Oh, and in case I didn't do so already, on the thread about amalgams, thank you so much for helping me out with that.
I've been keeping up with What Causes Autism thread and it occurs to me - how would one really get the body ready pregnancy to have an optimally healthy child.
I ask this because my dh and I are hoping to conceive in a few months, but will postpone if there's more work I need to do. I'm familiar with Nourishing Traditions and am currently seeing a fab acupuncturist who is doing a great job of balancing my hormones (corrected a low progestrone issue pretty quickly). Per her instructions, I'm taking Bs (with recommended amounts of folic), cod liver oil, spirulina and an adrenal support supplment. On my own I'm taking 1000-2000mcg C and acidopholus (when I remember).
Also, it should be noted that I had a very complicated and difficult miscarriage last December 2004 (fetus died at 10 weeks, miscarried at 15 weeks, retained tissue, bleeding enough to cause anemia over the next month, D&C, then uterine infection requiring hospitalization and powerful IV antibiotics - a month of miscarriage). After getting out of the hospital, our family life got really crazy with my dh out of town a lot, my ds hating preschool and me having no time to myself. So, chocolate and I got real friendly - and my body showed it!. Since the summer I've been dancing 5-7 days a week, lifting weights and doing high intensive interval training for cardio. I've gotten about 4 sizes smaller, increased my muscle mass and lowered my bodyfat percentage considerably. I'm eating six meals a day (a carb and protein in every meal - along with a green veggies). I eat 95% organically - especially meat and eggs - and rarely eat out. Coffee is pretty much out of picture. I should also mention that over the summer I did a candida diet for about 2 and a half weeks (was too active to keep doing it for much longer and needed a nutritional plan that allowed for my active lifestyle). I STILL haven't done anything about my fillings and might wait (I only have 4).
So, what else would be a good thing to include (or change) about what I'm currently doing to prepare for a pregnancy?
I know this is probably a big question to ask, but I bet many moms and wanna be moms would want to have some place to start. And I'm a firm believer in preconception nutrition!
If you got through this, thanks!!!!
Hope you are all well!!!
Here is what I would suggest to my own dd if she were in your situation.
Continue to eat healthy. By that I mean organic everything including eggs. But cut out meat and milk (hormones), fish (mercury), sodas, caffeine, sugar and anything white.
Cut out everything you can with any preservatives, fluoride, artificial coloring.
Eat as much raw stuff as possible. Sprout/soak your grains, seeds, nuts before eating them and eat them raw. Use only whole wheat, whole rye, whole grains and sprout them. East lots of organic fruit, wash everything before peeling it, even bananas.
Cut out all vitamins, minerals. The capsules are made from gelatine and I don't trust that. Also, some of those things cause an imbalance.
Continue to take probiotics (powder), cod liver oil (liquid) or eat organic yogurt, kefir, etc. Your vita C should only come in powder - Sodium Ascorbate. But you don't need it unless you are sick or getting sick.
I am not so sure about the necessity of carb and protein with every meal? Some of those things are more of a fad than a body need.
Acupuncture can under certain circumstances cause Hep B so be very careful.
All this is my personal opinion and may not be agreeable with everyone here. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So, just state your own suggestions please.
That way, I can deal with both at once, because it will be a long reply.
“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden
And Momtezuma Tuatara - no problem! I appreciate any wisdom you care to impart on me and in any thread!!!
Again, my thanks to you all !
I've found an awesome book called A Natural Guide To Pregnancy and Postpartum Health by Dean Raffelock, DC and Robert Roundtree, MD to be a great book for POSTpartum recover. They had some extremely helpful and important information regarding the need for and necessary dosage of omega oils in pregnancy. This book primarily focuses on postpartum health/recovery and how lack of it can cause PPD and serious long term health problems. You might find it helpful now, seeing that you have had a child. They stress that many women never recover, hence how their health depletes and the incidence of PPD increases with multiple pregnancies.
There's also a great book on children's nutrition. I find that it is just as applicable to adults, esp. pg women. I'll get the title and website to buy it for you tomorrow.
On the Autism thread, particularly note the selenium bit... one abstract re mothers and babies...
I'm not sure where you are, but a full mineral profile would be a useful test, from a reliable laboratory. Hair mineral tests are not accurate. Only sweat and blood are.
