Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Grobaby Experience

As soon as I read about the dangers of bleached and SAP-filled disposable diapers, I knew I had to try out cloth diapering. A generous friend gifted me a brand new Fuzzi Bunz AIO, which DD loves, but FB was a bit on the expensive side. 



Actually, it seemed to me at the time (being new and overwhelmed) that all cloth diapers were expensive. I'm an avid couponer and would typically manage to get Huggies and 7th Generation diapers for 4 cents a piece. So looking at the "discount cloth diaper packages" running into $300-$500 was a shock for me.

That's when I bumped into the Grobaby clearance. The Grobaby collection was being discontinued to be replaced by a new, improved collection called Grovia. So I was able to snag some diapers for close to 50% off the original price! Then a tempting set showed up one day on http://www.babysteals.com/: A set of grobaby covers and their disposable biosoaker pads! DH tried them out, was tickled by how easy they are and we haven't looked back since then. Babysteals continued to provide more sales and I was able to snag a set of 3 covers plus cloth soakers for $48!!!

Yes, keep in mind that I've tried a grand total of TWO different cloth diapers. :) I won't pretend to be experienced or wise in this method. But I know that everyone in my household loves grobaby. Why?

1) They are very trim. My daughter is tall and skinny so having a fit, trim diaper makes a great fashion statement, along with being comfortable. There is NO bulk!

2) It's a flexible system. I can use a biosoaker pad, which contains minimal SAP and is bleach-free, when we have to be out of the house all day. Or for example in the beginning, DH used them to become comfortable with the idea of cloth diapering. Then there's the organic cloth soaker pad, which is thick and soft and stays put. DD has not leaked at all! Finally, if you have a heavy wetter or need cloth diapers for night time, you can add an additional cotton booster. DD's favorite part? Using the cover only for swimming!

3) The organic cloth soaker pads snap in! My daughter is mostly using the potty chair (we used Elimination Communication in the infant stage) so being able to remove the diaper frequently without losing everything is great. It also keeps the soaker positioned correctly...no bunching or sticking out.

4) It's just efficient! Being able to remove the soiled soaker pad while still using the adorable cover really appeals to me. It's less laundry!

I can't wait until the Grovia line debuts. I want to get the little flushable liners as I think that will make things easier (it protects the soaker pad from baby poo and you simply flush the liner). Needless to say, both my babies will be in grobaby/grovia and I recommend you give them a try!

(Here's the beginning of my stash!)


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Have You Lost Your Sense of Sin?


Today at church our priest provided some deep thoughts to chew on and I’d like to put them here before the poignancy of them fades away. At the same time, I feel that he touched on such big concepts that I can’t possibly do them justice by typing out a blog post while DD is napping on my lap.  Anyways, I just wanted to share this with you. It’s Catholic/Biblical-based which is relevant to me and I understand if that is a miss to some in my audience, but the overall thoughts are still worth pondering.

If you are an activist, you have probably experienced a situation where a critic pegged you as being too picky or perhaps even obsessed. If we post about something too frequently or post about too many issues, critics accuse us of being mentally unstable, as if learning too much about the bad things in life will push us into depression and negativity. Have you ever tried to share startling information about the chemicals in baby products and instead of finding someone interested, you find yourself pushed away and accused of “caring too much" or fussing about the small things in life? Have you ever shared a video about extended rear facing and been told you were overprotective? Have you ever had your passion and shock misinterpreted as a personality defect such as being judgmental or angry?

Something I’ve noticed is that as I continue my journey of learning about my body and my environment, my awareness of human rights violations and dangers in our environment increases. I have, in actuality, become sensitive to a wide variety of dangers that hurt the body, mind and soul.

We might randomly begin this journey by learning about a grave issue such as forced genital reduction on infants or letting infants cry until they vomit. For most of us, our consciences are formed enough to respond instantly and clearly with shock and anger. But does this shock continue? Do we make an effort to look around in our lives and our world to find the subtle infringements, the minor offenses, and the smaller dangers? And do we embrace this examination, or do we fall for the claim that eliminating these smaller problems from our life is simply over doing it?

We might have started out by avoiding processed meat from abused, sickened animals. And then we find ourselves avoiding packaged and canned foods. Soon we are only buying organic produce and making our own meals completely from scratch. We even buy a filter to remove heavy metals and fluoride from our water. Lots of people would claim this is taking it too far and becoming obsessed, as if we are somehow defective for taking these actions.

