world, weaned toddlers have a mortality rate three and a half times higher than toddlers who receive human milk (20). Weaning foods and even water from some regions are highly contaminated with E. coli, (2) but even undernourished mothers from these regions produce ample milk antibodies (5). There are at least two reasons why breastfeeding continues to benefit older children. First, human milk contains immune factors regardless of the duration of lactation. Both lysozyme and SIgA levels have been found in human milk for the entire period of lactation studied, including the second year (10, 12, 13). Many of these immune factors would be otherwise unavailable (13). Second, human milk is more easily tolerated by a sick child than weaning foods. Thus, breastfeeding ensures that sick children remain hydrated and do not lose excessive weight. There are special cases where human milk is particularly high in immune factors. Colostrum is exceptionally rich in immune factors, containing more white blood cells per unit volume than blood (17). Preterm milk also contains more immune factors than term milk, both in colostrum and mature milk (11). Newborns and premature infants need immunological protection more than
toddlers, and they get that increased protection in the human milk they consume. This does not preclude older children from benefiting immunologically from continuing to breastfeed.
Balmer SE, Hanvey LS and BA Wharton. 1994. Arch. Dis. Child Fetal. Neonatal Ed. Mar. 70(2):F137-F140. 2. Black RE, Brown KH, Becker S, Alim AR and MH Merson. 1982. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 76(2):259-264. 3. Braun OH. 1976. Klin. Padiatr. Jul;188(4):297-310. 4. Butte NF, Goldblum RM, Fehl LM, Loftin K, Smith EO, Garza C and AS Goldman. 1984. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. May;73(3):296-301. 5. Carlsson B, Ahlstedt S, Hanson LA, Lidin-Janson G, Lindblad BS and R Sultana 1976. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. Jul;65(4):417-423. 6. Carlsson B, Gothefors L, Ahlstedt S, Hanson LA and J Winberg. 1976. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. Mar;65(2):216-24. 7. Davidson LA and B Lonnerdal. 1987. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. 76:733-740. 8. Fubara ES and R Freter. 1973. J. Immunol. 111:395. 9. Giugliano LG, Meyer CJ, Arantes LC, Ribeiro ST and R Giugliano. 1993. J. Trop. Pediatr. Jun;39(3):183-187. 10. Goldman AS, Garza C, Nichols BL and RM Goldblum. 1982. J. Pediatr. Apr;100(4):563-7. 11. Goldman AS, Garza C, Nichols B, Johnson CA, Smith EO and RM Goldblum. 1982. J. Pediatr. Dec;101(6):901-5. 12. Goldman AS, Goldblum RM and C Garza. 1983. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. 72:461-462. 35 1.
13. Goldman AS, Goldblum RM, Garza C, Nichols BL and EO Smith. 1983. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. 72:133134. 14. Gothefors L, Olling S and J Winberg. 1975. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. Nov;64(6):807-812. 15. Gothefors L, Olling S and J Winberg. 1976. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. 64:807. 16. Gulick EE. 1986. Pediatr. Nurs. Jan-Feb;12(1):51-4. The effects of breast-feeding on toddler health. 17. Lindstrand A, Smedman L, Gunnlaugsson G and M Troye-Blomberg. 1997. Acta. Paediatr. Aug;86(8):890-891. 18. Lodinova R and V Jouja. 1977. Acta. Paediatr. Scand. Nov;66(6):705-708. 19. Mahalanabis D, Alam AN, Rahman N and A Hasnat. 1991. Int. J. Epidemiol. Dec;20(4):1064-1072. 20. Molbak K, Gottschau A, Aaby P, Hojlyng N, Ingholt L and AP da Silva. 1994. BMJ. May 28;308(6941):1403-6. 21. Orskov F and KB Sorenson. 1975. Acta. Pathol. Microbiol. Scand. [B] Feb;83(1):25-30. 22. Parkin DM, MacClouland DBL, Samson RR, McA Less, M and DJC Shearman. 1973. Europ. J Clin Invest. 3:66. 23. van den Bogaard C, van den Hoogen HJ, Huygen FJ and C van Weel. 1991. Fam. Med. Sep-Oct;23(7):5105.
Nutrition for Healthy Immunity
Optimal nutrition is essential to building and maintaining a healthy immune system. To maintain a powerful immune system, you must supply your child’s body with the highest quality food sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and other nutrients. We’re told that we need to give our children a “balanced diet”. Unfortunately, in this age of over-processed, manufactured foods, a typical balanced diet is not sufficient. In fact, some foods that have long been considered an essential part of a balanced diet – milk, meat and grains – are so processed and denatured that they can weaken immunity. Most of our food supply is artificially manipulated and processed with many ingredients and additives that contribute to poor health. Processed foods, sugar, and soda can weaken the immune system. These “foods” add nothing in the way of nutrition, and if your children fill up on a lot of them, they are not likely to eat enough healthy foods with essential nutrients. You just can’t build healthy immune cells from cookies, soda, ice cream, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and white bread.
No matter how many herbs and supplements you give your child, if they are eating a substantial amount of sugar and processed foods, their health will be diminished. You must significantly reduce these foods from your child’s diet, and save them only for occasional treats. Whole foods nourish and cleanse the body while activating and supporting the immune system. Whole foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. This is the food your child needs in order to be healthy. It is important to buy organic foods as often as possible since conventionally grown foods contain pesticides that can damage the immune and nervous systems and are not as nutritious as foods grown organically in mineral-rich soils. Switching from processed food to fresh, whole, organic food is not an easy thing to do in this society, particularly if you live in an area without natural food stores and farmers markets. The food industry spends tons of money marketing highly processed, appealing junk foods in fancy wrappers to your children. Many of the other kids at school are drinking soda, eating fast foods and sugary, processed junk, and your children will not want to miss out. That’s why it’s important to begin teaching them at an early age what these foods do to their bodies.
Following an organic, whole foods diet can be difficult, but it’s much easier than dealing with chronic ear infections and sickly kids. Fortunately, your children don’t have to give up all their favorite foods in order to be healthy. Some of the foods children love can be OK if they are not overly processed. For instance, pizza made with organic raw cheese and fresh tomatoes with roasted vegetable toppings on whole-wheat crust can be a good treat. But some pizza is made with imitation cheese that is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil flavored to taste like cheese. And imitation tomato sauce is nothing but artificially colored, tomato-flavored chemicals. Is that what we want in our children’s bodies?
Sugar – The Immunity Destroyer
Sugar has been shown in studies to suppress the immune system and contribute to a weakened defense against infections (Sanchez, 1973, Rinsdor 1976). Ray Wunderlich, M.D. tells us in his book, Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics, “Excess sugars paralyze the microbe-fighting white blood cells and tend to produce candy catarrh”. Candy catarrh is a term used to describe the excess mucous (stuffed up or runny noses) many children produce after eating a lot of candy.
Wunderlich says that in order to maintain healthy immunity, we need to avoid sugar and eat a diet high in alkalinizing foods – most fruits and vegetables (Wunderlich, 1995). In addition, sugar robs the body of essential nutrients. As Nancy Appleton writes in Lick the Sugar Habit, “Refined sugar, as tempting as it may be in all those cakes, candies, and cups of coffee, is, in fact, more of a pharmaceutical drug than it is a nurturing food. The minerals needed to digest sugar - chromium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, and magnesium - have been stripped from the sugar during the refining process. This, in turn, forces the body to deplete its own mineral reserves to process the sugar.” (Appleton 1997) Interestingly, in 1951, Benjamin Sandler, M.D. found that low blood sugar causes susceptibility to infections. Low blood sugar can be brought on by a diet containing a lot of sugar and starch. Dr. Sandler’s simple formula for preventing polio was to eliminate sugar from the diet and reduce the consumption of foods containing starch (Sandler 1951). Sugar provides children with no nutritional benefits. When much of their diet is made up of sugar, they are not getting the good foods they need for energy and a healthy immune system.
Milk and Dairy Products Denatured Foods
The highly processed milk and dairy products that we get today are not immune-building foods. The pasteurization of milk destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, alters vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens, and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Calves fed pasteurized milk die before maturity (Weston A. Price Foundation). In addition, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is a genetically engineered hormone that is injected into commercial dairy cows to boost milk production. Many health problems are associated with rBGH, including an increased risk of udder infections in cows so more antibiotics are used to treat the cows. This means higher antibiotic residues in milk, which could lead to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria in human bodies. Avoid giving your children pasteurized milk, including low fat, skim, and powdered milk. Soy and rice milks are not healthy alternatives. Rice
milk is a highly processed, simple carbohydrate drink and should be used sparingly. Soy interferes with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron absorption (Reddy 2002) and depresses thyroid function (Divi 1997). Many doctors and nutritionists are now advising parents to avoid all soy products for children unless they are fermented. According to the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health (IFNH), “raw butter and kefir (liquid yogurt) are excellent sources of essential nutrients and vitamins. Raw goat and sheep cheeses and milk products are great alternatives because their genetic code and fat content are apparently more similar to those of humans”. They add, though, that we should still be cautious with using too much of these foods. The Weston A. Price Foundation also praises raw butter and kefir. In addition, they have done quite a bit of research into the dangers of pasteurized, homogenized milk, and they promote the use of whole, raw milk from grass-fed cows. The nutritional value of raw milk from grass-fed cows is far different from the commercially processed milk you find in most grocery stores. Milk allergies are very common in children. The symptoms can be subtle in some children.