If you can't do that, and who can afford it more than once anyway, you might have to go by intuition, like I did .
The agriculture people here have pretty comprehensive soil analyses, and one useful way of finding out what is missing from soils, is to talk to vets or animal breeders. They give their animals mineral licks and special supplements, because unlike people, its considered vital for animals. But for people, it doesn't matter?
Daily Mail, March 5, 2001
FRUIT and vegetables are not as good for us as they were 50 years ago according to a scientific study. Modem farming methods mean that the amount of essential minerals In the food we eat has been reduced alarmingly. There is up to 75 per cent less calcium and 93 per cent less copper . In fruit and vegetables, the study says. Runner beans which used to contain a significant amount of sodium - vital for the working of the nerves and muscles - now have almost no traces of it at all.
The levels of other important minerals such as iron, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium have also plummeted. Nutritionist David Thomas said he was 'astonished' by his flndlngs. 'Minerals have been recognised as being very important to our physiology, but the general public has no idea that there has been this dramatic decline in the levels of such elements in our food,' he said. His research allowed that broccoli has 75 per cent less calcium, which is essential for building healthy body and teeth. Carrots have 75 per cent less magnesium, which protects against heart attacks, asthma and kidney stones.
Spinach, famous as a good source of iron, was found to have 60 per C less iron than it did 50 years ago. Mr Thomas said he believed the reduction in the mineral content in food was a result of modern farm methods which use massive amounts of fertiliser on the soil. The fertilisers encourage ph growth, but this Is at the expense of the minerals which are Important for good health. Mr Thomas said: 'We are made up of these substances. If they're deficient then the body cannot cope as well as It would otherwise.'
He based his conclusions on data from The Composition of Foods, a comprehensive study of the content of all major foods dating back to 1940. By comparing figures over a 50-year period he was able to plot certain trends. A similar analysis, comparing data from 1930 and 1980, was published in the British Food Journal in 1997. It compared 20 vegetables and found levels of calcium, iron and other minerals had declined significantly.
Professor Tim Lang, of the renowned Centre for Food Policy at Thames Valley University, said the results revealed an important trend which needed to be exposed. 'These are big percentages,' he said. 'The nature of production is altering what we are eating. Plant breeders have been trying to develop tomatoes and carrots and fruit that look nice, resist disease and can withstand being shipped halfway around the world.
'They have been less concerned about the minerals in the food. 'We are dying prematurely of coronary heart disease and cancer and we are being told to cut down on fat and eat more fruit and vegetables. But at the same time they are changing the content of what we are eating.' Mr Thomas runs a company called Trace Minerals UK, based in Sussex, which distributes a mineral supplement called ConcenTrace.
Professor Lang said that despite his commercial interest, Mr Thomas had carried out a legitimate piece of research.
Ellen Grant has much to say on miscarriages, but it would be best if you can obtain her book to read that yourself, because its quite complicated, but if mineral deficiency was one thing that contributed to the miscarriage then, then that's even more reason to have a profile done now.
I use a mineral formula based solely on the deficiencies in the soil in this country, since most of what I eat comes from here. I use it every day, and were I to be pregnant now, I would use it, and increase my levels of magnesium, and check the copper/zinc balance.
I would be using Dorothy Hall's and Carol Odell's book simply because its so down to earth and easy to understand. If you want to understand more about minerals, read Paul Bergner's book "The Healing Power of Minerals, special nutrients and Trace elements."
Even organically, its not possible to get what you need in terms of minerals.
When I was pregnant, because I have low blood pressure, which drops further when I'm pregnant I lived on buckwheat pancakes made from eggs from our own hens, unpasteurised cow's milk (this country doesn't and never has done hormones of any kind : and I know there are places in the US where you can buy non-hormone organic antibiotic free milk. We can also buy cheese made the old Europe way, not Past-yer-ized.... Then I'd add salt and buckwheat flour I'd just ground myself, and make pancakes, like crepe suzettes. Inside I would sometimes put sliced fresh peaches, or whatever was in season, with home-made yoghurt, or clabbered cream with liquid honey, or maple syrup, until I found snap freeze boysenberry powder, and went on binges of that.
I ate a lot of avocados, becuase my body screamed for them, so listen to what your body screams for.
