Michael R. Lyon, MD
In our toxic world, children are the most susceptible victims. Some of the worst chemicals are consumed in a typical Canadian child's diet on a daily basis, including several grams of trans fatty acids - the toxic byproduct of vegetable oil hydrogenation.
In our toxic world, children are the most susceptible victims. Some of the worst chemicals are consumed in a typical Canadian child's diet on a daily basis, including several grams of trans fatty acids the toxic byproduct of vegetable oil hydrogenation.
Although trans fatty acids have been legally permitted in food for decades, they are remarkably unhealthy and should never have been allowed to contaminate the human diet. These toxic chemicals increase the risk of heart disease and cancer, impair brain development, harm the immune system, and disturb hormonal balance.
Parents can avoid these harmful contaminants by never purchasing deep-fried restaurant food, as well as food containing vegetable oil shortening or hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils. Last November, Canada's House of Commons followed Denmark's lead and passed a motion to drastically reduce trans fats in food within a year.
Parents who are concerned about their children's brains need to also minimize their intake of pesticides from food. Unless a fruit or vegetable is grown organically, it is likely to contain a significant amount of harmful pesticide residue. Unfortunately, the amount of residue legally allowed to remain on produce far exceeds the amount considered to be safe for children.
Pesticides also commonly contaminate our children's play areas, schools, and homes. Brominated fire retardants found in furniture and carpet, fumes from cleaning chemicals, and toxic metals, such as lead and arsenic, are just a few of the wide array of toxic chemicals contaminating the bodies of children.
Parents need to keep their children away from processed junk food and fast food, and let their kids grow up on a diet of whole foods. Health food stores now have a wonderful selection of healthy snack foods that can be used as treats in moderation. Parents should also make a commitment to eating organic food as much as possible and should make their home a toxic-chemical-free environment. Excellent alternatives to toxic cleaning chemicals and personal care products are now available.
Equally as important is the fact that the body requires adequate quantities of a variety of nutrients that are critical in the detoxification process. Children need diets rich in fruit, vegetables, and fibre. To provide gentle, yet effective support for detoxification, purchase products from the health food store that contain balanced quantities of low-allergy potential protein (such as rice or pea protein), minerals (especially calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc), and trace elements (especially selenium, chromium, and molybdenum), vitamins (especially the B vitamins), and detoxifying nutrients such as glutamine, glycine, N-acetyl cysteine, milk thistle extract, and inorganic sulfate.
Everyone could gain from bolstering their detoxification systems, but it is our children who benefit the most from this special environmental and nutritional support.