Abdominal pain, bloating, and chronic diarrhea are common signs of an allergy to milk. Diarrhea is a big problem since it impairs a child’s ability to absorb nutrients. Other symptoms of a milk allergy include eczema or other skin rashes, asthma, chronic nasal congestion, fatigue, learning disabilities, recurrent bronchitis, and chronic ear infections. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, try eliminating all milk and dairy products from the diet for at least a month. Watch for signs of improvement. There has been much success in eliminating asthma, ear infections and eczema after discontinuing all dairy products. The Weston A. Price Foundation maintains that raw milk does not contribute to allergies like pasteurized milk does. One of the studies they cite is an interesting study of children attending a Waldorf school in Stockholm, Sweden who were compared to children of the same age at two neighboring schools (Lancet Vol 353, pages 14851488). The Waldorf children were found to have lower rates of allergic diseases. The lower rates were associated with these four factors: contraction of measles during childhood; avoidance of vaccinations; consumption of lacto-fermented vegetables
and consumption of raw milk. When all four factors were present, there were significantly lower rates of allergic disease, particularly asthma and dermatitis (Weston A. Price Foundation 2000). For more information about raw milk, visit www.realmilk.com or contact the Weston A. Price Foundation, located in the resource section.
Commercial Fruit Juice
Commercial fruit juice, which is heavily consumed by children, is not a whole food and adds little nutritional value to the diet. Juicing removes the fiber, and unless the juice is freshly squeezed and consumed immediately, most of the nutrients are lost. Without the fruit’s fiber, juice sends a rapid burst of fructose (sugar) into the blood stream. Commercial canned or bottled juices are mostly sugar (even if you buy unsweetened, pure juice) and could contain a lot of pesticides. Drinking a lot of juice can lead to chronic nasal congestion, blood sugar problems, yeast infections, and throat or ear infections.
Antioxidants – Immune Protection
Antioxidants are needed by the body to protect the immune cells. Antioxidants are compounds in foods that prevent or repair cell damage caused by environmental pollution, pesticides, sunlight, and normal body processes. The antioxidant defense system includes vitamins A, C, and E and the minerals zinc, copper, manganese, sulfur, and selenium. It is best to obtain these vitamins and minerals from food. Many other antioxidants have been discovered in fruits and vegetables. These fresh whole foods should be a large part of your child’s diet.
Best food sources of antioxidants:
Vitamin A Vitamin A is found in animal foods such as eggs, liver, fish, and butter. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin A. The vitamin A that comes from animal foods is ready to be used by the body. Another form of vitamin A, found in carrots, spinach, apricots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, red peppers, cantaloupe, pumpkin, broccoli, and dark green leafy vegetables are the precursor carotenes and carotenoids, which can be converted by the body to active vitamin A. Zinc, iron, and vitamin E, as well as fats, are needed for this conversion. On average, one-third of the carotenes in food are converted into vitamin A. Less than one-fourth of the carotenes in carrots and other root vegetables is converted, and about one-half in leafy green vegetables is converted (DeCava 1996). Children convert carotenes to vitamin A very poorly. Any infection or inflammatory condition greatly increases the body’s need for vitamin A, and vitamin A deficiency clearly has profound effects on the immune system (DeCava 1996). A study by
the National Institutes of Health discovered that a single virus infection depletes the vitamin A levels of healthy children for several months (Campos 1987). Vitamin C Vitamin C is well-known for it’s ability to prevent disease. The best sources of the vitamin C complex are rose hips, acerola berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers, pineapple, guava, black currant, cabbage, turnip greens, broccoli, cantaloupe, kale, papayas, cauliflower, spinach, and cranberries. Vitamin E Food sources of vitamin E are unrefined essential fatty acid-rich vegetable and seed oils, (expellerexpressed wheat germ oil is an excellent source of natural vitamin E), oatmeal and other whole grains, broccoli, sweet potatoes, alfalfa, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, rose hips, lima beans, avocado, liver, egg yolks, and butter. Zinc Studies show that children with recurrent infections have lower blood levels of zinc and iron (Bondestam 1985, Galland 1988). Zinc is
found in wheat germ, crabmeat, oysters, clams, liver, other meats, egg yolks, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, torula and brewers yeast, peanuts, and almonds. Liver is a great source of zinc, vitamin A, and other antioxidants as well as iron. One ounce of beef or calf liver provides 10,000 units of vitamin A, 1 mg. of zinc, and 3 mg. of iron. All beef, but liver especially, should come from cattle raised organically and grass-fed, with no feed laced with hormones or antibiotics. Copper, Manganese, Selenium, and Sulfur Copper is obtained from fish, sesame seeds, tofu, and kidney beans. Sources of manganese are brown rice, oatmeal, split peas, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, and blackberries. You’ll find selenium in the vitamin E foods listed above as well as in fish and shellfish. Sulfur is found in fish and other protein-rich foods, including meat and eggs.
Children Need Fats to be Healthy
Pay little attention to the pervasive hype about low-fat diets. Children need fats in their diets to be healthy. Healthy fats are essential for growth and energy as well as the absorption and metabolism of some nutrients. Fats are vitally important to the brain, which is 70 percent fat. They are used for building the membranes around every cell in the body and also play a role in the formation of hormones. When you limit your child’s fat intake, you may be depriving him or her of essential nutrients. Many low-fat diets are low in zinc and vitamin E. Zinc is essential to growth and proper functioning of the immune system, and vitamin E is an important antioxidant that can help protect against disease. Furthermore, when children are eating a low-fat diet, they typically eat more high sugar and starch carbohydrates, which can lead to blood sugar problems and decreased immunity. The caution here is to make sure your children get the right fats and not the bad ones. Dietary fats can either enhance or impair immune function, depending on the type of fat.
Bad Fats The media has been telling us for years to stay away from saturated (animal) fats. Accordingly, many people have switched to margarine instead of butter. And fast food restaurants are now using vegetable oils instead of beef tallow for deepfrying. These are not healthy practices. Many of the popular vegetable oils used today are hydrogenated or trans fats. Hydrogenated fats, such as margarine, are the prime culprits in heart disease and cancer. Eating a lot of hydrogenated fats can predispose a child to recurrent infections and inflammatory conditions. Hydrogenation is a manufacturing process that converts unsaturated fats into saturated fats to prolong shelf life. Hydrogenation alters any of the good essential fatty acids (EFAs) that the oil may contain and creates artificial fatty acids. It makes perfectly good oils poison to your child’s immune system by interfering with the metabolism of EFAs. Dr. Galland, author of Superimmunity for Kids, states “These artificial fatty acids are not only unnatural and unnecessary, they can have a disastrous effect on your child’s body’s ability to use EFAs.” (Galland 1988) Read the labels of foods you buy in the grocery store. It’s difficult to find anything that does not
contain these unhealthy fats. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are found in margarine, shortening, commercial baked goods, fried chicken nuggets, fish sticks, french fries, chips, and most processed foods. Good Fats Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vital to normal immune and nervous system function. They are called essential because we need them to be healthy and our bodies cannot make them. They must be supplied by the diet. There are numerous health problems associated with EFA deficiencies. These include susceptibility to infections, arthritis-like conditions, asthma, eczema, hair loss, liver or kidney degeneration, growth retardation and vision or learning problems. There are two kinds of EFAs: omega-6 is found in evening primrose oil, borage oil, black currant oil, safflower, sunflower, corn, canola, soybean, and cottonseed oils. The other is omega-3. Flaxseed oil and cod liver oil are rich in omega-3 EFAs. Walnuts also contain significant amounts, as well as freshly ground wheat germ. Certain fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel, bluefish, sardines and herring, are rich in omega-3 EFAs.
A proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs is essential. An excess of omega-6 fats (polyunsaturated, commercial vegetable oils) can create a fatty acid imbalance, contributing to many health problems, including inflammation, depressed immune system function, cancer, heart disease, liver damage, learning disabilities, and weight gain. Most children are deficient in the omega-3 fatty acids, which are more difficult to obtain. Breastmilk contains the perfect balance of essential fatty acids.
Providing EFAs to Your Children
Your child’s need for EFAs depends on what else he or she is eating. If your child is eating a lot of hydrogenated oils or trans fatty acids (fast foods, commercial cakes, cookies, crackers, chips, and other junk foods) or doesn’t get enough of certain essential vitamins and minerals, her body may not be able to make proper use of the EFAs she is getting. EFAs must be metabolized effectively in order for the body to reap their benefits. Certain co-factor vitamins and minerals must also be present. Vitamins B-6, A, C, E, magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium must be there to make the metabolism of EFAs possible.
Once children are weaned from breastmilk, it’s difficult to get omega-3 EFA’s into their diet. Because of mercury contamination, children should not eat large fish, particularly tuna. Chickens, eggs, and beef can be sources of omega3 fats, but only if the animals eat green plants and not just grains. Look for grassfed beef and cagefree chickens that eat green plants or algae. Otherwise these foods are deficient in EFAs. The best sources of omega-3 fats are cod liver oil (1 tsp per 50 lbs of body weight), fish oil capsules (containing 250 mg of DHA for children over 7 years old), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) supplements derived from algae (Neuromins). (Neustaedter, 2005) Flax seed oil is becoming a popular EFA supplement recommended for children. However, there may be a problem with obtaining the omega-3 fatty acid DHA from flax seed oil. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is extremely important for brain development and children must have this in their diet. Dr. Neustaedter explains this problem in Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents: Flax seeds contain the omega-3 fatty acid ALA that must be converted to DHA by an enzyme so that the body
can incorporate it into cells. The problem is that children make this enzyme only in small amounts, if at all. If they do not have the enzyme they will not benefit from the omega-3 fat in flax seeds. Newborns are completely unable to convert ALA to DHA. A study of breastfeeding mothers who took a flaxseed oil supplement had no resulting increase in their own plasma or breast milk levels of DHA, showing that adults do not make this conversion either. (Neustaedter 2005) Coconut oil is also gaining recognition as a healthy fat. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps prevent infection and aids in the prevention of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. (Neustaedter 2005) Years ago, mothers gave their children a small daily dose of cod liver oil to prevent disease. This was a good immune building practice. Cod liver oil is a good source of omega-3 EFAs with the added benefits of fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Cod liver oil is rich in the fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are very important for the proper function of the brain and nervous system. See
additional information about cod liver oil in the Nutritional Supplements section of this booklet. When cooking, use cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or butter. Do not use margarine.