We might have started out by wanting to avoid the shocking toxins and heavy metals in vaccinations. And then we find ourselves avoiding drugs during labor. Soon we reconsider the benefit of the vitamin K shot and its preservatives. We begin to inspect the baby shampoos, soaps and lotions only to find similar chemicals. We start buying clothing and toys that are free of plastic, lead and other toxins. Are we taking it too far? We begin to doubt ourselves.

Perhaps even worse are those instances where you share information about a very startling issue, not a small one, but are met with justification and dismissal. You might share a video of infant amputation or a mother’s blog chronicling her birth rape only to have people respond that it isn’t very bad, or even inherently wrong. Their consciences are so unformed or mal-formed that they cannot see the horror put in front of them. They have no sense of the depth of these issues. It’s merely a choice, a preference or opinion and nothing more. As the popular activist saying goes: “The more you know, the worse it is!” That statement is referring to the development of our conscience.

Today I was blessed with the chance to hear an enlightening homily given by our pro-intact priest. He centered his points on a passage in the gospel of Luke, which you can read here: http://www.dailygospel.org/main.php?language=AM
and also a Catholic teaching on justification of sin, which you can read about here: http://members.cox.net/apostles12/10.htm.

In this gospel reading, Jesus points out that our level of awareness of sin prompts us to recognize how much forgiveness and change we need in our lives. The woman in the story is so acutely aware of the gravity of her sins that she throws herself upon Jesus and performs penalizing and lowly acts, such as wiping His feet with her hair. Meanwhile, the man who invited Jesus to dine with him feels so righteous and comfortable in his own life that he treats Jesus as an equal and does not even provide a customary kiss or water for His feet.

Pope Pius XII spoke of this moral loss. He said, "The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin."

In every age and society, violence and dangers have existed. Yet particularly in our age and our society, we not only redefine these violent acts but also attempt justify them as necessary or righteous. For example, not only is forced genital reduction embraced by our society, but we go to great lengths to claim that it is good, necessary and a parental right. When faced with an image or fact of the procedure, the conscience is so poorly formed that the person feels no sense of horror or desire for change.

Rather, the information is deliberately ignored or further justified. This behavior applies to a LOT of issues that I won’t go into for the sake of brevity, but I encourage you to dwell on the many other issues in our culture where euphemisms cover up or redefine the behavior and justifications seek to encourage and even glorify it.

Today my priest encouraged his parish to take time each day for an examination of conscience. He said, “If we cannot detect sin in ourselves daily, we can never know how far we have to go for sanctity.” We are all called to be saints. If we never accept that we are not yet saints, how can we move forward? If we never look at our environment, and ourselves how can we improve? If we only express a superficial level of shock at the really big, bad “sins” what good have we done for our own lives and the lives of those around us?

He pointed out that through a daily examination of conscience, it became clear to him that he could barely live an hour before sinning. (He immediately clarified that he wasn’t scrupulous. It seems the naysayers got to him, too!) Yet some people will come into his confessional and say, “Father, my last confession was 10 years ago. But I haven’t done anything really bad. I’m a pretty good person.”

And sadly, most people are happy with that. They are happy with “pretty good.” How many times have you heard, “Well, rearfacing might be best but we’d have to buy a different carseat and this one is pretty good.” “Well, I know cosmetics have lead and chemicals in them but I eat well and exercise. It’s not that bad.” “Well, we’re all going to die so might as well not fret over the little things.”

This is missing out on a really important and life-transforming opportunity to become the fullness of who we are in the image and likeness of God. Jesus is divine AND human. His BODY mattered. In fact, by our God becoming man, He elevated the value of the body. Our physical lives should mirror our spiritual lives. And clearly for many people it does, in the worst way. We are all called to be saints. You’ve heard that before. But don’t forget: we are all called to be RISEN saints. Saints with bodies. Glorified, sacred bodies.

So I’m asking those who are also Christian/Catholic to join with me in making a daily effort to become more aware, both in the spiritual world and the physical world. Let’s take time everyday to examine our conscience about sin and toxins. Let’s do this not because we are negative, depressed or obsessed, but because we recognize how valuable and sacred we are and that if we recognize something as bad, we can take the steps to remove it from our life.

