Tag Archives: food

Dr. M’s Women and Children First Podcast #3 – Dr. Randy Jirtle and the Discovery of Maternal Risk

Dr. Randy Jirtle joins the show today to discuss his groundbreaking research that ushered in the era of epigenetics. Time Magazine nominated him for person of the year in 2007 and had this to say about him: “Dr. Jirtle’s pioneering work in epigenetics and genomic imprinting has uncovered a vast territory in which a gene represents less of an inexorable sentence and more of an access point for the environment to modify the genome. His trailblazing discoveries have produced a far more complete and useful understanding of human development and diseases” — Time Magazine. This interview is ground zero for the Women and Children First Podcast as we discuss the underpinnings or mechanisms of disease risk for all humans as it relates to the environmental inputs of our lives that are driving health or disease at both the pregnancy and post natal periods. We look specifically at how maternal nutrition and later chemical exposure directly affected the health of the agouti mouse offspring. This experiment was the first of its kind and paved the way for a complete shift in human disease understanding. For parents, this podcast is really the beginning of everything that I am trying to convey regarding a healthy pregnancy and childhood. Without this interview, the following interviews will be more difficult to understand. The picture becomes very clear once his research is cemented in our minds.

His biography is as follows: Professor of Epigenetics at the Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, and a Senior Scientist at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. He was previously professor of radiation oncology and associate professor of pathology at Duke University, Durham, NC, where he had been a faculty member since 1977. He graduated with a B.S. degree in nuclear engineering in 1970 and a Ph.D. degree in radiation biology in 1976, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His awards list is long but the key to Dr. Jirtle is that he is a curious thinker and we are grateful for this.

Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Randy Jirtle,

Dr. M

Fast Food: More bad news (Article)

It is common knowledge that fast food is not good for our children’s health. Recent research confirms what we already knew: an extensive new study correlates consumption of fast food with a child’s increased chance of developing asthma and allergies. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood surveyed nearly half a million six- and seven-year-olds and thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds across 31 and 51 countries, respectively. The study found that teenagers who consume fast food more than three times a week are 40% more likely to develop asthma, while children aged six or seven who also eat fast food more than three times a week are 27% more likely to suffer from asthma. Additionally, both the six- and seven-year-olds and teenagers who frequently dined on fast food suffered from increased frequency of food allergies, eczema, and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

Clearly, the researchers have provided us with valuable information, but much more work needs to be done to confirm the study’s results. Many factors are undoubtedly at play beneath the surface. While overconsumption of fast food seems to be associated with an increase in many allergic diseases in children, excessive eating of processed fast food may not totally explain why children are, on average, more allergic than their older relatives. Other factors undoubtedly contribute to the problem.

Nonetheless, this new information provides us with things we can do TODAY to lessen a child’s chance of allergy: providing a more traditional diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be part of the solution. By simply visiting the produce aisle instead of swinging by the nearest drive-through, a child’s health and quality of life can be changed for the better. Replacing processed sugars, carbohydrates, and preservatives with natural foods is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle and possibly less allergy disease for both you and your children.

Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com. Let me hear what your think. For more timely medical updates about children, subscribe to DocSmo.com on iTunes or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.  Until next time.

Smo notes:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jan/14/fast-food-child-asthma-allergies

Authored by Keri Register, Davidson College intern and Paul Smolen MD

Food Allergy in Children (Pedcast)

Allergy to food is much more common than in years past.  In this Pedcast, Dr Smolen reviews some of the new information and recommendations about the introduction of allergenic foods to children.  After listening to this Pedcast, you should have a better understanding and recognition of food allergy.  Dr Smolen also makes practical suggestions should you have a child that suffers from food allergy.  Kick back, listen, and learn.

SmoNotes:

 

Subscribe on iTunes!

Subscribe on iTunes!

 

1. Food Allergy: What You Need to Know: The High and Increasing Prevalence of Food Allergy

2. Food Allergy: The Definitive Guide to Clinical Practice: What Do the Guidelines Mean to Practitioners and Patients?

3. Food Allergy: What You Need to Know: Final Perspective and Clinical Recommendations
*By listening to this pedcast, you are agreeing to Doc Smo’s terms and conditions.

 

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