Both cholesterol and saturated fat are essential to the development of the brain and nervous system. In fact, human breastmilk contains over 50% of its calories as fat, much of it saturated. Saturated fats are not harmful, but tremendously healthy if they are obtained from grass-fed animals. It is important to stay away from commercial meat – the kind you find in most grocery stores. Healthy meat comes from grass-fed animals raised humanely on family farms without hormones and antibiotics. The nutritional value is far different than the commercial, factory-farmed meat. Feeding large amounts of grain to a farm animal alters the nutritional value of its meat or dairy products whether the grain is raised organically or conventionally (Robinson 2000). Meat from grass-fed animals is lower in total fat and calories than commercial meat and richer in omega-3 fatty acids (two to six times more) and
the cancer-fighting fat, CLA. It also has higher levels of a number of antioxidant vitamins. Most, if not all, of the meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs available in your grocery store come from animals that are raised in large confinement facilities where they are fed grainbased diets and treated with a variety of antibiotics and hormones. Factory farming is the reason why animal products have the reputation of contributing to many diseases. We did not have as much cancer, heart disease, obesity, and other degenerative diseases when all the meat came from grass-fed animals raised without hormones and antibiotics. Moderate amounts of healthy fats in the diet do not cause obesity. The real culprits in obesity and a host of other chronic diseases are refined sugar, white flour products, trans-fatty acids in the form of heated refined vegetable oils, or hydrogenated oils such as margarine and vegetable shortening. Dr. Price (Weston A. Price Foundation) considered butter from grass-fed cows to be the ultimate health food. In addition to saturated fat and cholesterol, butter contains fat-soluble vitamins in the most absorbable form, factors that help the body absorb and utilize minerals, and a small amount of omega-6 and omega-3 essential
fatty acids in the proper balance. Butter also contains vitamin A, vitamin E and selenium important antioxidants for the immune system (Fallon and Enig 1999). The important point here is to use butter from grass-fed cows. Unfortunately, you can’t find this type of butter, nor can you find grass-fed meats in a typical grocery store (see resources). Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions (Fallon 1999) says, “our choice of fats and oils is one of extreme importance. Most people, especially infants and growing children, benefit from more fat in the diet rather than less. But the fats we eat must be chosen with care. Avoid all processed foods containing newfangled hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated oils. Instead, use traditional vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil and small amounts of unrefined flax seed oil. Acquaint yourself with the merits of coconut oil for baking and with animal fats for occasional frying. Eat egg yolks and other animal fats with the proteins to which they are attached. And, finally, use as much good quality butter as you like, with the happy assurance that it is a wholesome - indeed, an essential - food for you and your whole family.”
Natural Supplements for Superimmunity
A multivitamin/mineral supplement may improve immune system function to some extent, but vitamin and mineral supplements cannot replace the nutrients in food. The vitamins and minerals in whole foods are very complex and have many parts and co-factors that are dependent upon each other. Judith DeCava, MS. LNC, author of The Real Truth about Vitamins and Antioxidants, defines a vitamin as “a complex mechanism...of functional, interrelated, interdependent components. A vitamin consists of, not only the organic nutrient(s) identified as the vitamin, but also enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants and trace element activators.” (DeCava, 1996) Foods are perfectly designed with all the necessary vitamins, minerals and co-factors that work together synergistically to produce a healthy nutritional effect on the body. Most nutrients require a number of other nutritional elements to be present in order for them to be processed efficiently. You just can’t get this natural perfection from a vitamin bottle.
Most supplement manufacturers are pharmaceutical companies that synthesize vitamins by separating out a part of the whole vitamin. Separated from the rest of their parts and necessary co-factors, these synthetic “vitamins” no longer can produce a normal nutritional effect on the body and may cause imbalances. They have more of a drug effect and may cause the body to try to compensate for missing nutritional elements. Synthetic vitamins can be valuable in short-term therapeutic treatment of acute diseases or when there are severe deficiencies. But for general health and disease prevention, natural food supplements such as rose hips, acerola berries, nutritional yeast, wheat germ oil, and cod-liver oil are the best bet for children. Dr. Laura Mason-Scarborough explains in her article, Synthetic or Natural Vitamins - What’s The Difference?, the problems with synthetic vitamins: An excellent example of the difference between whole food and synthetic supplements, is vitamin C. The majority of books and magazines on the subject of nutrition refer to vitamin C as ascorbic acid. These terms are used interchange59
ably. However, vitamin C is not simply ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is the outer skin of vitamin C, much like the skin of an orange. Vitamin C also contains bioflavonoid complexes, tyrosinase, and several other factors. What do you get if you purchase a synthesized bottle of vitamin C? You are buying ascorbic acid, a small part of vitamin C, manufactured from super-refined corn sugar. Ascorbic acid does have strong effects on the body but is more of a drug than a nutrient. Because your body needs all parts of a vitamin to function, it will leech the other necessary cofactors from itself in order to use the ascorbic acid (Mason-Scarborough 1998). One thing that may be confusing is the potency of natural versus synthetic vitamins. Natural food concentrates have a much lower “potency” in milligrams or micrograms. This may lead you to believe that they are less effective and not as powerful as synthetic vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are measured based on animal testing. It requires a large amount of the separated vitamin to achieve a specific reaction in animals (and in humans). According to Judith DeCava, this reac60
tion is a drug effect and not necessarily a nutritional reaction. Food concentrates cause potent nutritional reactions since they are working with their natural synergists to be properly used by the body. As Judith DeCava states “...a minute amount of a vitamin that is left intact in its whole food form is tremendously more functional, powerful, and effective nutritionally than a large amount of a chemically-pure, vitamin fraction. Therefore, only small amounts of natural vitamin complexes are required. They are organic micronutrients, nutrients needed in tiny quantities, to accomplish many big biochemical jobs.” (DeCava 1996)
Nutritional Requirements are Unique for Each Child
Individual needs for vitamins and minerals vary greatly in children, depending on many factors, including what they eat and breathe, the amount of sleep, stress and sun they get, the drugs they are taking, their emotional state, and how much they weigh. Absorption rates of vitamins, minerals and trace elements can easily vary from 5 to 80%.
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences are recommendations for the average daily amounts of nutrients for population groups. These are not requirements for a specific person. One child may require twice as much, or even ten times as much, of one vitamin and half as much of another vitamin as another child. The main factor in determining your children’s nutritional supplement needs is the quality of their everyday diet. A diet comprised of processed foods, pesticides, and refined sugar requires a higher intake of nutrients since the body needs to work harder to metabolize these unnatural substances. This is especially true with a diet high in sugar since this “anti-nutrient” tends to leech vitamins and minerals from the body. Many nutritionists believe that “normal” nutritional requirements may be cut by a third or even a half for a child who regularly eats organic whole foods since whole food nutrients are absorbed and utilized better by the body. If your child has chronic immune problems or a disease or disorder that does not resolve after changing the diet, you may consider consulting a qualified nutritionist or other health professional
to find out if he or she has any specific nutritional deficiencies and to determine specific needs.
