Air Pollution Is Harming Unborn Babies and Decreasing the Benefits of Exercise

Air Pollution Is Harming Unborn Babies and Decreasing the Benefits of Exercise

How air pollution harms even our littlest ones! –

Air pollution from road traffic could have detrimental effects on your baby’s health. In particular, pregnant women who breathe dirty air could have babies with low birth weight, according to a new study published in The BMJ on Tuesday. And air pollution is also negating the benefits of exercise, another study, published on Tuesday in The Lancet, showed. In the former study, researchers investigated the relationship between air pollution from road traffic during pregnancy and being born with a low birth weight and/or small for gestational age (how far along in the pregnancy the baby is born). They gathered data from the national birth register in the greater London area from 540,000 births between 2006 and 2010, and compared it to the average amounts of air pollutants including nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter (called PM2.5) from traffic exhaust or other traffic sources.

Source: Air Pollution Is Harming Unborn Babies and Decreasing the Benefits of Exercise

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains – The Atlantic

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains – The Atlantic

Scary but unfortunately a reality! Why it’s so important to know what goes into our food and skincare! –

Forty-one million IQ points. That’s what Dr. David Bellinger determined Americans have collectively forfeited as a result of exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides. In a 2012 paper published by the National Institutes of Health, Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, compared intelligence quotients among children whose mothers had been exposed to these neurotoxins while pregnant to those who had not. Bellinger calculates a total loss of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphates, the most common pesticides used in agriculture.

Last month, more research brought concerns about chemical exposure and brain health to a heightened pitch. Philippe Grandjean, Bellinger’s Harvard colleague, and Philip Landrigan, dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, announced to some controversy in the pages of a prestigious medical journal that a “silent pandemic” of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children. The experts named 12 chemicals—substances found in both the environment and everyday items like furniture and clothing—that they believed to be causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Pesticides were among the toxins they identified.

Source: The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains – The Atlantic

80 percent of baby formulas contain arsenic, horrifying new study shows – LA Times

Yikes! Why going beyond the label is so important! –

The Clean Label Project, a nonprofit that advocates for food label transparency, recently investigated 530 products including baby food, infant formulas, toddler drinks, and snacks sold in the past five months. Their alarming set of data revealed that 65 percent of products contained arsenic – and 80 percent of baby formulas tested positive for the toxic chemical.In addition to the arsenic contamination, 35 percent of products contained lead, 58 percent contained cadmium, and 10 percent contained acrylamide. If only babies could talk – maybe they’d have warned us about the hints of lead tainting their food. It seems the labeling on these products cannot be trusted.

In fact, 60 percent of products labeled “BPA-free” contained significant levels of bisphenol A. These products had been parading as safe while secretly harboring dangerous industrial chemicals.Pediatrician and toxicologist Jennifer Lowry told USA Today that arsenic and lead chemicals are powerful enough to affect fine motor skills and cognition in children. These mislabeling disasters are more than just little white lies.The worst offenders included even “healthier” baby food brands, including Gerber, Enfamil, Plum Organics, and Sprout. And the worst products were rice-based puffs, often sold in miniature snack pouches.

Source: 80 percent of baby formulas contain arsenic, horrifying new study shows – LA Times

6 Dairy Foods Naturally Low in Lactose

6 Dairy Foods Naturally Low in Lactose

We love yoghurt! Especially the homemade kind. Why being lactose intolerant doesn’t necessarily mean having to skip the benefits of dairy! –

3. Probiotic Yogurt

People with lactose intolerance often find yogurt much easier to digest than milk (10, 11, 12). This is because most yogurts contain live bacteria that can help break down lactose, so you don’t have as much to digest yourself (13, 14, 15). For example, one study compared how well lactose was digested after drinking milk and consuming a probiotic yogurt (12). It found that when people with lactose intolerance ate the yogurt, they were able to digest 66 percent more lactose than when they drank the milk. The yogurt also caused fewer symptoms, with only 20 percent of people reporting digestive distress after eating the yogurt, compared to 80 percent after drinking the milk (10). It’s best to look for yogurts labeled “probiotic,” which means they contain live cultures of bacteria. Yogurts that have been pasteurized, which kills the bacteria, may not be as well tolerated (10). Additionally, full-fat and strained yogurts like Greek and Greek-style yogurt could be an even better choice for people with lactose intolerance.This is because full-fat yogurts contain more fat and less whey than low-fat yogurts.Greek and Greek-style yogurts are also lower in lactose because they are strained during processing. This removes even more of the whey, making them naturally much lower in lactose.

Source: 6 Dairy Foods Naturally Low in Lactose

Air Pollution May Make Babies’ Cells Age Faster | Time

How pollution affects us all, even our very littlest ones! –

There’s growing evidence that exposure to air pollution can have a number of unhealthy consequences, from cancer to heart disease and respiratory illnesses. In recent years, researchers have also linked air pollution exposure to faster aging in adult cells.In a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, an international group of researchers conducted the first detailed look at pollution’s effect on developing babies in utero. They found that the more pollution expectant moms were exposed to while they were pregnant, the shorter their babies’ telomeres: parts of the DNA in every cell that act as a molecular clock keeping track of the cell’s age, and the body’s.