If you scream for chocolate, particularly dark, and you're not sleeping well, its a B deficiency.
Nausea in pregnancy is often a long term B deficiency, so look carefully at that long before TTC.
crucial, crucial, crucial is Essential Fatty Acids. Use as wide a variety as possible.
In pregnancy if you want vitamin A take only betacarotene, because if you use cod liver oil, it can cause toxicity if you take too much. With betacarotene, your body only converts what you need. The only exception to that is viral infections where you have photosensitivity, then I would be using CLO.
So a pyramid for me would basically stem from what soil deficiencies you have, how much you grow your own ( I do and use three different kinds of rock dust, and huge quantities of compost, dolomite and ash).
Look to your minerals first. Remember you can't absorb minerals if your gut isn't right, so I'd be using home made yoghurt, Kefir, Yakult (becasue that acidophilus is the least destroyed by stomach acid) and even kefir-based cheese.
You can also aculture fruit juices to kefir...
I wouldn't use kombucha though.
Other probiotics would be tradition saur-kraut, or whatever you prefer.
Okay, they will warn you about listeria foods, but if your immune system is healthy I say pox on that advice. For me, I don't eat any fish that is a scavenger type fish. It must have scales, and not be a bottom feeder. For me, that cuts out molluscs, clams, scallops, and crays. It would also cut out roughy or any other deep fish, as these fish have the highest concentration of heavy metals.
That said I'm not a big fish fan. My father was a marine biologist, so as a child my stomach saw more fish etc, than most people would in a lifetime... enough to put anyone off. But as a principle, look at the toxic metal loadings of fish types before thinking about eating fish.
Depending on where you are, try to get wild meat if its from a safe unpolluted area. That will have the best mineral balance, though one of the sites I used to put up about selenium deficiency was an article that has since disappeared off the web, but copied off my hard drive said this:
Nation & World : Sunday, September 09, 2001
Fighting a battle for little bighorns
By Gary Polakovic
Los Angeles Times
WIND RIVER MOUNTAINS, Wyo. - The baby bighorn sheep stumbled and collapsed on the stony hillside, too sick and wobbly to keep up with its mother.
Jon Mionczynski, a wildlife researcher who followed the pair, had seen this before. For some reason, lambs born into the largest herd of bighorn sheep in the Rockies were not surviving.
It would be hard to find a wilder, safer sanctuary, or so it seemed. But as scientists teamed up with Mionczynski to unravel the mystery, they learned that there is no such thing as pristine wilderness and no refuge from the Industrial Age.
Mionczynski nicknamed the struggling lamb "Rambo" because of its tenacity and pluck. Each time it fell, it struggled to its feet, even after blinding an eye in a tumble.
One evening, he was close to capturing Rambo for testing, but the lamb and its mother started down the mountain and, out of reach, hunkered down in a fortress of boulders near a crag called Lion Pass.
"I returned at daybreak and saw the ewe still guarding the site," Mionczynski recalled. "She made a low-pitched, throaty bleat ... brrrr ... brrrr. It was like a sheep crying, and it just went right through me."
When he got to the boulders, he saw fresh mountain-lion droppings. "The ewe had a torn ear, blood running down her face and claw marks on the side of her head," he said. "The lamb was gone. That was the end of Rambo."
In a way, the natural order had prevailed: the strong picked off the weak. But something was unnatural, too: what was making lambs so sick within weeks of their birth? Why were ewes leading weak lambs on arduous treks through cougar country to reach mineral licks at the base of the mountain?
The herd, which used to number about 1,250, plummeted by 30 percent in two years during the early 1990s and never recovered. Since then only about two out of every 10 lambs have survived.
In 1998, the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish told Mionczynski to set up a one-man camp at nearly 12,000 feet, track the herd's every move, study every foot of their mountaintop refuge, examine plants they eat and send back blood and tissue samples of dead and dying animals.
The job called for a meticulous observer and a skilled outdoorsman, someone who did not fear grizzly bears or living in a tent in snowstorms and driving winds. For Mionczynski, it was the dream assignment.
"I have the best job in the world," Mionczynski said. "I'm just a peon in this research, but I like to think I am helping these animals."
Now, four years into the project, scientists believe they are close to solving the mystery. What they have discovered suggests that profound environmental changes are beginning to ripple through the food chain and into the bodies of lambs. They are learning that even reclusive bighorn sheep, masters of evasion, can't escape pollution that falls from the sky.
