NCI Well Connect Mid-Week Brief
June 7, 2017
Dear Steve, 

DID YOU KNOW that children who eat dinner together with their family five or more times a week are less likely to suffer from mental disorders, as well as obesity? In addition, teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week) are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

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Have a happy, healthy day. Steve and Bonnie
 
Take Environmental Exposure Seriously
Bonnie and Steve: As each year passes, the effect the environment has on our children is more apparent. Of course, there are certain aspects of exposure that are out of our hands, such as the pollen and air we breathe. But there are many more aspects of the environment that we can control.

As you would expect, it starts with preconception. The health of the mother and father prior to conception is essential. Then, the onus is on the mother to keep herself as healthy as possible, be cognizant of what she puts in her body, and what she exposes herself to during pregnancy.

For example, according to a study in last week's issue of Nature Communication, differences in the uptake of multiple toxic and essential elements during the second and third trimesters and early postnatal periods have been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Researchers analyzing twins for autism showed that for siblings who developed ASD, uptake of the neurotoxin lead was higher and uptake of the essential nutrients manganese and zinc was lower.

We cannot avoid airborne heavy metal exposure unless we are aware of the exposure and move away from it. However, the study identifies that modifying environmental factor exposure for heavy metals by mouth (food and water), skin (cosmetics), and/or injection, is possible. As an insurance policy, assuring proper nutrient levels, such as zinc and manganese, can be accomplished via supplementation, especially with a quality prenatal multi.

It is also has become painfully apparent that environmental exposures affect boys and girls differently.

Boys
Environmental exposure to commonly used pesticides, pyrethroids, at levels that are present in humans, is likely speeding up puberty in boys. Pyrethroids account for about 30% of global insecticide usage.

In a study presented at last month's The Endocrine Society's Annual Meeting, boys aged 9 to 16 who had a 10% increase in pyrethroids, were 100% to 200% more likely to be in an advanced stage of puberty.

Residues of pyrethroids are often found in conventional vegetables, milk, and baby food, so about 60% of humans are exposed to this pesticide.

There is an easy solution that to curb the exposure to pyrethroids: eat organic!

Girls
Early childhood exposures to phthalates were associated with depressed thyroid function in girls at age 3, according to last week's Environment International

Phthalates, a class of chemicals thought to disrupt the endocrine system, are widely used in consumer products from plastic toys to household building materials to shampoos.

In girls, lower levels of the active thyroid hormone free thyroxin (T4) were associated with metabolites of four types of phthalates.

The thyroid acts as the master controller of brain development, so even small exposures can make a big difference.

The researchers note that thyroid disturbances are more prevalent in women than men. They found prenatal exposure to a metabolite of phthalate was associated with elevated levels of T4, which can affect the fetus.

For women especially, be aware of the cosmetics you use, which often contain phthalates. In addition, as we have said numerous times before, avoid using plastics whenever possible.

Final Thought
We can help ourselves preventively by knowing how our genetics interact with our environment. Screening for genetic mutations in our methylation cycle, especially, can assist in repelling the endemic pollutants we are exposed to.
 
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Have a happy, healthy day,
stateofthebonnie
 

Bonnie, Steve, Carolyn, Lilo, Elizabeth, Sharron, and Jeannie
(847) 498 3422 
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