Let’s remain ever searching, ever with an open heart and mind. Let’s never forget how much we need mercy. Let’s commit to a daily examination of conscience. And let’s ignore those naysayers who don’t want to be jolted out of their comfort level or reminded of how far we have to go on our journey.

"The idea of cultural relativism is nothing but an excuse to violate human rights." ~Shirin Ebadi


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blessed are the Peacemakers

"Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful."
~ C.S. Lewis




Someone told me today that our culture doesn't accept "lashing out." I find this interesting. It seems that our ability to use our hearts and minds to express righteous anger and shock at something horrible has been condemned, at least for specific topics. So people can speak candidly about universal issues such as rape of women (and only women, and usually only white women). People can say we should hang a rapist by his balls and they'll be applauded. But stray off the path of complete relativism and acceptance for anything relating to infant violence and suddenly you are accused of being judgmental and perhaps a bit crazy.

If you've ever shared information on a variety of infant-violence topics, you probably recognize how difficult it is to freely and truthfully have a discussion before a so-called peacemaker steps in to shut things down. Typically the statements are written in such a way as to imply you are hurting someone or discriminating against others. "You might be opposed to circumcision, but parents have a choice." "Just because you disagree with vaccination doesn't mean you can tell others it's dangerous." "Your words are hurtful and do nothing to help others."  Sound familiar?



Peace is an interesting concept. Most people seem to forget that peace and the suspension of judgment (mercy) cannot exist without a true acknowledgement of justice and wrongdoing. Mercy is not about denying the error, but rather about pointing it out and then choosing to withhold punishment. It seems to me that every infant-violence activist I know is merciful. Their goal is to spread awareness and share information. They don't advocate that parents be jailed, condemned, ridiculed or otherwise punished.

Peace is not blind tolerance. It's not relativism. Peace is the acknowledgement that all humans have dignity and a right to respect and a right to bodily integrity. To shutdown discourse and thus silently allow the perpetration of further indignity, disrespect and loss of integrity is not peace, even if the silence that results feels peaceful. Tolerating abuse is in actuality the exact opposite of peace. It is a subtle cooperation with injustice that in some ways is more horrible than outright violence.

When people tell you to just get along, to withhold judgment, to stop speaking out, to consider all opinions equal, they might claim they promote peace, love, mercy, and humility. But in fact what they are doing promotes none of these.

Charity cannot exist without truth. Lying to someone to be kind or so as not to stir the waters is the opposite of love. Lying out of love is lust.

Peace cannot exist without dignity. Peace that protects the abuser is apathy and serves only to perpetrate evil.

Mercy cannot exist without justice. Mercy that denies wrongdoing is not good tolerance but rather an alliance with the abuser. Mercy that ignores justice is mob rule.

Humility cannot exist without action. The act of being humble has little to do with how quietly you speak or how few talents you possess. Rather, it is about how you share your talents and skills with others. Humility that hides is cowardice.

Those out there who fight to protect the most innocent and helpless among us, make sure you are wearing the right form of armor. If you are accused of being hurtful, crazy, passionate, judgmental or who-knows-what, take a moment to evaluate your approach. We are all humans and sometimes things can get out of hand. But if you find that the accuser is hiding behind a misinterpretation of the above virtues, stand strong and continue to reach out to others.

Now you feel more depth behind the statement: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matthew 5:9)



"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." 
~Elie Wiesel


"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." 
~Martin Luther King, Jr

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." 
~Mother Theresa


"Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home." ~Mother Theresa
 

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's not a Movement, Group or Lifestyle. It's Normal.


One thing that really bothers me about the discussion in all these parenting topics is the language.

It's not natural, hippie. AP, uncut, unvaccinated, new science, a trend or a fad, etc. It's NORMAL. It's normal to birth without drugs. It's normal to nurse your child. It's normal to leave all body parts ON the body of a newborn. It's normal to leave the immune system intact. Normal normal normal.

I understand that sometimes I have to take on a label to share information with others, but I don't choose to live a certain way because I think it's ideally natural, or because a parenting guru wrote a book about it, or because people have done it for thousands of years, or because I'm taking advantage of our first world benefits of clean water and medicine and "going without." My choices are based on what is normal for the human body and mind and what respects the dignity of my body and the bodies of my children.