As a result, Mionczynski and others fear, these icons of wild America may be unable to survive in the wild without continual human intervention.
A summer thunderstorm peels off the Winds, a fitting name for the mountain range west of Dubois, briefly spilling rain and hail over town. Tourists pull off of U.S. 287 into the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, the newest and most ornate facility in this two-lane town. It's located past the Ramshorn Inn Tavern, not far from the high school where the Rams play, a couple blocks from the Ramshorn Food Farm on Ramshorn Street.
"This town loves these sheep and we're proud of them," said museum Director June Sampson. "In the winter, people can see them with spotting scopes from their living rooms. Hundreds of people come from all over to see the sheep."
Rocky Mountain bighorns have thrived in these mountains southeast of Grand Teton National Park for centuries. They are stocky and barrel-chested with petite feet that stick to rocks like suction cups. In the fall, rams charge one another and smash heads at speeds of 20 mph in battles that sometimes last all day and all night. Shoshone and Gros Ventre Indian tribes made powerful bows from the horns, which are still prized by hunters as trophies.
The herd inhabits the northern Winds in scattered bands. When they all converge on the sagebrush hills at the edge of town during winter, they constitute the largest group of wild sheep in North America. They once were so abundant that they were transplanted to establish new populations from South Dakota to New Mexico to Idaho.
Yet there are fewer and fewer sheep for tourists to enjoy. Barely 800 animals remain in the herd, which is still in decline.
No sooner had Mionczynski set up camp on Middle Mountain in June 1998 than he saw many lambs as feeble as Rambo. Born healthy, they grew sick shortly after ewes made their annual spring migration to Middle Mountain to forage. If pneumonia didn't kill them, predators did.
"Some were crawling on their knees. They were so sick they couldn't even get up to nurse. Their muscles just seemed so stiff and they had trouble breathing. They stuck their noses in the air, mouths open, gasping for air," Mionczynski said.
Ranchers in the lowlands reported that the ewes ate dirt at washed-out mineral licks. It helped explain why ewes were leading their sick lambs down the steep mountain to sagebrush flats that they normally visited only in winter. Something essential was missing from their diet. The route traversed some of the roughest country in the Winds, including a series of cougar ambush spots in Lion Pass.
Eventually, Mionczynski observed that lambs who nursed from the ewes that made the journey to lowland mineral licks did much better.
The challenge was to find the missing ingredient in the mountain forage.
Working in a makeshift lab fitted into a cave in the boulders, Mionczynski began testing plants the sheep eat. He discovered that the nutrient selenium had dipped to alarmingly low levels.
Selenium is a peculiar, sulfur-like element essential for many mammals. It is a naturally occurring nutrient with a twist. Just a little is needed to ensure bones, muscles and immune systems develop properly, but just a little more can be toxic.
Tests on Middle Mountain showed 5 parts per billion of selenium in forage favored by bighorns - 75 percent lower than the minimum requirement for a healthy immune system, according to veterinarians.
But how could selenium be in short supply? Soils across much of the West are awash in it. In nearby Dubois and other parts of Wyoming, range cattle are sometimes poisoned from ingesting too much of it.
The selenium content in plants fluctuates with weather, rising in dry years and falling in wet. The fluctuations correspond neatly with a 30-year lamb survival trend, with fewer surviving in wet years, scientists say.
At the same time, the chemical content of rainfall was changing. So was the composition of the soil that absorbed it.
For at least a decade, according to scientists, storms have been carrying larger and larger amounts of chemical contaminants and dumping them across the Rockies. Among the chemicals are nitrates and ammonium, which can saturate the environment with nutrients or create acidic conditions similar to those that plague forests in the Northeast and Canada. The phenomenon is known as acid rain.
At the bighorn camp on Middle Mountain, scientists tracking storms and wind currents have traced the sources of pollutants that blow in from hundreds of miles away.
On the one hand, the pollutants fertilize plants and microorganisms. On the other hand, they can saturate soil and water with nutrients, causing toxic algae blooms, harmful acids and changes in soil chemistry.