Source: Air Pollution May Make Babies’ Cells Age Faster | Time

Pollution Kills 1.7 Million Children Every Year, WHO Reports

Pollution Kills 1.7 Million Children Every Year, WHO Reports

It’s children who often suffer the most when it comes to pollution. Why keeping little ones safe means creating safer environments everywhere –

Underscoring the dangers of U.S. President Trump’s broad attacks on air and water regulations, a pair of reports published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday revealed that one in four young children die each year as a result of unhealthy environments. “A polluted environment is a deadly one—particularly for young children,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan in a press statement on Monday. “Their developing organs and immune systems and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.” Beginning in utero, children are exposed to harmful environmental risks. According to the studies, roughly 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die each year from factors that could have been prevented through addressing environmental risks, which WHO called “a shocking missed opportunity.”

Source: Pollution Kills 1.7 Million Children Every Year, WHO Reports

Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?

Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?

They come in all sorts of colours! But here’s why it’s how your hens are treated which makes all the difference… –

Often, people who prefer brown eggs do so because they believe brown eggs are more natural and healthy than white eggs. However, the truth is that all eggs are nutritionally very similar, regardless of size, grade or color (2, 6, 7). Both brown and white eggs are healthy foods. A typical egg contains lots of vitamins, minerals and high-quality protein, all wrapped up into less than 80 calories (8).

However, scientists have compared eggs with brown shells to those with white shells to see if there is any difference. Several studies have found that shell color has no significant effect on egg quality and composition (9).

This means that the color of an egg’s shell doesn’t have much to do with how healthy it is. The only real difference is the pigment in the shell. However, there are other factors that can affect the nutritional content of an egg. The hen’s environment can have a major impact. For example, eggs from hens that are allowed to roam in the sunshine contain 3–4 times the amount of vitamin D you’d find in eggs from a conventionally raised hen (10).

Source: Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?

Coral Reefs Are Dying, Only Hope Is Halting Fossil Fuel Emissions

Coral Reefs Are Dying, Only Hope Is Halting Fossil Fuel Emissions

Why saving our reef is something everyone can – and must! – do their bit for! –

The only hope to save the world’s coral reefs is to take immediate action to stop climate change, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The study analyzed 2016 bleaching events in the Great Barrier Reef, finding that they were mostly driven by rising temperatures and that local efforts to reduce pollution and overfishing did little to keep the reefs alive. 2016 was the worst year for coral bleaching worldwide, with more than 90 percent of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef affected.

Only nine percent of the reef has avoided bleaching since 1998. “Climate change is not a future threat,” the study’s lead author, Terry P. Hughes, told the New York Times. “On the Great Barrier Reef, it’s been happening for 18 years.”

Source: Coral Reefs Are Dying, Only Hope Is Halting Fossil Fuel Emissions

Why the Consumer Product Safety Commission Voted to Ban Phthalates in Children’s Toys and Baby Products | What to Expect

Why the Consumer Product Safety Commission Voted to Ban Phthalates in Children’s Toys and Baby Products | What to Expect

Most of us don’t give a second thought to what goes into the toys and products our littlest ones play with every day! Why it’s so important to know what goes into them –

If you have a young baby at home, you already know there are lots of things you’ve got to protect her from: the stairs, sharp corners, grapes. But there’s one thing that may not be on your radar: phthalates, common chemicals found in tons of products from raincoats to shampoos. Due to the particular risks of phthalates for children, today the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to ban five different kinds of phthalates from being used in children’s toys.

Phthalates are used to make plastics more flexible, and most people are exposed to them in the food and drinks they consume. The chemical passes through quickly into your urine — and virtually all Americans have some phthalates in their system. In small amounts, they haven’t been shown to be risky. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that phthalates, along with BPA and pesticides, are endocrine-disrupting chemicals — meaning they can mess with your body’s hormones. One study found that moms who used phthalate-containing hairspray were more likely to give birth to boys with hypospadias (where the baby’s urethra doesn’t form properly at the tip of the penis) than women who didn’t. Another study blames a 40 percent drop in men’s sperm counts over the past four decades on the increasing use of phthalates, while some research has linked phthalates to higher risk of diabetes and obesity in kids. Other research has linked high levels of phthalate exposure to everything from birth defects to preterm birth to behavior problems to cancer.

Source: Why the Consumer Product Safety Commission Voted to Ban Phthalates in Children’s Toys and Baby Products | What to Expect

David Suzuki: Straws Suck

David Suzuki: Straws Suck

We couldn’t agree more! –

Of all the plastic products we use and take for granted, plastic drinking straws are among the most unnecessary. Designed to be used once and discarded, their only real purpose is to keep your mouth from touching a glass or ice. It made more sense in the days when contaminated vessels were more of an issue. Now, there’s a movement to get people and businesses to ditch the straws. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. In the U.S. alone, people discard 500 million straws every day, or more than 180 billion a year. That’s about 1.4 million kilograms of plastic sent to landfills and into the oceans every day!

Source: David Suzuki: Straws Suck