Consider supplementing with probiotics or making lacto-fermented vegetables if your child has a history of antibiotic use, ear infections, thrush, diarrhea, constipation, colic, food allergies, eczema, intestinal viral infections, candidiasis, or is bottle-fed. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract that keep the “bad” bacteria from taking over. These bacteria are essential for healthy immunity and are part of the body’s natural defense system against infections. A recent study in the British Medical Journal showed that replenishing good bacteria protects against recurrent ear infections in children (Roos 2001). Another study concluded that supplementing with probiotics could help children in day care have fewer infections (Hatakka, 2001). You can find probiotic supplements in the refrigerator section at your local health food store. Before freezers or canning machines, people preserved vegetables for long periods through the process of lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying
bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by the many species of lactic-acid-producing bacteria. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria throughout the intestine. Sally Fallon devotes a chapter of her book, Nourishing Traditions, to discussing the benefits of lacto-fermentation as well as how to easily make lacto-fermented condiments such as sauerkraut, pickled garlic, pickled cucumbers, relishes and chutneys. Included are many recipes. Sally brings us much wisdom with the following excerpt from this chapter: Scientists and doctors today are mystified by the proliferation of new viruses—not only the deadly AIDS virus but the whole gamut of human viruses that seem to be associated with everything from chronic fatigue to cancer and
arthritis. They are equally mystified by recent increases in the incidence of intestinal parasites and pathogenic yeasts, even among those whose sanitary practices are faultless. Could it be that in abandoning the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation and in our insistence on a diet in which everything has been pasteurized, we have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisms? If so, the cure for these diseases will be found not in vaccinations, drugs or antibiotics but in a restored partnership with the many varieties of lactobacilli, our symbionts of the microscopic world. (Fallon 1999) Your children can get all the nutritional elements they need from an organic whole foods diet if they eat enough of these foods. But what if they don’t? If they don’t eat enough healthy foods, then you may want to supplement their diet with natural vitamins and minerals or super foods, such as spirulina, cod liver oil, acerola tablets, bee pollen, wheat germ oil, and nutritional yeast. Super foods or whole food concentrates are foods
that are very concentrated food forms of nutrition. Unlike synthetic vitamins, super foods provide many nutrients that support each other and prevent the kind of imbalances that often occur when vitamins are taken singly. An excellent whole food supplement is Dr. Schulze’s SuperFood. It is a 100% organic vitamin and mineral food concentrate that provides a wide range of natural food vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential trace nutrients. It contains spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella, alfalfa, barley, and wheat grasses, purple dulse seaweed, beet root, spinach leaf, rose hips, orange and lemon peels, and nutritional yeast. (see resources)
Herbs have been used safely all around the world since ancient times to prevent and treat disease. One of the most beneficial uses of herbs is in strengthening the immune system. Certain herbs, including echinacea, astragalus, elderberry, and garlic, have been found to have remarkable immunological effects in both the lab and clinic. These herbs support the body’s vitality and help prevent development of disease. Keep in mind that herbs are not “magic bullets” or drugs designed to wipe out a specific disease. Many of us view our children’s and our own illnesses as an inconvenience to be suppressed or combated as soon as possible. We just want to take a pill to make it go away. But when we can recognize the illness as an indicator that something is out of balance in the body, we can work on building and strengthening the body to function at its best. Rather than fighting an illness by eliminating the symptoms, herbs act to strengthen the function of the body so that it can heal the underlying cause, thus eliminating the disease. Herbs are available in liquid extracts (tinctures or glycerites), capsules and tablets. You can also buy
or make your own teas or infusions from dried or fresh herbs. Tinctures (extracted with alcohol) are the ideal way to take herbs, since the chemical properties that give the herb the medicinal power are more solvent into alcohol. Teas are also great ways to give herbs to children. Although children love the sweet taste of glycerites (herbs extracted with glycerine), glycerine is the least effective medium for making a potent extract. Even so, most companies that make children’s herbal formulas use glycerine because of the taste. These extracts may not be as effective as tinctures. A tincture can be added to tea or water that has just been boiled and left to stand about five minutes. The alcohol will evaporate out, leaving the medicine behind in the tea. Dosages for children over age one are usually calculated by weight. The dosages listed on bottles or in books are usually designed for a 150 lb. person, so you would need to divide your child’s weight by 150 to get the percentage of the recommended dosage. If your child weighs 75 lbs., the dosage would be 1/2 the dosage listed on the bottle. A child under a year old has an undeveloped and sensitive digestive system, but if they are nursing,
they can receive some herbs safely through your breastmilk. You can take the adult dose 15-30 minutes before nursing and the herb will be in your milk for up to 48 hours. Some herbs are not safe for pregnancy or lactation so it’s important to avoid them. Medications in Mother’s Milk, by Thomas Hale, Ph.D., is an informative book with information on herbs for lactation (available at LaLeche League website-see resources). The following are immune-building herbs that have been found to be safe for children. These herbs have gentle, yet profound effects upon the body. They are natural sources of nutrients and other substances that the body uses to strengthen resistance to illness as well as to create an environment for healing. Echinacea With antiviral, antibacterial and other immunological properties, echinacea is well-known for its use in treatment of infections and as a blood purifier. Over 50 years of research in Europe and more than 400 published studies has established its safety and proven the clinical use of echinacea in boosting immunity and strengthening resistance to infection. See more about echinacea in the Medicinal Roots section (below).
Astragalus Astragalus is a tonic herb that boosts immune function and strengthens resistance to disease. It increases the activity of infection-fighting white blood cells and boosts the production of interferon, an antiviral agent. Astragalus is used to prevent colds and flu and to restore immune strength once an illness is over. It is safe for longterm use and can be taken consistently throughout the cold and flu season. Astragalus is considered a warming herb in Chinese medicine suitable only for cold conditions. Depending upon the symptoms, a cold or flu may be considered hot or cold. If you don’t know if your child’s illness is hot or cold, consult a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine to find out if astragalus should be used. Otherwise, don’t use this herb during the illness. Sliced, dried astragalus root looks like a wooden tongue depressor. To make a tea, simmer 6 slices in 3 cups of water for 1 hour. Strain and serve. You can serve this tea alone or mix it with chamomile tea. You can also add the “tongue depressors” directly to your soup, stew, or rice pot and let it cook into the dish. Discard the astragalus before serving. It does not change the taste of the dish and your family can receive the
immune boosting properties directly from their food. Astragalus is sometimes available in a dried, shredded form. For tea, simmer 3 tablespoons of this and 3 cups of water in a covered pot for 30 minutes and strain. Black Elderberry Black Elderberry (sambucus nigra-L) stimulates the immune system by increasing production of inflammatory cytokines (Barak 2001). It has high concentrations of certain bioflavonoids. A small study showed that black elderberry is effective against flu strains. (Zakay-Rones 1995). Elderberry can be safely given to children in a tea or tincture form. Garlic Known as nature’s antibiotic, garlic is one of the most effective anti-microbial plants available. It works to stimulate the immune system and directly destroys pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, tumors, and parasites. While effectively eliminating the pathogenic organisms, garlic supports the development of the beneficial bacteria in the body. No bacterial resistance is built up with garlic so it is safe to use long-term and frequently. Garlic can
be a powerful eradicator of antibiotic-resistant infections. Using garlic and echinacea together is a powerful combination. Garlic is a basic food that will enhance and protect the body’s overall health. Use as much fresh garlic as you can get your children to eat, along with echinacea for stimulating immunity and for treating disease. Note that the garlic must be fresh. Drying and cooking garlic leads to the loss of a large portion of the active antimicrobial constituents. These immune stimulating and disease fighting compounds are released with juicing, crushing or chewing of the fresh garlic. Garlic pills or capsules are not as effective when it comes to antimicrobial activity. Juice the fresh garlic and add it to other more palatable fresh juices. Or chew a piece of the clove prior to swallowing. You can also chew the garlic with almonds or other nuts to mask the taste. Getting kids to eat fresh raw garlic is a real challenge. One trick is to crush it through a garlic press, then add it to mashed potatoes, soups (at the last minute) or your child’s favorite food. Fresh, compressed garlic can be served in salad dressings and many other dishes.
Garlic has no toxic effects, even in large doses, although some people may have sensitivities to garlic. It may cause heartburn or flatulence in a few people, and of course the odor can be a real drawback. Chewing on fresh parsley helps to relieve the odor of garlic on your breath. Chamomile With its antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and carminative properties, chamomile is used for a variety of things. As a gentle sedative and nerve tonic, chamomile can help children to get the rest they need. A warm bath with an infusion of chamomile can relax an unsettled child. It is a great digestive aid and appetite stimulant. It helps gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, colic or any other stomach upset. Chamomile may also directly stimulate the immune system. Wounds, diaper rash and other skin problems can be washed with an infusion of chamomile flowers. Chamomile tea is safe for infants. If you are a nursing mother, drinking a couple cups of chamomile tea each day may calm a fussy, colicky baby (along with your own nerves). Note: people who suffer from allergies to ragweed sometimes
have adverse reactions to chamomile, as these are in the same botanical family.) Nettle Also known as stinging nettles, nettle is one of the most mineral rich plants on earth. Particularly high in calcium, iron, protein, chlorophyll and vitamin C, nettle is a delicious food as well as a medicine. Nettle strengthens and supports the whole body, and is nourishing, diuretic, tonic, astringent and antihistamine. Clinical studies of nettle (in the form of freeze-dried capsules) show that it relieves the symptoms of hayfever and other allergies. Nettle is also beneficial for childhood eczema. It is an excellent nourishing herb for pregnancy, it can enrich the quality and increase the flow of breastmilk and restore a mother’s energy after childbirth. Nettle can be powdered and added to smoothies or drunk regularly as a tea or infusion.
Medicinal Roots Herbal tonics made from medicinal roots can be very beneficial in strengthening immunity. The following is an excerpt from clinical herbalist Susan Perri’s article Herbs for Winter Medicine: The Roots of Immunity (www.bluecrescentschool.com) The following is a list of common, simple nutritive herbs that are supportive and restorative to human immunity. They are tonics, meaning they are suitable for extensive use, even by small children and pregnant or nursing mothers. These herbs are safe, effective, and able to be used over a given time period without fear of cumulative toxicity or other adverse side effects. Dosages may include tincture (alcohol or glycerin based extract) or decoction (water based extract, a strong tea), depending on the herb being used and the desired effect. Dandelion root The bright yellow flowers and fluffy white seed heads of this common plant are easy to find in virtually any location in North America and Europe. The entire plant is medicinal - leaves, flowers, and roots. The roots, in particular, are a superior nutritive tonic boasting alterative (blood cleansing) properties. Dandelion root’s specific
action is on the liver. It is a classic hepatic, or liver tonic herb. Dandelion supports the inherent blood filtering capacity of the liver, assisting in the body’s natural housekeeping functions. Dandelion also offers a rich array of vitamins and minerals. This amazing tonic root is rich in iron, beta carotene, calcium, and potassium. Use dandelion root daily during the winter months. The root can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, or simply simmered for tea. Tincture may also be used; follow the instructions for dosage on the label, using Clark’s Rule for children. Burdock root The wide gray-green leaves of this plant send up a high flowering stalk with the well known sticky burrs. Walk among burdock in the late summer and you are sure to find hitchhiking burrs on hair, clothing, and pets. Its action is rather similar to that of dandelion root, working as a liver tonic and alterative. Burdock makes excellent wild food, which is naturally sweet, and in fact is cultivated in Japan for its medicinal and nutritive value. Burdock root, like dandelion, carries an abundant array of vitamins and trace minerals, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and calcium.