"We're pushing the first dominoes in the food chain, and there's good evidence it's increasing and probably in response to nitrogen deposition," said Mark Williams, a hydrogeochemist and fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "We've reached a threshold and we're at that slippery slope where we are headed toward dead fish and dead trees."
Near Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park, scientists have begun an experiment to see if pollutants are short-circuiting the selenium cycle and contributing to declines in the bighorn herd at St. Vrain Canyon, said Rob Roy Ramey, chairman of zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
"Urbanization and sheep deaths seem to go hand in hand. We know there's a lot of acidification of the front range of the Rockies, and this offers a perfectly reasonable and clear mechanism. It's a hypothesis, but it's very plausible," Ramey said.
So that might be a tall order.
1) Gut flora to absorb
2) minerals, and
3) help the body to utilise and manufacture the maximum amount of B's available.
4) Folic acid is obligatory. Minimum 800mcgs a day.
5) EFAs variety is the key.
6) Buckwheat brings down high blood pressure, and puts up low blood pressure. I couldn't have survived without it. But even if you haven't lbp, it's high in rutic acid, which is a blood cleanser.
7) Listen to your body's messages, and if licorice is what it wants eat it, preferable organic, natural. If seville orange marmalade sprinkled with coconut on sourdough bread is what you want, eat it.
8) Bread. Eat only sourdough if possible. I've posted here before, that sourdough bread is the only bread whereby minerals are bio-available. Yeasted bread is only an option extra on odd ocasions for the feel in the mouth if that's a psychological need.
Anyway, sourdough tastes better IMO .
9)Butter, milk cheese, unpasteurised if poss.
Only rule. If you body screams for it, no matter what it is, eat it; if your body says "No way" don't bother.
If you are like me, your body may shut off certain foods. Like Cabbage and onions. Not only was the smell uncopeable, they would make me vomit.
When it comes down to it, sometimes the only way to get what you need is a liquid mineral supplement.
I take all my supplements as powder in vegetarian capsules. Dolomite, I buy as powder and put it in capsules I buy myself. My husband just sprinkles it on his food uke: but my stomach can't tolerate that. all supplements I buy come in non-gelatine capsules.
Be careful with seaweed. Certain types are high in iodine, and the last thing you need is an iodine excess, as that will cause mineral catabolisation. If you eat any granulated seaweed, no more than a pinch a day or half a teaspoon a week.
If I've missed something, yell.
“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden
expensive scam tablets, unless they are chewable, and chewed well, but who needs the fillers anyway?
“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden
Can I just say that contemplating pregnancy was much easier when I was more ignorant
|I know there are places in the US where you can buy non-hormone organic antibiotic free milk.|
Also, there is a great "margarine" I've found at Wild Oats called Canoleo (I think). As I recall, it's made from canola, olive & safflower oils and does not have any hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in it.
An example of a "nutritional value" per serving of spinach (from a commercial bag, organic should be better):
160% vit a
40% vit c
510% vit k
40% folic acid
*adding the iron 15%,
but here is a spinach link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinach
Poor spinach. The darn vegetable keeps losing iron each century. In one because of a clerical error, in the next bad farming practices.
|The myth about spinach and its high iron content may have first been propagated by Dr. E. von Wolf in 1870, because a misplaced decimal point in his publication led to a iron-content figure that was ten times too high. In 1937, German chemists reinvestigated this "miracle vegetable" and corrected the mistake. It was described by T.J. Hamblin in British Medical Journal, December 1981.|
Liver and gallbladder flush once a month for nine months and a parasite cleanse - duration of 3 months. I'm also working to strengthen my kidneys. Pregnancy is hard on the kidneys and puts them in a weakened state. All this in addition to a good organic mostly raw diet. Nutrition is always important. Eat homemade fermented foods, much raw and all organic. Make sure DH/DP gets into the swing of things too. You don't need bad sperm! If you want to make sure you're as clear as can be from toxic metals/minerals, eat cilantro, cod liver oil and the 3 minute soft boiled egg. The egg is perfect for pulling the metals out of the body and will not drop them as will chemicalized chelators. Elimate stress as much as you can. Stress kills. Heal through the loss of your baby. EFT is a great modality for eliminating the negative emotions and blockages from that kind of loss.
I utilize my natural healer as my mentor for how to prepare and for accountability in staying the course.
I do many other things in normal everyday life that I will not expand upon, too boring.
