Non-organic foods and our kids hormones – PART 1
Is it possible to transfer chemicals from my body to my child in utero, and if so, to what degree? Is it possible that my baby boy’s genitalia hasn’t developed properly because of the chemicals I put on my body and/or on him? What really is the impact of the mostly untested chemicals used in everyday skin, hair, beauty, personal, oral and baby care products? Do we really know?
Therese Kerr, Chemical Free Community Ambassador, highlights the impact of chemicals on our children.
Question 1: Why should I be concerned about hormones they are only babies?
Our children’s endocrine and detoxification systems are not developed enough to be able to deal effectively with chemicals and toxins.
Professor Marc Cohen of the RMIT University in Melbourne states that one of the quickest ways a woman will detox is through pregnancy, another is through breast-feeding. Breast-feeding is by far the absolute best start you can give your child and I personally encourage all mums to breast feed and to also breast feed for as long as they can. What I wish to bring awareness to is that it is becoming increasingly apparent that detoxing prior to conception to avoid transferring fat soluble chemicals onto our babies in utero and then continuing to do the same through breast-feeding is one of the best steps you can make to give your child a healthy, vibrant start to life. But why are babies and children different to adults?
· Physiologically undeveloped – Baby’s and young children’s bodily systems are generally underdeveloped compared to those of adults, in fact research is showing that it takes up to the age of seven for a baby to develop the ability to detoxify to the degree of an adult. Babies have a larger ingestion of food, fluid and air per weight measurement than adults, the effect of toxins has a much greater ability to inflict harm.
· Rapid development and growth – Growth and development occurs most in the first few years of life and as a result, any toxins which interfere with systems that are still being established in the human body can greatly impede development and destroy cells such as those of the brain and nervous system.
Question 2. What is our endocrine system and why is it so important?
Endocrine systems, also referred to as hormone systems, are found in all mammals, birds, fish, and many other types of living organisms. They are made up of:
· Glands located throughout the body.
· Hormones that are made by the glands and released into the bloodstream or the fluid surrounding cells.
· Receptors in various organs and tissues that recognize and respond to the hormones.
Hormones are released by glands and travel throughout the body, acting as chemical messengers. Hormones interface with cells that contain matching receptors in or on their surfaces. The hormone binds with the receptor, much like a key would fit into a lock. The hormones, or keys, need to find compatible receptors, or locks, to work properly. Although hormones reach all parts of the body, only target cells with compatible receptors are equipped to respond. Once a receptor and a hormone bind, the receptor carries out the hormone’s instructions by either altering the cell’s existing proteins or turning on genes that will build a new protein. Both of these actions create reactions throughout the body.
The endocrine system regulates all biological processes in the body from conception through adulthood and into old age, including the development of the brain and nervous system, the growth and function of the reproductive system, as well as the metabolism and blood sugar levels. The female ovaries, male testes, pancreas, adrenals, thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, pineal and Hypothalamus are major constituents of the endocrine system.
Question 3. What are hormone disruptors?
Disruption of the endocrine system can occur in various ways. Endocrine disrupting chemicals mimic a natural hormone, fooling the body into over-responding to the stimulus (e.g., a growth hormone that results in increased muscle mass), or responding at inappropriate times (e.g., producing insulin when it is not needed). Other endocrine disrupting chemicals block the effects of a hormone from certain receptors (e.g. growth hormones required for normal development). Still others directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system and cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (e.g. an over or underactive thyroid or oestrogen dominance).
There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.
Non-organic foods and our kids hormones – PART 2 which answers the following questions.
Question 4. What are worst hormone-altering chemicals and how can I avoid them?
Question 5. What are the potential health impacts for my children if they are exposed to these hormone disruptors?
Question 6. Is it just my kids I should be concerned about?
Question 7. How do I avoid these hormone disruptors?
THERESE KERR: a mother to Miranda and Matthew Kerr, a co-founder and director of Divine by Therese Kerr, visionary, author, public speaker, Ambassador for holistic family health, the Health and Wellbeing, Ambassador for Australian Organic, an Ambassador for The Mind Foundation (prevention and treatment of autism), the Health and Wellbeing Advocate for Pink Hope (an organisation dedicated to the prevention of breast and ovarian cancer) and a Patron of Kids Helpline Australia. www.divinebytheresekerr.com