For example, I'm not jumping on a bandwagon of buying organics because it's hip to be green. I'm trying to make sure my child's body is normal as opposed to filled with synthetic vitamins, byproducts, chemicals and heavy metals.

If you really take a moment to look at these issues with a plain, neutral eye, you come to see the abnormality, heck, the absurdity of them. What other time or situation would ANYONE consider it normal to amputate a healthy, working body part on a newborn? What kind of standard is that, to cut every single boy?

What in the world compels people to inject genetically modified viruses and bacteria, along with animal DNA, aborted human DNA and heavy metals into developing infants and children. What part of ANY of that even makes sense to people? Explain the vaccine version of herd immunity to yourself. Say it out loud.

Why, outside of necessity, would someone choose to feed their infant dead, processed, broken down casein proteins from a cow mixed with synthetic vitamins, oils, fake sugars and other contaminants and sub-par ingredients?

Why, outside of necessity, would someone choose impairing drugs injected into their spine while birthing? Why would someone want their child unnecessarily exposed to these drugs and interventions right at birth?

What other mammal on earth bypasses her own species-specific milk to give her infant a powdered food substitute? Why would someone think that anonymous, caged, drugged cows provide good, basic food for human babies? That is what is implied when someone utters, "Breast is best." In other words: formula is standard.

This isn't about judging or being negative. Don't get your defenses up on this. Stop and think. I want people to take the sunglasses off and see these routine interventions for what they are: abnormal. Subnormal. Outside the realm of normal. They don't assist the body. They don't improve the body. They impair, they contaminate, they damage and they can kill.

In the rare exceptions when people need to take drastic actions, emergency medical services can save lives. For everyone else, these life-saving creations become harmful, routine interventions. Mothers deserve to know this. They deserve to re-align their worldview. They deserve to have their bodies and the bodies of their children respected (and this includes emergency situations).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Is Folic Acid the Only and the Best Choice?


What is Folic acid?
Folic acid is the synthetic form of Folate. Folate is the name for Vitamin B9, which is an essential vitamin for a variety of processes within the body. Folic acid and Folate are recognized primarily in the subject of pregnancy and neural tube defects because a deficiency can lead to neural tube defects in the developing embryo in the first 3 weeks of pregnancy.


Vitamin B9 has a hand in preventing a long list of diseases and syndromes including severe defects such as neural tube defects and Down syndrome. It also impacts homocysteine conversion, increasing the risk of blood clots, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, IBS, anxiety, fibromyalgia, depression, migraines and strokes. It also plays a part in some cases of infertility, miscarriage/stillbirth, pre-e/eclampsia and placental problems. This is only a small list of examples of the way b9 deficiency can wreck havoc on our bodies.

What is the history of Folic acid in our food?
The development and promotion of Folic acid has been accepted as a miraculous creation in our country. Most people generally associate widespread supplementation and marketing geared towards pregnant women as saving countless babies from defects. Women attempting to conceive or already pregnant are encouraged to take Folic acid in a daily prenatal pill, and some are even told to take an additional Folic acid pill on its own. Additionally, almost the entire nation is exposed to Folic acid daily because our government pushed supplementation of store-bought breads, pastas, baby formula, baby food, granola bars, cereals and more.

Perhaps the most concerning part about all the hype surrounding Folic acid is how little we know from a scientific standpoint. Folic acid has only been supplemented in our foods since 1998. Guess when the MTHFR defect was discovered? Yup, 1999. 

What is the catch?
Can you take a step away from this promotion and the accepted conclusion on Folic acid to consider some other aspects that aren’t miraculous or healthy? I’m not asking you to instantly agree with me or to altogether throw out the perceptions you’ve been given. Just consider. Consider the deeper implications. Consider the newer science. And think again about your options.

What is the problem with the synthetic version? On a genetic basis, only 49-56% of the population can actually process Folic acid effectively enough to use it. The body uses the natural version (Folate) in the form of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, also abbreviated to 5-MTHF on a cellular level. For Folic acid to enter into this process, the body has to convert it using enzymes in the methyl process.

For roughly half the population with MTHFR genetic variations, Folic acid is not “bio-available” enough for their bodies to use. So despite supplementation, they are still at risk and remain deficient. This helps to explain why the studies that show Folic acid supplementation “saves babies” from neural tube defects have roughly 50% success rates (studies below). For roughly half the population of the pregnant study participants, they were unable to use the synthetic vitamin and were thus still at risk for defects.