Yellow dock root Found in abundance along ditches and roadsides, yellow dock has a deep yellow root and a pungent earthy smell. Its early spring leaves can be steamed and eaten to benefit the liver and a sluggish winter metabolism. The root works in a similar fashion, helping to clear stagnant blood and assist the liver. Additionally, yellow dock root is rich in phytonutrients. It has a high iron content, working directly to nourish the blood and the blood building capacity of the bone marrow. Yellow dock also offers a natural source of phosphorus and essential vitamins A, B, and C. It is excellent natural protection from certain anemias, and provides a comprehensive natural defense during times of lessened resistance or increased exposure to illness. Echinacea root The lovely purple coneflower used to grace our prairie states in abundance, but due to recent notoriety it has reached endangered status on environmental watch lists. Echinacea is a wonderful herbal medicine, and it is vitally important to use it appropriately and acquire it responsibly. Please buy echinacea organically grown, and not
wild harvested (ethically or otherwise). This is the best way to insure your purchase is not further exhausting limited natural habitats. Echinacea works by directly stimulating and enhancing natural immune responses. It, too, has an alterative action, but also works to increase circulating white blood cells. White blood cells are responsible for various stages and aspects of the immune system’s process. Generally, white blood cells work by seeking out and destroying invasive, harmful particles found circulating in the blood. This neutralization process is integral to preventing and healing any kind of infection. In other words, Echinacea root works rather like an herbal antibiotic. It is not a tonic herb, contrary to popular belief and practice. Echinacea is best used in an acute situation when infection is present - not as preventive medicine. When echinacea is used extensively as part of a preventive care program, it loses its potency and effectiveness. Much like an antibiotic, when echinacea is truly needed to do its vital work, the body has built a resistance to it if it has been taken regularly prior to that time. Echinacea works very well and is safe for children and pregnant women. In fact, a recent scientific study backs what traditional herbalists have
observed for centuries. A controlled study through Motherisk found no significant difference between the group of pregnant women using Echinacea and the controls. The conclusion of this study suggests that Echinacea use during pregnancy is not associated with increased risks for malformations.
Healthy Thoughts and Feelings Create Healthy Immunity
Much research has been done on how thoughts and emotions affect the cells, organs and tissues of the body. Thoughts and emotions actually generate physiological substances that affect the processes in the body. The field of psychoneuroimmunology is helping us to better understand how the nervous, immune and endocrine systems communicate. Neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are messengers released by the brain that influence the cellular activity in the body. White blood cells (key immune factors that destroy disease) receive direct messages from the brain through the nervous system. These are just some of the communication paths between the mind and body. Through research and experience, it is becoming increasingly evident that the mind and body directly affect each other and are essentially one and the same. Your child’s state of mind definitely influences the development of and the healing of illness. Hopelessness, depression, and the bottling up of emotions can have negative effects on physical health. Emotional stress and unhappiness can
deplete the immune system and increase the likelihood of disease. Studies suggest that psychological stress is a risk factor for the common cold (Takkouche 2001). Events in children’s lives or their perception of these events can profoundly affect their resistance to disease. Laughter and positive thoughts and feelings stimulate the cells of the immune system. The more children laugh and enjoy life, the better their immune function. Does your child freely express his or her feelings and have a strong sense of self-worth? Has there been a loss of a close relative, teacher, friend, or pet, and has he or she been able to fully grieve the loss? Has there been any type of physical or emotional trauma or a traumatic birth? These emotional states can definitely affect the state of your child’s health. If needed, a psychotherapist can provide support for and be a guide for your child’s mental and emotional healing. Art or music therapy can be very helpful for children to get in touch with their feelings. Meditation is a valuable tool that older children can learn to help them to relax and become aware of their feelings. Children can also be guided to take deep breaths when they are stressed.
Imagery is a fun and powerful mental technique that allows children to use their imagination to influence their health. They can use guided imagery to calm themselves down, relieve pain, increase immunity to disease, increase body image, increase learning or athletic potential, and promote healing. Emotional health needs to be nurtured throughout pregnancy, birth and childhood. Babies need to be breastfed, held, carried, rocked and cuddled on a continuous basis. Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that recognizes the critical importance of a secure attachment between parents and young children. This adaptable parenting style is nurturing, loving, and touch-oriented with practices that include bonding with baby, breastfeeding, responsive caregiving, co-sleeping, carrying or “wearing” the baby, and respect for the child as an individual. Listening to your children and honoring their feelings promotes healthy expression of emotions. When they feel loved and sense that the people around them love each other, they are secure and happy – this makes them healthier.
An important way to guard against emotional stress and promote positive feelings in an infant or toddler is by frequent breastfeeding. In addition to the tremendous immune-building effects of breastmilk, the comfort children receive from nursing reassures them and can ease the sometimes stressful situation of being a little person in a big world. Nurturing touch communicates love, the main ingredient for emotional growth and well-being. Giving regular massages to babies and children of all ages can relieve stress and stimulate the immune system. You can learn to do baby and child massage yourself. Find a class in your area, or you can get the book, Infant Massage, A Handbook for Loving Parents, by Vimala Schneider McClure (see resources). Plenty of sleep is also essential. Your child’s body regenerates and renews itself while sleeping. Lack of enough sleep can be a big factor in a depleted immune system. It’s important to include “quiet time” as part of your child’s day. Kids can easily be taught to practice yoga and meditation. A great yoga video for kids is YogaKids by Living Arts. Plenty of fresh air and exercise can make a big difference in the health of your children. Exercise
relieves stress and stimulates the immune system. Turn off the television and video games and encourage your children to get involved in sports and other activities in which they can move their bodies while having fun. Spending a lot of time inside, breathing chemically polluted, recirculated air, can be a hazard to your child’s health. Go for walks, play in the woods and let your children climb, jump, run, and dance. Let them hug trees and run barefoot in the grass. Mother Nature can be an excellent immune stimulator.
Children can have one or more allergies or sensitivities to food, pollens, molds, dusts and dust mites and be sensitive to any of the numerous chemicals now present in our environment. Any food can be an allergen, but the most common are dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts, chocolate, citrus, and soy. As the immune system develops, it learns how to recognize what is self and what is an outside invader. Sometimes the immune system reacts to harmless substances or responds to the body’s own glands or tissues as if they were a cancer. An allergy occurs when the immune system attacks harmless foods or other substances that enter the body from the outside. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks its own body. It is important to deal with allergies since the unnecessary reactions against foods or other substances can exhaust the immune system, causing insufficient defenses for mounting an effective response against disease (Wunderlich 1995). A large percentage of people experience a decrease or elimination of allergies when proper
nutrition is started through diet and natural supplementation. EFA deficiencies can play an important role in allergies. Dr. Galland’s research shows that people with allergies need more EFAs than people who don’t have allergies. (Galland 1986). He says that one of the enzymes involved in EFA metabolism is weakened or doesn’t function properly in people with allergies. Another study has found that in children with allergic eczema and asthma, the EFA conversion is blocked. (Galland 1988). Similar EFA blocks have been found in people with hay fever. Fortunately, this can be overcome by adding enough EFAs to the diet. Dr. Galland points out “Even when an infant inherits a predisposition for allergies, special protective elements found in breastmilk, together with EFAs, can delay the onset of allergic illness and greatly reduce its severity” (Galland 1988). Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are safe for infants and effective in reducing allergic inflammation and food allergies. Giving pregnant mothers and newborns doses of probiotics helps to prevent childhood allergies (Kalliomaki 2001).
Homeopathy prescribed by a classical homeopath can be very helpful in improving or completely eliminating allergies. The correct constitutional remedy specific to your child’s complete symptom picture and emotional state is essential, so finding a good classical homeopath is important (see resources). Many children (and adults) have completely eliminated their allergies through Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET). By reprogramming the brain and removing the blockages from the energy pathways of the body, NAET can completely eliminate an allergy and allow the body to regain balance and function normally. Thousands of doctors of acupuncture, allopathy, chiropractic and various other licensed practitioners have been trained in NAET. (see resources)
Our Children’s Toxic Environment
More than 75,000 chemicals are permeating our environment. A substantial body of evidence suggests that exposure to toxic chemicals may compromise the immune systems of infants and children, increasing their risk of infectious disease (NRDC). Children come in contact with pesticides every day through the food they eat, the water they drink and the air they breathe. In addition, most children are exposed to pesticides in their homes and schools, as well as on playgrounds, lawns, athletic fields, and public parks. These substances enter their small bodies through the skin, lungs, mouth and eyes. If the body cannot eliminate the toxins, they tend to be stored in body fat and accumulate over time. Infants and small children are especially vulnerable because they absorb substances faster and have more difficulty eliminating them. Their kidneys are immature and cannot excrete foreign compounds as fast as adults (NRDC). Very little is known about the combined effects of repeated low-level exposures to many different
chemicals. But the preliminary evidence and information that is known alerts us that we have a critical, universal problem that is slowly diminishing the health of our children. Environmental toxins are everywhere, but there is much you can do to avoid unnecessary exposures and reduce the overall amount of chemicals your children take into their bodies. There are affordable, nontoxic alternatives to all lawn and garden pesticides, toxic household cleaners and personal care products. Buying organic foods will greatly decrease your child’s overall exposure to pesticides and add more important minerals to the diet. The importance of organic food for children cannot be stressed enough. Children are exposed to so many chemicals on a regular basis, why add more in their food? Consumers Union and the Environmental Working Group (based on 1999 studies) found the following foods to have the highest pesticide residues. If you’re not able to buy all your foods organic, at least try to get these organic, whenever possible: Strawberries Peaches Bell Peppers (Green and Red) Apples
Pears Winter Squash Green Beans Grapes Raspberries Spinach Potatoes Cherries Cantaloupe (Mexican) Celery Apricots If you do buy conventional produce, peel the fruit that you would normally just wash, such as apples and pears. Remember, though, that when you do this you are also throwing away a valuable nutrition resource since a good deal of the fiber, vitamins and minerals are found in the peel of the fruit. Also keep in mind some pesticides, such as dieldrin, aldicarb and DDT are systemic, and are found throughout the vegetable or fruit (Utterback 2001). Organic food is not always more expensive than conventional. In fact, it can be less expensive if you know where to buy it. Buy organic food locally grown, in season, and in bulk. The least expensive way is to grow it yourself. You could also buy it from a local coop, health food store or
farmers market, or purchase it directly from a distribution warehouse or a food-buying club. A community supported agriculture (CSA) program, where you buy the food directly from a local farmer can be a good way to go. A fun outing for the kids is to go to a U-Pick farm and pick your own strawberries or other fruits and vegetables and pay lower prices by the pound. If you don’t have these resources in your area, you could purchase organic food over the Internet, but this is usually more expensive.
