1969, formula & intestinal bacteria – What is the connection?

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!

(CDC: Breastfeeding Report Card 2014) page 4 – two columns on the right

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.

For instance:

2009 University Texas Southwestern – UNGER LEPTIN reverses Type 1

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 5;107(40):17391-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1008025107. Epub 2010 Sep 20.



Thioredoxin Interacting Protein: Redox Dependent and Independent Regulatory Mechanisms

ANTIOXIDANTS & REDOX SIGNALING Volume 16, Number 6, 2012

ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/ars.2011.4137
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:

Breast Cancer. 2016 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]
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


4 thoughts on “1969, formula & intestinal bacteria – What is the connection?

  1. Wow! Not sure where to start, your posts ring so true! About breast feeding: I guess it all depends where you live. My first two were born in Rhode Island and I was strongly encouraged to breast feed. Unfortunately, I also listened to my mother, who told me she never had enough milk for me or my brother. I assumed I would be the same and was ever so sorry I didn’t breast feed my first. Pretty sure I messed up his gut bacteria with the various infant formulas we tried on him… by the time his brother was born I had grown more self-confident. He was breastfed for six months. Then came our daughter, born in France. In the local hospital I was told I was overdoing it! Again I listened to them and was sorry. It took a while to get my lactation back to normal. Today I know of a few young mothers who breastfeed for a good year, good for them. And my advice is, trust your instinct — your “gut feeling” if I may say.
    About unusual diseases cropping up in a family: in my in-laws’ generation there were no allergies of any kind. Somehow after they moved to the States my husband developed seasonal, cat and dust mite allergies in his teens, then asthma in his early forties. All of this now gone after we eliminated all processed food from our diet (you know, anything with additives and preservatives such as Sulfites, made to KILL bacteria…). And among the five children our niece and nephew have, two have nut allergies, and one, very sadly, is autistic.
    My dream: to restore my husband’s gut to full health so that he will be able to eat natural foods such as onion again without having to worry about getting asthma.
    Finally, in the gift basket new moms are sure to receive at the hospital, they are bound to find diapers… Not long ago I was looking at the ingredients in these “indispensable” items and was shocked to find phenoxyethanol, a known endocrine disrupter, listed. What are we doing to our kids?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know where to begin! My first thoughts are

      OH MY I CAN TOTALLLYYYY relate to your story. WOW TOTALLY! I know all about that pressure! The early years for us was a whirlwind…

      So much more that I want to respond – but gonna take a bit to organize my thoughts LOL

      First – THANK YOU for mentioning the endocrine disrupters… I had forgotten about that… You are sooo right = WHAT are we doing to our children???

      And that is one puzzle piece (phenoxyethanol) that I have not researched in connection to diabetes – will be interesting to see what I find!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You TOTALLY nailed it with: we need to follow our “GUT FEELING”! In looking back over the years, especially during the four different times when pregnancies ended too soon. I am reminded of how much I tried to get physicians to listen to my instinct telling me there were problems only to be met with a reply “oh that’s normal all is ok” I KNEW it wasn’t…

    I didn’t have ‘medical’ training to back up instinct and worse, the mainstream medical had zero desire to listen to my maternal instinct. It took many years to overcome the guilt of ‘maybe I should have done more’ even though they wouldn’t listen. Now, I embrace those times as they have shaped who I am and provide connections with others. Those trials have been fuel to keep me digging deeper, seeking out truth; truth in all aspects of my life.

    Having a support system is one of the necessary components. I fully understand about the pressure that we end up succumbing to! What I have found to be even more powerful is having others who are supportive despite them having a different belief. (on the flip side they can also be the most destructive force) The person who encouraged me the most to pursue the ‘health coaching’ field has some ‘health’ beliefs VERY different than mine, yet they are VERY supportive of my choices and of my perspective. They have something about them where they are willing to think outside the box and examine things outside of a “for the masses” mindset.

    The news about your husband is so exciting, brought tears of joy to my eyes! It is truly amazing what healing can happen and the symptoms that vanish when we eliminate things in our diet which are not really food. My child’s allergies, sinus and skin issues all disappeared within about 6 months from our change in eating and lifestyle habits. Thus far that child has been symptom free for about 18 months and counting… Some of those symptoms they had from infancy!

    Please continue to share any thoughts on things which you come across that provide clues – like the one about diapers and endocrine disrupters – Or any ‘gut feelings’ of connections between health and some other factor… Much of what I have learned over the last two years is from picking up tidbits here and there and researching further on those tidbits 🙂 There are numerous articles where in the comments someone said something that triggered a light bulb or was one of those “AH HA!” moments that finally provided a clue as to which piece I should consider researching only to find that it was a pivotal piece – connecting many together!

    One of my great frustrations with some of the specialists we have seen is they claim “environmental factors” play a role in the disease but getting them to define WHAT is an environmental factor is nearly impossible – especially if you want to find one that actually pertains to your particular situation… talk about going on a wild goose chase, lol anyway…

    THANK YOU for sharing – what wonderful encouragement to read your words!!!! I am looking forward to your insights in the future!


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