Concerns about supplementation during pregnancy have only been seriously looked at in very recent years. So although the media and pamphlets in your doctor’s office might have given you the perception that this is a great and safe practice, in reality, this is a huge experiment. I am not in ANY way dismissing the concerns of deficiency. In fact, I am encouraging everyone to pay MORE attention to it. If you don’t know what genetic variation you have, why take the risk with synthetic Folic acid?

See, FolATE and FolIC are very different from a chemistry point of view. Folate is oxidized with glutamate molecules, which are then removed during absorption. It is then freely able to bond to other molecules, which makes it biologically active, or “bio available.” Also, when you obtain Folate naturally, you are getting a broad spectrum of other vitamins and enzymes with complimentary molecules in the normal ratios needed to assimilate and utilize Folate. Remember also that enzymes only identify specific versions of molecules, so FolIC acid bypasses a big part of the enzymatic process and makes transcellular protein transporters useless. In short, Folic acid, the lab-made product, is inferior even if your body is able to use it.

What can be done for those of us who can't use Folic acid?
What if we as a country promoted a healthy diet with wholesome foods rich in real b9? Those who are at risk would receive levels of b9 in their diets. And what if we routinely screened with a simple blood test for MTHFR variations? Those who have more concerning genetic cases could then make an informed decision to use an active supplement that doesn't have to be converted. Active forms go by several names such as l-methylfolate and 5-mthf. They have already been "converted" so to speak so your body can use them immediately. 

Where can I find natural b9?
Easy to find, cheap and healthy!

Avocado
Romaine lettuce
Spinach 
Asparagus
Turnip Greens
Mustard Greens
Collard Greens
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Beets
Squash
Black beans
Pinto beans
Garbanzo beans
String beans
Lentils
Papaya
Liver

And this is just a sampling! It’s clear when reading this small list that we can all easily and inexpensively add natural b9 into our diet. For those who really can’t stand green veggies, simply mixing a handful of greens into a fruit smoothie with a bit of honey will do the trick. Imagine the health benefits of drinking fresh green smoothies daily versus taking synthetic prenatal pills daily! Do you see what I am getting at? We have options here.

Any special concerns?
If you are on certain medications, they can interfere with your body's ability to absorb and use b9 whether natural or synthetic. These medications can also deplete your supply. Typically any drugs for cancer, cholesterol, diabetes and epilepsy do this. Also, contraception, diuretics and antibiotics have a tendency to interfere. When you read the list, it makes you wonder about the real reason we as a nation actually have problems with Folate deficiency and tube defects in our babies! These are all very common drugs used by a lot of people!

What about supplements?
For those who are healthy and have normal folate levels, continue to eat a healthy, balanced diet. When trying to conceive, during pregnancy or while lactating, if you want an additional supplement, consider using a product that contains Folate and not Folic acid. If you've identified low folate levels or MTHFR/genetic defects, consider using a product that contains active (converted) forms of Folate to overcome gut issues and genetic defects.

Who sells these active forms?
Thorne Pharmaceuticals, Metagenics, Garden of Life Raw and New Chapter are several companies I know of that offer either natural Folate or active forms. None of these companies have solicited my opinion or paid me in any way. 

Why is this important to know when trying to conceive or pregnant?
Neural tube defects and other midline defects such as cleft palate, sacral dimples, heart defects and tongue ties tend to occur in the first 3-4 weeks after conception. This is early, sometimes before women even realize they are pregnant. So ensuring you have adequate levels of Folate before conception can reduce the risk of defects. Already pregnant? Rmember that Folate powers the methyl cycle, which in turn powers the body, working to create vital things such as glutathione and methionine from homocysteine. Even if you've missed the pre-conception time period, continue to get adequate levels of Folate through diet or necessary supplementation to support a healthy pregnancy!

Okay, so what do I buy?


Folic acid: synthetic b9. Studies show increased cancer risks for everyone. For half the population, can't be used. Added to most processed foods, formulas, vitamins and drinks.

Folinic acid: another altered form, but not as bad as Folic acid. Often given in conjunction with chemotherapy but also in some supplements. Still not ideal.