Doris Rapp, M.D., a leading environmental medical specialist and pediatric allergist, has written a fully documented, 600-page book describing the causes, health effects and treatments of environmental illness. Is This Your Child’s World? How You Can Fix the Schools and Homes That Are Making Your Children Sick provides help for children who are hyperactive, asthmatic, or suffering from chronic illness or learning problems caused by chemicals in the environment. Environmental illness is a label for an assortment of medical problems caused by environmental factors. Common symptoms are some combination of nasal congestion, fatigue, headaches,
hyperactivity, muscle or joint pain, twitches, blurred vision, burning skin, abdominal discomfort, and inability to think clearly, as well as a variety of learning or behavior difficulties (Rapp 1996). Practitioners of environmental medicine recognize that illness can be caused by a broad range of substances, including chemicals found at home, in the workplace, and in the air, water, and food. There are multiple approaches to treatment, including changes in lifestyle, diet and environment. New techniques such as provocationneutralization can not only pinpoint the causes but also provide fast and effective relief of the symptoms. Studies have supported the use of the approaches of environmental medicine in treating arthritis, asthma, chemical sensitivity, allergies, colitis, depression, eczema, fatigue, and hyperactivity. For more information about environmental medicine, see resources.
Chronic Immune Dysfunction
If after making the lifestyle changes described in this book, your child is still overly susceptible to infections or has multiple allergies, there may be some persistent underlying disturbance in the body causing a weak immune response (immunodeficiency) or chronic immune dysfunction. If this is the case, you may want to try homeopathy or chiropractic to work with this condition.
Classical homeopathy has had great success with allergies, asthma, eczema, recurrent respiratory or ear infections, and behavior or attention problems. Homeopathy prescribed by a classical homeopath can help tremendously to release the disturbance from the body. Homeopathy is a complete medical system that works with the whole person. The key is to find the exact remedy that fits all the symptoms. An experienced homeopath will choose a specific constitutional remedy by looking at all the symptoms and characteristics of your child at the present time. Once the current layer is dealt with there may be another layer of disturbance requiring a different remedy.
Chronic problems require the training and experience of a qualified classical homeopath. You should not attempt to do home prescribing of homeopathic remedies on your own for chronic situations. See resources for more information and to find a homeopath.
The nervous system affects the immune system, both directly and indirectly, and plays an important role in the immune response (Wassung). Subtle misalignment of the bones, muscles and ligaments can lead to irritation of the nervous system and can alter the ability of the nerves to supply the muscles and organs of the body with vital communication and information. The scientific study of neuro-immunology (the link between the nervous system and the immune system) indicates that stress to the nervous system produces decreased immunity and increases susceptibility to disease. Misalignments of the spine (also called subluxations) can occur during childbirth, from tumbles or falls, or from any other normal activity. Chiropractic care involves diagnosing spinal misalignments and correcting them by adjusting the spine. A slight pressure is most
commonly used with children rather than the more forceful manipulation sometimes used with adults. With proper nerve flow, the immune system can function at fuller capacity, allowing the body to naturally defend itself against disease. A promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics now indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging in age from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results show that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits (Fallon 1997).
Integrating Healthy Immunity-Building Into Your Family’s Lifestyle
Incorporating some of the lifestyle changes mentioned in this book can be a very significant endeavor for most families. For some, it is a whole new philosophy. It may be a little scary to venture out from the so-called norm of conventional medicine. If you feel this way, take your time and investigate further. Plenty of books, websites, and organizations are mentioned in the resource section. Read as much as you can and thoroughly research everything until you feel comfortable with your decisions. There is a lot of information contained in this booklet, and you may feel a little overwhelmed, particularly with the information about nutrition. It may seem as though everything your children are eating now is unhealthy and you’re wondering how you can possibly make all the changes to their diets. Especially if you live in an area with no natural food stores or a limited food budget. Relax and go slowly. You don’t have to make major changes overnight. An organic, whole foods diet is something to always strive for, but
you don’t have to be rigid with it. Make whatever changes you can. Even small changes will improve your children’s health to some extent. Here are a few suggestions: The way you can make the most impact on increasing your children’s health is to keep refined sugar and foods containing sugar out of your house. Begin by limiting the amount you buy until you just don’t buy it at all anymore. It can’t harm your children if it stays on the shelves at the store. With the money you save on sugar products, you can buy organic food. When your kids get to have sugar at parties or other functions outside your home, it will be a big treat, and they’ll know that home is the place where they can count on only the best food to make their bodies healthy. This does not mean there can’t be any treats at home. There are many delicious treats you can make using healthier sweeteners such as stevia, sucanat, or maple syrup. But these sweeteners should be used sparingly with the attention placed on healthy whole foods. A good book to help you with eliminating sugar is Carbohydrate Addicted Kids: Help Your Child or Teen Break Free of Junk Food and Sugar Cravings – for life!, by Dr.
Richard Heller and Dr. Rachael Heller (HarperCollins 1997). If your children are drinking too much commercial fruit juice (bottled, canned, or boxed), you can wean them by diluting one-third white grape juice with two-thirds water. You can slowly cut the juice out altogether. Pure water is the best drink for children. Begin adding more antioxidants to your children’s diets as often as you can. This could be as easy as slipping them fruit or vegetable snacks often throughout the day. You could cut up a red pepper, some carrots and add a little dipping sauce to make it interesting. Or give them a fruit salad with vitamin C rich fruits as a snack. Most children will be happy with this. What is a good way to get a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants into your child’s body? By giving your child freshly squeezed juices and smoothies – which most kids love. Two important appliances to have in your kitchen are a good juicer and blender. Juices must be fresh and organic. You need to juice the produce yourself and immediately give them to your children before the vitamins and minerals are lost. You can start them off with 80%
apple and 20% carrot. As your child gets used to this, start adding more carrot and less apple, until it’s just carrot juice. Ideally, vegetables and fruits should not be mixed. According to Dr. Richard Schulze (www.drschulze.com), a good combination for vegetable juicing that many kids will accept is: 70% carrot juice 20% beet root and beet greens 10% other dark greens A good fruit combination for kids: 40% apple juice 40% grape juice 20% any red, blue or purple fruit (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, prune, etc.) Healthy Child Immunity Smoothie 1 cup freshly squeezed fruit juice 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil or cod liver oil 1 large banana 1 tablespoon Dr. Schulze’s SuperFood (or similar whole-food supplement) 1/2 - 1 cup frozen organic blueberries, strawberries or other berries.
Immunity Smoothie (continued) Mix in a blender. You can experiment with this until you find a way that your child will accept. The SuperFood has a pretty strong taste so start out with small amounts and increase slowly. You could also use almond milk or organic whole milk plain yogurt instead of the fruit juice to make it creamier. This drink is sweet-tasting, but if your child refuses to drink this because it’s “not sweet enough”, sweeten it with a little pure maple syrup or a very small pinch of stevia. Be creative.
Checklist for Building Healthy Immunity
The following checklist can be helpful in determining the steps and options you may take to strengthen your child’s immunity. Do your own research and become informed about all aspects of these options. See the resource section of this book to begin your research. Ensure that your diet during pregnancy is a healthy diet of organic whole foods. Be certain to get enough essential fatty acids in your diet while pregnant. Reduce your own emotional stress while pregnant. Send loving thoughts and nurturing touch to your baby while in the womb. Avoid environmental toxins while pregnant. Consider a natural, home birth for welcoming your baby into the world in a peaceful, nurturing environment.