What kind of detoxs can you do if you are still breastfeeding?
Where do you go to get a mineral test done?
Sorry...... great thread
Mama to 10 so far:Mother of Joey (23), Dominick (15), Abigail (13), Angelo (10), Mylee (8), Delainey (6), Colton (4), ID girls Dahniella and Nicolette (2 in July), and Baby 10 coming sometime in July 2015. If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
Fat is good for your brain and immune system and that of your baby. The healthiness of a lowfat diet is a dangerous myth.
And the best fat of all: The X Factor in grass fed milk, cheese, cream and butter. Egg yolks from pastured hens. Shellfish, organ meats, and fish eggs.
Canola oil is not healthy:
Vitamin A is also especially important. I disagree with MT's beta carotene suggestions. I thought Vitamin A toxicity was only tested with retinol the synthetic version? Native diets had many many times over the RDA of Vitamin A with excellent disease and cavity prevention.
Many people are also low in vitamin D crucial for calcium absorption and many other things:
Oh dear, why not Kombucha???
I just got a scoby in the mail today!!!!
RE: Grains, Sourdough and bioavailibity of minerals.
Whole grains are very hard to digest and impair mineral absorption if not soaked. Sourdough is indeed the best bread because the phytic acids are removed through a very long rising. In the USA, French Meadow makes a great European Rye Sourdough which is in the frozen bread section of many hf stores.
Soaking all grains beforehand will do the same thing for any grain:
And on a related note:
I've also been reading about supplementing ascorbic acid/sodium ascorbate only will cause a deficiency in bioflavanoids. Acerola powder is recommended at a lower amount than aa/sa b/c it's more bioavailable. MT, what do you think?
In a nutshell, why the current lowfat, tons of whole grains, nutritional propaganda is wrong:
Great article on minerals too:
Make some bone broths for minerals:
Nourishing Traditions diet recs for pg/bf'ing
Reading this page, and his book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" changed my life:
(apologies to those who know me, I really must post it every month )
I've heard warnings against cilantro as a chelator. Do not use a lot of it for medicinal purposes if you have amalgam fillings b/c it may chelate more mercury out of them instead of your body.
Also since cilantro is reported to chelate, but we don't know exactly how it does so or the therapeutic dosage, the risk is mobilizing a large amount of mercury or other heavy metals at once. This overwhelms the body's detox pathways and ends up putting the freed but not excreted metals right back into the organs with more going into the brain than before.
With a chelator, this potential of overwhelming the detox pathways can occur if the dosage is too high and only large doses are given far apart (once a day, or by iv or challenge test). A constant small dose of chelator in the body every few hours avoids this (prevents peaks and valleys of chelator in bloodstream).
Originally Posted by AngelBee
What kind of detoxs can you do if you are still breastfeeding?
Coconut oil is excellent for immune system and increases the beneficial fatty acids in your milk. I like Tropical Traditions or Wilderness Family Naturals both extra virgin.
You really don't want your body to mobilize anything.
I have heard that it is much better absorbed than flax not sure if that is the article talks about it, but that article is an excellent one, do read it, it will have you running to the store tomorrow
I've heard a warning about fish oils but not sure exactly why.
|Under optimal conditions, humans can indeed convert carotenes to vitamin A. This occurs in the upper intestinal tract by the action of bile salts and fat-splitting enzymes. Of the entire family of carotenes, beta-carotene is most easily converted to vitamin A. Early studies indicated an equivalency of 4:1 of beta-carotene to retinol. In other words, four units of beta-carotene were needed to produce one unit of vitamin A. This ratio was later revised to 6:1 and recent research suggests an even higher ratio.5 This means that you have to eat an awful lot of vegetables and fruits to obtain even the daily minimal requirements of vitamin A, assuming optimal conversion...
Even worse than vitamin-A vagary is vitamin-A knavery in the form of concerns that vitamin A may be toxic in more than the minuscule RDA-recommended amounts. In fact, so great is the propaganda against the vitamin that obstetricians and pediatricians are now warning patients to avoid foods containing vitamin A!
