Do you have any idea what those three things have in common?
- The year 1969
- Infant Formula
- Intestinal Bacteria
One of the first activities in my training is to research the history of our country’s National Food Guide. So I visited the historical collection link from the USDA and ran a search for food guide. I came across this one from 1969 and started scanning through it when this excerpt caught my attention:
Despite improvements in infant formulae, breast feeding is still strongly recommended. One explanation of the reason infants thrive better on human milk is that it promotes the growth of favorable intestinal bacteria which stop the growth of less desirable ones
A Food Guide for the Ages from baby to gramps; Author(s):Lewis, H.Subject(s):human nutrition , food science , family and consumer scienceFormat:p. 294-303.Language:EnglishYear:1969Series:Yearbook of agriculture
So I stop in my tracks staring at that last sentence. Shake my head. Exhale. So for more than 40 years we have known the importance of bacteria and their role yet when one looks at modern healthcare many are considered outcasts for thinking there is any correlation between the flora in our digestive system and the implications of a lack of the “good guys”.
Granted there is a movement which promotes the truth of the matter and I am thankful it is a growing movement. What disturbs me though is how we have gone from bad to worse to downright… well I will let you fill in that blank.
How we can ignore the fact that formula does not promote a healthy environment is mind boggling. Why it is even remotely considered “safe” for infants to ingest something which deters their health is beyond me. Once again I am reminded of John Yudkins work regarding sugar and the history behind high-fructose-corn-syrup as a staple in American food-like products. So when I read that for nearly half a decade that we have known the adverse affects combined with nearly 60% of infants have had formula within 3 months of birth and by 6 months the figure reaches nearly 82%, I am in astonishment!
Now those are the averages – some states fair better and some fair worse. It is very disturbing though if we know formula does not promote a healthy digestive system that pediatricians, nutritionists, doctors – all healthcare providers for that matter – are not adamant about doing everything possible to speak about the dangers of formula.
In thinking back at the birth of my children I recall getting a “mothers gift basket” at the hospital which contained various infant products. Formula was one of the products in that bag of samples along with a plethora of formula coupons that seemed to outnumber all the other products combined.
My children were in the NICU, one for seven days. Very, and I mean very, few of those infants were on their mothers milk, instead they were fed formula of some kind. My youngest child, that was in the NICU for a week, was almost exclusively breast-fed. The only reason for not being exclusive is the staff did not adhere to my decision of exclusive breastfeeding and while I was waiting for the anesthesia to wear off after giving birth, they fed my child what they wanted, not what was best for my child.
Fast forward six months and my child was receiving formula as I searched for ways to help his sudden halting of gaining weight… One experience that I hope to blog about soon.
It is that mentality of acceptance that disrupting the digestive system is fine and dandy as to why we have epidemics left and right of childhood diseases. Is there science to back up that claim? That is a pretty powerful statement, I will admit!
If our premise is the Department of Ag made their claims with science to back it up and their conclusion that formula does not promote a healthy environment then how about we take a moment to examine the implications of a disrupted digestive system. What is the logical outcome if we compromise our first wall of defense?
It is a building block – if the building materials are compromised what kind of a building are we going to have? If we put bad gas in our vehicles what is going to happen? If we use spoiled ingredients in a recipe what is going to be the outcome? So why would we expect anything different when we compromise the integrity of our digestive system?
I have binders, upon binders of studies that I have printed off in the last two years attempting to get to the root cause of my oldest child’s disease of Type 1 Diabetes. [We have zero family history of it] There is a plethora of scientific evidence of many factors which play a role in the onset or in the continuation of this disease, and just as many as to factors that play a role in reversing it.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 5;107(40):17391-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1008025107. Epub 2010 Sep 20.
ANTIOXIDANTS & REDOX SIGNALING Volume 16, Number 6, 2012
ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Oded N. Spindel,1,2 Cameron World,1 and Bradford C. Berk1,2
…Recent Advances: Studies of the Hcb-19 mouse, TXNIP nonsense mutated mouse, demonstrate redox-mediated roles in lipid and glucose metabolism, cardiac function, inflammation, and carcinogenesis…
The list can go on and on – Guess what the common factor is in all of them? I’ll give you a hint, its the research I reference in my post ‘Microbiome‘. Eventually they lead to the digestive system and signaling that happens in the digestive process. Profound! Although the more I think about it, not really. I would strongly encourage you to visit Pubmed and do a search for a disease and another term to find links…. Such as Cancer & Gut Flora where you would most likely find this in the top of the search results:
Gastrointestinal microbiome and breast cancer: correlations, mechanisms and potential clinical implications.
Gastrointestinal microbiome plays as a symbiont which provides protection effect against invading pathogens, aids in the immune system development, nutrient reclamation and absorption as well as molecule breakdown.
Science seems to have the presupposition that our digestive system is the first line of defense – notice it aids the development of the immune system, not the other way around. If it is compromised everything that follows will have a weak link.
They knew this in the 60’s and we know it today – so why my friends do we intentionally disrupt not only our own system but our children’s developing line of defense?
I know why I did – ignorance, peer pressure, medical expert pressure and fear. Would love to hear your story!
Oh… to complete my project I had to locate the oldest guide… thus far I have found one from 1946