Put your baby to your breast as soon as possible after birth. Ask for help from your midwife or a lactation consultant if necessary. Make sure your baby receives the colostrum from your breast before your milk comes in. Have continuous physical contact with your baby by holding, carrying, touching, and breastfeeding. Breastfeed your baby for as long as possible – even into the preschool years if the child so chooses. This is by far the absolute best thing you can do to build strong immunity for a lifetime. Make sure you are eating a healthy diet of organic, whole foods while breastfeeding, and reduce the toxins to which you are exposed. Research all aspects of childhood vaccinations before determining whether or not to vaccinate your children. Avoid repeated rounds of antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary. Talk to your child’s doctor about the necessity, the effectiveness, and the side effects of any
prescribed drugs, and obtain as much information as possible about the drug before accepting it for your child. If using antibiotics, supplement with probiotics, and try to find and resolve the underlying cause of infection. As much as possible, give your children organic, whole, fresh foods and avoid all processed food, including sugar, processed grains, pasteurized milk and dairy products, commercial fruit juice, and commercial meats. Give your children fresh fruits vegetables as much as possible. and
Make sure your children’s daily diet includes foods that contain essential fatty acids or supplement with flax seed oil or cod liver oil on a daily basis. Use whole food supplements and probiotics when necessary. Use immune-building tonic herbs, especially in the fall and winter months.
Pay attention to your children’s emotional health. Listen to them and honor their feelings. Encourage self-expression. Give them nurturing touch and massages on a regular basis. Make sure your children get plenty of sleep and rest. Make sure your children get plenty of exercise. Make sure your children drink plenty of pure water. Filter your tap water with a good reverse osmosis, carbon block filtering system. Reduce exposure to chemicals and other toxins as much as possible. If allergies are a problem, try resolving them through changes to the diet. Supplement with essential fatty acids. Consult a homeopath or a practitioner of NAET if necessary. If still experiencing chronic immune dysfunction, consult a health practitioner.
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Divi RL, et al. 1997. Anti-thyroid isoflavones from soybean: isolation, characterization, and mechanisms of action. Biochemical Pharmacology 1997 Nov; 54(10):1087-96. Fallon, J.M. 1997. The role of the chiropractic adjustment in the care and treatment of 332 children with otitis media. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. Volume 2, No. 2:167-183. Fallon, S. with M. Enig. 1999. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc. Fallon, S. and Enig, M. 1999 Why butter is better. Weston A. Price Foundation http://www.westonaprice.org/nutrition_guidelines/butter.h tml Farrell, D. 2000. Evidence to suggest that we should be investigating the inclusion of strains currently causing infection in pertussis vaccine formulations. American Society for Microbiology Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (Session 6, Paper 61) September 17-20, 2000, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Galland, L., M.D. 1986. Increased requirements for essential fatty acids in atopic individuals: A review with clinical descriptions, Journal of the American College of Nutrition 5:213-28. Galland, L., M.D. 1988. Superimmunity for kids: What to feed your children to keep them healthy now – and prevent disease in their future. New York: Dell Publishing. 106
Hanson, L. A. 1998. Breastfeeding provides passive and likely long-lasting active immunity. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol Dec;81(6):523-33. Hatakka et al. 2001. Effect of long term consumption of priobiotic milk on infections in children attending day care centres: double blind randomised trial. British Medical Journal (June) 322:1327-29. Incao, P., M.D. 2000. Supporting children’s health. Alternative Medicine Digest, Issue 19, pp. 54-59. Incao, P., M.D. 2001. The reason for childhood diseases. The Optimal Wellness Center’s eHealthy News You Can Use. October 31, Issue 268 International Foundation for Nutrition and Health (IFNH) http://www.ifnh.org Kalliomaki M., et al. 2001. Probiotics in primary prevention of atopic disease: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Apr 7; 357(9262):1076-9 LaLeche League – Can Breastfeeding Prevent Illnesses? http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/prevention.html Mason-Scarborough, L. 1998. Synthetic or Natural Vitamins - What’s The Difference? Healthy Child Newsletter August/Sept Miller, N. 1994. Vaccines: Are they really safe and effective? A parent’s guide to childhood shots. Santa Fe: New Atlantean Press.
Mooi, F.R., et al. 1998. Polymorphism in the Bordetella pertussis virulence factors P.69/pertactin and pertussis toxin in the Netherlands: temporal trends and evidence for vaccine-driven evolution. Infection and Immunity. vol.66, no.2, pp.670-675. Moskowitz, R. 1983. The case against immunizations. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 76: 7-25. cited by Neustaedter, R. 1996. The vaccine guide. Moskowitz, R. 1991. Vaccination: A sacrament of modern medicine. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 84: 96-105. cited by Neustaedter, R. 1996. The vaccine guide. Murphy, J. 1993. What every parent should know about childhood immunization. Boston: Earth Healing Products. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). 2002. http://www.iom.edu National Academy of Sciences (NAS). 2001. Immunization Safety Review: Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism (April 23, 2001) http://www.iom.edu National Academy of Sciences (NAS). 2002. Immunization Safety Review: Multiple Immunizations and Immune Dysfunction (February 20, 2002) http://www.iom.edu National Research Defense Council (NRDC). 1997. Our children at risk: The 5 worst environmental threats to their health, November, chapter 5 Neustaedter, R. 1996. The vaccine guide: Making an informed choice. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. 108
Neustaedter, R. 2005. Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. Rapp, D., M.D. 1996. Is this your child’s world? How you can fix the schools and homes that are making your children sick. New York: Bantam. Reddy NR, Sathe, SK, eds. 2002. Food Phytates, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press Rinsdor, W., E. Cheraskin, and R. Ramsay. 1976. Sucrose neutrophlic phagocystosis and resistance to disease. Dental Survey 52. 46-48 Robinson, J. 2000. Why grassfed is best! The surprising benefits of grassfed meat, eggs, and dairy products. Vashon, WA: Vashon Island Press. Roos, K., E. G. Hakansson, S. Holm 2001. Effect of recolonisation with “interfering” alpha streptococci on recurrences of acute and secretory otitis media in children: randomised placebo controlled trial. British Medical Journal Jan 27;322(7280):210-2 Sanchez, et al. 1973. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (November) 1180-1184 Sandler, B., M.D. 1951. Diet prevents polio, Milwaukee, WI: The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. Schaffer, R. 1995. A case of oral polio vaccinosis. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 88: 33-34. cited by Neustaedter, R. 1996. The vaccine guide. 109
Scheibner, V. 1993. Vaccination: The medical assault on the immune system, Blackheath, NSW, Australia. Schmidt, M.A. 1990. Childhood ear infections. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, citing Diamant, M and Diamant, B. 1974. Abuse and timing of use of antibiotics in acute otitis media. Arch. Otolaryngol. 100:226-232. Schmidt, M.A. 1990. Childhood ear infections. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, citing Skoner, D.P. et al. 1988. Inflammatory mediators in chronic otitis media with effusion. Arch. Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg. 114: 1131-1133 Schmidt, M.A., L. Smith, and K. Sehnert. 1994. Beyond antibiotics. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. Smits, T. 1995. The treatment and prevention of postvaccinal disease. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 88: 27-32. cited by Neustaedter, R. 1996. The vaccine guide. Sorensen, T.L., et al. 2001. Transient intestinal carriage after ingestion of antibiotic-resistant enterococcus faecium from chicken and pork. New England Journal of Medicine 345, 18 October, (16):1161-6 Takkouche B, C. Regueira, and J. Gestal-Otero. 2001. A cohort study of stress and the common cold. Epidemiology May;12(3):345-9 Utterback, V. 2001. Why Feed Your Children Organic Food? Healthy Child E-Newsletter April 26 (7).