Recently an "expert" panel recommended lowering the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin A from 5000 IU daily to about 2500 IU and has set an upper limit of about 10,000 IUs for women. The panel was headed by Dr. Robert Russell of Tufts University, who warned that intake over the "upper limit" may cause irreversible liver damage and birth defects—a ridiculous statement in view of the fact that just a few decades ago pregnant women were routinely advised to take cod liver oil daily and eat liver several times per week. One tablespoon of cod liver oil contains at least 15,000 IU and one serving of liver can contain up to 40,000 IU vitamin A. Russell epitomizes the establishment view when he insists that vitamin-A requirements can be met with one-half cup of carrots daily.
The anti-vitamin-A campaign began in 1995 with the publication of a Boston University School of Medicine study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.15 "Teratogenicity of High Vitamin A Intake," by Kenneth J. Rothman and his colleagues, correlates vitamin-A consumption among more than 22,000 pregnant women with birth defects occurring in subsequent offspring. The study received extensive press coverage in the same publications that had earlier extolled the benefits of vitamin A. "Study Links Excess Vitamin A and Birth Defects" by Jane Brody appeared on the front page of the New York Times on October 7, 1995; on November 24, 1995, the Washington Times reported: "High doses of vitamin A linked to babies' brain defects."
When a single study receives front-page coverage, it's important to take a closer look, especially as earlier research discovered the importance of vitamin A in preventing birth defects. In fact, the defects listed as increasing with increased vitamin A dosage—cleft lip, cleft palate, hydrocephalus and major heart malformations—are also defects of vitamin A deficiency.
In the study, researchers asked over 22,000 women to respond to questionnaires about their eating habits and supplement intake before and during pregnancy. Their responses were used to determine vitamin-A status. As reported in the newspapers, researchers found that cranial-neural-crest defects increased with increased dosages of vitamin A; what the papers did not report was the fact that neural tube defects decreased with increased vitamin A consumption, and that no trend was apparent with musculoskeletal, urogenital or other defects. The trend was much less pronounced, and less statistically significant, when cranial-neural-crest defects were correlated with vitamin-A consumption from food alone.
The study is compromised by a number of flaws. Vitamin-A status was assessed by the inaccurate method of recall and questionnaires; and no blood tests were taken to determine the actual usable vitamin-A status of the mothers. Researchers did not weight birth defects according to severity; thus we do not know whether the defects of babies born to mothers taking high doses of vitamin A were serious or minor compared to those of mothers taking lower amounts.
The most serious flaw was that researchers failed to distinguish between manufactured vitamin A in the form of retinol, found in supplements and added to fabricated foods, from natural vitamin-A complex, present with numerous co-factors, from vitamin-A-containing foods. It is well known that synthetic vitamins are less biologically active, hence less effective, than naturally occurring vitamins. This is especially true of the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, because these tend to be more complex molecules, with numerous double bonds and a multiplicity of forms. Natural vitamin A occurs as a mixture of various isomers, aldehydes, esters, acids and alcohols. Pure retinoic acid, a metabolite of vitamin A used to treat adult acne, is well known to cause birth defects. Apparently pure retinol has teratogenic properties in high amounts as well.
Researchers found that cranial-neural-crest defects increased in proportion to the amount of retinol from supplements consumed during the first trimester of pregnancy (although the total number of defects remained stable up to 15,000 IU daily). Research into vitamin A has indicated that many factors interfere with its absorption and utilization. Inadequate fat in the diet, poor production of bile salts, low enzyme status, and compromised liver function can all interfere with the uptake and usage of vitamin A, especially when given as a supplement in the form of retinol, rather than as a component of whole foods. It may be that the teratogenic effects of commercial vitamin-A preparations are exacerbated in women whose dietary practices and general health status are poor. Some researchers believe that synthetic vitamin A interferes with the proper utilization of natural vitamin A from foods.
Pure retinol is added to many fabricated foods like margarine, breakfast cereals and pizza. The study made no distinction between those women whose vitamin A was supplied by whole animal foods and those who ingested retinol added to margarine, white flour and extruded breakfast cereals—foods which contain many other factors that can cause birth defects. Natural vitamin A provided by liver, eggs, butter, cream and cod liver oil is well recognized as providing excellent protection against birth defects.