5-MTHF: also metafolin or l-methylfolate. Active form, so the body doesn't have to convert it. Helpful if experiencing gut problems, gut disease or genetic defects such as MTHFR.

Folate:
other name for vitamin B9. When you see this name it should mean that it is a food-source (natural source) and safe to take. BUT, keep an eye out for the asterisk and small print as some companies like to say folate then say "from folic acid" somewhere else on the packaging.

Here are some links for further study on this topic:

"The researchers concluded that the data indicates the prevalence of ASDs in those with MTHFR SNPs is 1.7 times greater than for those with normal versions of the MTHFR genes. Additionally it was a mutation in the C677T gene that appeared to impart the greatest risk."
http://www.ei-resource.org/news/autism-news/folic-acid-metabolism-linked-to-autism/

”In plain English, the body is attacking itself by targeting the folate receptors.”
http://drneubrander.com/blog/?p=64

Really interesting article tying vitamin D3, casein (dairy products) and folate receptors together:
http://www.mombu.com/medicine/medicine/t-folic-acid-receptor-autoantibodies-vitamin-d3-and-milk-consumption-in-autoimmune-disease-autoimmune-diet-cancer-estrogen-5916411-last.html


This is a thorough yet easy to read blog post on MTHFR and its connection to miscarriage. It also contains an easy to understand explanation about the genetic differences I mentioned above:

Folic Acid Supplements Linked To Asthma, Study Suggests:

Folic Acid: Mandatory Fortification May Be Unnecessary:

About HALF of the folate-related neural defects are explained by the most common genetic mutation at the MTHFR locus:

“Conclusions: Our results do not support the hypothesis that high folate intake reduces breast cancer risk; instead, they suggest that a high intake, generally attributable to supplemental folic acid, may increase the risk in postmenopausal women.”

“Furthermore, although food folate intake was not significantly related to breast cancer risk, total folate intake, mainly from folic acid supplementation, significantly increased breast cancer risk by 32%.”

"Folic acid supplementation was associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. By contrast, baseline dietary folate was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk."

“In fact, a 2009 meta-analysis of studies of folic acid supplementation showed that those receiving supplements for over three years had an increased risk of pre-cancerous bowel adenomas and bowel cancer.”

"Asthma was reported in 11.6% of children at 3.5 years (n = 57) and in 11.8% of children at 5.5 years (n = 50). Folic acid taken in supplement form in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma at 3.5 years (relative risk (RR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.43) and with persistent asthma (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.69)."

"Conclusion Treatment with folic acid plus vitamin B12 was associated with increased cancer outcomes and all-cause mortality in patients with ischemic heart disease in Norway, where there is no folic acid fortification of foods."

"In women randomised to high doses of supplemental folate, all cause mortality was about a fifth greater, and the risk of deaths attributable to breast cancer was twice as great."

"Conclusion: Our data provide new evidence that a folate fortification program could be associated with an additional risk of colon cancer."

"CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that it may be prudent for women to consume a diet rich in vegetables and adequate in protein prior to and during pregnancy as a possible means of reducing childhood ALL risk in their offspring."

"Increased intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with decreased leukemia risk and, relatedly, lack of maternal folate supplementation has been associated with increased childhood leukemia risk, possibly by causing DNA hypomethylation and increased DNA strand breaks. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphisms modify this risk."

"Thompson et al. (45) reported that offspring of women who during their pregnancies received supplements with folate (naturally found in several leafy vegetables) had lower risk of ALL. Additionally, Jensen et al. (46) have found that increased maternal intake immediately before the index pregnancy (and inferentially, during that pregnancy) of vegetables and fruits was associated with decreased risk of ALL. "

"However, recent human studies have suggested that FA supplementation and fortification may promote the progression of already existing, undiagnosed, preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions, thereby corroborating earlier observations from animal and in vitro studies."

A study of 81,922 women and men, specific to folate from food sources.
"CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that increased intake of folate from food sources, but not from supplements, may be associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer."

Antacids and birth control pills inhibit folate bio-availability:

L-methyl folate is the most biologically active and usable form of supplemental folate.

Conclusion: Maternal intake of synthetic folic acid leads to the appearance of unmetabolized folic acid in milk and, seemingly, a down-regulation of milk FBP synthesis. The impact of these changes on the bioavailability of folate in infants requires further exploration.
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/1/216.full

© Guggie Daly