Wassung, Keith. Central nervous system control and coordination of the thymus & T cell function in the immune system http://digilander.iol.it/chiropratica/thymus%20project.htm Weston A. Price Foundation – Campaign for Real Milk: http://www.realmilk.com/realmilk.html Weston A. Price Foundation. 2000 Wise Traditions in Food Farming and the Healing Arts (Spring) White, D. G. Et al. 2001. The isolation of antibiotic-resistant salmonella from retail ground meats. New England Journal of Medicine Oct 18;345(16):1147-54 Wright, Lance, M.D. 1998. Colostrum: mother nature’s healthy alternative for every generation. Murray, UT: Katchell Publishing. Wunderlich, R.C., M.D. 1995. Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc. Zakay-Rones Z, et al. 1995. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Altern Complement Med 1995 Winter; 1(4):361-9
Recommended websites, articles, and books:
Natural, Holistic Health
Healthy Child Online http://www.healthychild.com Unique parenting website and E-Newsletter that gives you free, reliable information about natural health and holistic medicine for children and safe, natural products. Holistic Pediatric Association http://www.hpakids.org Non-profit educational website providing information and support to parents and pediatric health professionals in holistic medicine and natural parenting. Search the HPA Health Professional Directory for a holistic practitioner in your area. Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents by Randall Neustaedter, OMD (North Atlantic Books, 2005)
Birthing the Future http://www.birthingthefuture.com
LaLeche League International 1-800-LALECHE http://lalecheleague.org Articles, Products, Resources http://www.breastfeeding.com Dr. Newman’s Breastfeeding Articles http://www.bflrc.com/newman/articles.htm
Find holistic-minded families in your local area Families for Natural Living http://www.familiesfornaturalliving.org Holistic Moms Network http://www.holisticmoms.org Attachment Parenting International http://www.attachmentparenting.org
Food and Nutrition
Article: Whole Foods for Healthy Kids http://www.healthychild.com/database/whole_fo ods_for_healthy_kids.htm Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon with Mary Enig (Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc., 1999) Superimmunity for Kids: What to Feed Your Children to Keep Them Healthy Now – and Prevent Disease in Their Future, by Leo Galland, M.D. (New York: Dell Publishing, 1988) Carbohydrate Addicted Kids: Help Your Child or Teen Break Free of Junk Food and Sugar Cravings – For Life!, by Dr. Richard F. Heller and Dr. Rachael F. Heller (HarperPerennial, 1997) The Staying Healthy Shopper’s Guide, by Elson M. Haas, M.D. (Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1999) Lick The Sugar Habit, by Dr. Nancy Appleton (Deluxe Trade Paperback) http://www.nancyappleton.com
Get the Sugar Out : 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar in Any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman (Crown Pub,1996) Sugar Blues, by William F. Duffy (Warner Books, 1993)
Nutrition Education Organizations
Weston A. Price Foundation Nutrition education and research http://www.WestonAPrice.org International Foundation for Nutrition and Health (IFNH) Information on nutrition and whole food concentrates. http://www.ifnh.org
To Order the Book Juicing For Life and Compare Different Brands of Juicers: http://gulfcoastjuicers.com/juicingforlife.html
Eat Wild http://www.eatwild.com A clearinghouse for information about pasturebased (grassfed) farming. Search the directory to find a supplier of pastured products in your area Dr. Joseph Mercola - Optimal Wellness Center http://www.mercola.com/beef/main.htm You can purchase grass-fed beef at this website GRACE Factory Farm Project http://www.factoryfarm.org Their goal is to eliminate factory farming in favor of a sustainable food production system Weston A. Price Foundation http://www.westonaprice.org/local_chapters/local _chapters.html Local chapters can help you find locally-grown organic and biodynamic vegetables, fruits and grains; and milk products, butter, eggs, chicken and meat from pasture-fed animals. 202-333-HEAL Weston A. Price Foundation Campaign for Real Milk http://www.realmilk.com
Why Grassfed is Best! The Surprising Benefits of Grassfed Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products, by Jo Robinson (Vashon, WA: Vashon Island Press, 2000) available at www.eatwild.com
Organic Whole Foods
Directory of Farmers Markets http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets Directory and Information on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/csa Organic Trade Association http://www.ota.com
Article: Synthetic or Natural Vitamins – What’s The Difference? http://www.healthychild.com/database/synthetic_ or_natural_vitamins_what_s_the_difference_.htm The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants, by Judith A. DeCava, MS, LNC (Columbus, GA: Brentwood Academic Press, 1996)
American Botanical Pharmacy Dr. Schulze’s SuperFood http://www.dr-schulze.com 1-800-HERB-DOC
Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) To find a practitioner in your area: http://www.naet.com Say Goodbye to Children’s Allergies, by Dr. Devi Nambudripad, D.C., L.Ac., Ph.D. See also homeopathy and probiotics resources.
Herb Research Foundation http://www.herbs.org Science-based information on the health benefits and safety of herbs Ask the Herbalist http://www.healthychild.com/asktheherbalist.ht m
Article - Probiotics: The Friendly Bacteria, by Leon Chaitow N.D., D.O., M.R.O. http://www.healthy.net/asp/templates/Article.asp ?PageType=Article&Id=499 Pro Biotics : The Revolutionary ‘Friendly Bacteria’ Way to Vital Health and Well-Being by Leon Chaitow and Natasha Trenev (HarperCollins, 1990)
Homeopathic Educational Services http://www.homeopathic.com Publisher and distributor of homeopathic books, tapes, software, and medicine kits. General home prescribing books Homeopathy for Children, Gabrielle Pinto and Murray Feldman, C.W. Daniel Company, 2000. Everybodyʹs Guide to Homeopathic Medicines, Stephen Cummings and Dana Ullman, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1997. Homeopathic Self-Care, Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, Prima Publishing, 1997.
Find a Homeopath - Search these directories Holistic Pediatric Association http://www.hpakids.org Council for Homeopathic Certification http://www.homeopathy-council.org Homeopath Referrals http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/STEVELIST.htm Online Course: Introduction to Homeopathy http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/homeo.htm
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association http://www.icpa4kids.org Search their directory for a pediatric chiropractor
American Chiropractic Association http://www.amerchiro.org International Chiropractors Association http://www.chiropractic.org
National Vaccine Information Center http://www.909shot.com A national nonprofit educational organization that provides support to help educate parents about vaccine safety and their right to choose immunizations, as well as support for parents and families who have experienced the devastation of a vaccine reaction, injury or death. They offer books, a newsletter, information on state vaccine laws, resource studies, lists of lawyers handling vaccine issues, etc. Online Class: Introduction to Vaccine Dangers http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/vaccine.htm Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute http://thinktwice.com/global.htm The Immunization Resource Guide: Where to Find Answers to All Your Questions About Childhood Vaccinations, by Diane Rozario (Burlington, IA: Patter Publications, 2000) The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults, by Randall Neustaedter, OMD (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002)
Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide, by Aviva Jill Romm (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001) Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Shots, by Neil Miller (Santa Fe: New Atlantean Press, 1994) Immunization: Theory vs. Reality, by Neil Miller, (Santa Fe: New Altantean Press, 1996) Vaccination: The Issue of Our Times. A comprehensive collection of articles, research, and references, challenging the conventional viewpoint on vaccinations. Edited by Peggy O’Mara, Mothering Magazine. http://www.mothering.com What Every Parent Should Know About Childhood Immunization, by Jamie Murphy (Boston: Earth Healing Products, 1993) Vaccinations 100 Years of Orthodox Research, by Viera Scheibner Vaccination: The Medical Assault on the Immune System, by Viera Scheibner (Blackheath, NSW, Australia, 1993)
Vaccination Deception: How Vaccines Prevent Optimal Health! By Teddy H. Spence, DDS, ND (Exmore, VA: Truth Seekers Press, 2000) The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is not Immunization, by Tim O’Shea (San Jose, CA: NewWest, 2000) http://www.thedoctorwithin.com Vaccination News Extensive articles and news related to vaccines http://www.vaccinationnews.com Vaccination Information & Choice Network http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/vaccine.htm Informative Vaccinations E-mail List for Parents Looking Into the Issue of Vaccinations http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vaccinations Extensive Vaccine Information http://www.whale.to/vaccines.html Center for Disease Control Government Agency Monitoring Disease and Influencing Vaccine Policy http://www.cdc.gov Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaers/vaers.htm
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) - A Doctor’s Group that Opposes Mandatory Vaccines http://www.aapsonline.org
Holistic Pediatric Association http://www.hpakids.org Non-profit educational website providing information and support to parents and pediatric health professionals in holistic medicine and natural parenting. Search the HPA Health Professional Directory for a holistic practitioner in your area. The Curse of Louis Pasteur: Why Medicine is Not Healing A Diseased World, by Nancy Appleton, PhD ((Santa Monica, CA: Choice Publishing, 1999) Beyond Antibiotics: 50 (or so) Ways to Boost Immunity and Avoid Antibiotics, by Michael A. Schmidt, Lendon H. Smith, and Keith W. Sehnert (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1994)
How To Raise a Healthy Child…in Spite of Your Doctor, by Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. (New York: Ballentine Books, 1984) A truly excellent book written by a renowned pediatrician for nearly thirty years. Conventional Medicine vs. Holistic: A World of Difference, by Tim O’Shea (San Jose, CA: NewWest, 1999) http://www.thedoctorwithin.com Childhood Ear Infections, What Every Parent and Physician Should Know about Prevention, Home Care, and Alternative Treatment, by Dr. Michael A. Schmidt (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1990) Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Infants & Children, by Janet Zand, Lac, OMD, Rachel Walton, RN, and Bob Rountree, MD (Avery 1994)
Children’s Health Environmental Coalition http://www.checnet.org Is This Your Child’s World? How You Can Fix the Schools and Homes that are Making Your Children Sick, by Doris Rapp, M.D. (New York: Bantam, 1996) Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law and Endangers Your Health, by Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1999) The Safe Shopper’s Bible: A Consumer’s Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food, by David Steinman and Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. (Macmillan, 1995) Our Children at Risk: The 5 Worst Environmental Threats to Their Health, National Research Defense Council (NRDC) November, 1997 http://www.nrdc.org/health/kids/ocar/ocarinx.asp American Academy of Environmental Medicine http://www.aaem.com
Inspired Parenting http://www.inspiredparenting.net Children of the New Earth magazine https://www.childrenofthenewearth.com Nurturing Children Through Progressive Parenting http://www.bestfed.com Article: The Benefits and Joys of Infant Massage http://www.healthychild.com/database/the_benef its_and_joys_of_infant_massage.htm Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents, by Vimala Schneider McClure (Bantam Books, 1989) National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC) http://www.nocirc.org Article: A Wellness Approach for Children http://www.healthychild.com/database/a_wellnes s_approach_for_children.htm Yoga Kids Video, by Living Arts (800-2-LIVING)
Natural Parenting and Attachment Parenting
Attachment Parenting International http://www.attachmentparenting.org Mothering Magazine http://www.mothering.com Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children http://www.atlc.org The Natural Child Project http://www.naturalchild.org Aware Parenting Institute http://www.awareparenting.com Liedloff Continuum Network http://www.continuum-concept.org Holistic Parenting, by Lynn Wiese Sneyd (Los Angeles, Keats Publishing, 2000) Natural Family Living: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Parenting, by Peggy O’Mara, publisher of Mothering Magazine (Pocket Books, 2000) available at www.mothering.com
Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child, by Katie Allison Granju with Betsy Kennedy, R.N., M.S.N. (Pocket Books, 1999) The Whole Parenting Guide, by Alan Reder, Phil Catalfo, and Stephanie Renfrow Hamilton (Broadway Books, 1999) The Aware Baby: A New Approach to Parenting, by Aletha J. Solter (Goleta, CA: Shining Star Press, P.O. Box 206, Goleta, CA.) www.awareparenting.com