Distinctions between synthetic and natural vitamin A have been absent in the extensive media coverage of this study—on the contrary, the newspaper reports contain implied warnings against pregnant women eating liver, dairy products, meat and eggs, but none against eating fabricated foods like margarine and breakfast cereals to which synthetic vitamin A is added. And there has been no media coverage for subsequent studies, which found that high levels of vitamin A did not increase the risk of birth defects. A study carried out in Rome, Italy found no congenital malformations among 120 infants exposed to more than 50,000 IU of vitamin A per day.16 A study from Switzerland looked at blood levels of vitamin A in pregnant women and found that a dose of 30,000 IU per day resulted in blood levels that had no association with birth defects.17
Maybe MT will chime in about this as well.
This information describes how there is NO RISK for natural vitamin A supplementation at all, and that the studies showing problems were done on synthetic vitamin A which is an entirely different animal.
I think the myth that natural vitamin A is toxic has done huge damage to the health of mothers and children. For example studies were done on rats showing lack of vitamin A causes extremely long labors and inability to push their babies out.
As someone who had a 40 hr. labor (and thankfully pushed all 9lbs 13oz of this baby out) and was told NOT to take cod liver oil during pg by my OB b/c of supposed toxicity, I'm pretty p.o.'d about that.
Again, native diets contained something like 30-40 times more vitamin A than the standard diet in the 1930's when Weston Price did his work (so probably even greater disparity now) and were much healthier for it.
my neighbor who is due in 2 weeks has this problem too. She is taking pills and if that is the case I'd recommend Carlson's pills for extra A. And also D in winter. It is the natural oil and not synthetic versions.
When do you take the oil? Try different times, at the beginning, middle or right at the end of a meal. In juice or a smoothie can't taste it at all.
And anyone starting CLO should go slow, like 1/4 tsp. at first to get used to it and work up to the dosage you want.
The peach flavored Nordic Naturals really doesn't have that much A or D at all. We do Carlson's or the Blue Ice high vitamin.
Originally Posted by AngelaB
I had 40 hours of labor and pushed out a 10 pound 2 oz babe over 2 hours!!! I didnt take cod liver oil because of the supposed toxcicity as well. I read that article you posted and i think I will give it a try! I give it to ds and it seems to be helping.
wanting to ttc, also wanting to do the best possible-- I'm transitioning us to WAP/NT also, and adding in CLO etc. Having a terrible time finding a way to exercise with a toddler though besides chasing her through the house keeping her from killing herself, I mean.
My maternal family is from Scandinavia so fish and fish products are like drinking water. I personally loathe fish, in any form, but can stomach capsules of CLO, and I usually take it between October and April. It keeps me cough/cold free.
I don't take it during pregnancy because it's the first thing to make me upchuck, but I know my great grandmother, grandmother and mother drank their tablesppons at breakfast every day, pregnant or not.
I've also noticed that many EFA capsules contain some amount of Cod Liver Oil (Solaray, Solgar, Country Life, etc).
How would you know if you had too much CLO in you? Or not enough? Is there any way to tell?
Or is this another flax oil issue, and some people say it's okay to take, and others say stay away?
WOW! What an incredible amount of info! I think it's going to take a while to digest it all (so to speak ).
So, now I'm all interested in more info re: CLO during pregnancy.
I'm also interested in spirulina and where and if it fits into any of this. Since my acupuncturist recommended it and my cycles have lengthened by 4 days (they were 24 days - now 28-29 days), I'm hesitant to stop taking it.
I do get nonhomogenized, organic milk and eggs from a very good dairy. I'm going to be contacting them to see about the minerals they give their cows - they're a local dairy. And the meat and poultry I purchase are all organic as well. I'm sure I can contact the farms and find out from them as well. And in my city, we have an organization called SLUG (San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners) who might have the information about soil quality around here. What I'm not sure about is what to do then.
MT, you talk about customizing your minerals to the specifics of the soil depletion in your area. How would I go about doing the same thing? Where would I get the minerals? I feel so out of my league here and that I'm just dipping my toe in the proverbial pond.
Again, you women have surpassed even my high expectations - so much information and generosity!!!
Thanks so much - and I'm sure I'll be back for more info! Hopefully one day, I'll be able to contribute as well.
Regarding fish/flax oils, I have a book that discusses the best sources for the omega oils, but I just loaned it to my doula last night. All I can tell you is that the Nordic Naturals Omega 3-6-9 has the right amounts and the right sources the book recommended for pg. It's the book I mentioned in my first post.