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Getting the Lead Out

From the Washington Post comes yet another article about the negative aspects of lead, and the positive results of its removal.

The study on crime, in particular, (linked within the article), is one I've been sharing with clients and friends for years--especially those who don't understand how what the body takes in affects what the brain will do.  (On the other hand, I've had many folks dismiss the study because they simply can't believe crime rates have declined so much in recent decades.)

Also of importance is the consistent findings that many behavioral issues for which we medicate children can be correlated with higher levels of lead in the system.  Oddly enough, I've yet to hear of a child who was tested for lead exposure prior to being given medications to control behavior.  (Kinda like I've yet to hear of a person tested for proper adrenal function before being given thyroid medications.)

Anyway.

More and more I'm convinced education reform--in the form of developing new teaching methods, tests, and information delivery systems--is pretty much a waste of resources until we decide to cease actively harming a child's nervous system while simultaneously depriving the child of the nutrients needed to counter that harm.

And I admit to being a little frustrated by knowing it will never change because the current system isn't designed for prevention and is, in some ways, actively hostile toward prevention and cause-correction.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
cathshaffer
Oct. 9th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
That is a great insight! I think it is just not on doctor's radar when there are behavior problems in a child, but it would make so much sense to do routine lead test on every child referred for behavior disorders.

Funny story. We live in an older home and it does indeed have some lead based paints in it. (Fortunately, not very much.) At one point, we had exposed a wall of older, lead based paint in the kitchen. One day, I came in to find my two-year-old son LICKING THAT WALL. What the heck???

Naturally I rushed him to the doctor for a lead test, which came back comfortably normal. Phew! Moral of the story, little kids are weird, don't turn your back on them for a minute!

I have related a pet theory, by the way, that much of the violence and conflict in history can be explained by widespread fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol consumption was very widespread in Europe, particularly, with no prohibition for pregnant women, and in fact alcohol was often consumed in preference to water, which means, Ta Da, that fetal alcohol syndrome had to be absolutely epidemic, with its symptoms of rage and anger control dysfunction. It might have been even more prevalent among the upper classes and royalty, whose women could afford more and better alcohol, and who might have more leisure time to indulge in alcoholism.
blairmacg
Oct. 9th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
it would make so much sense to do routine lead test on every child referred for behavior disorders.

Lead, arsenic, copper, etc., alongside testing for levels of key minerals like magnesium, zinc, and calcium.

(The effect of heavy metals is greatly influenced by the presence of healthy minerals, which can displace the metals and lessen their impact on health and behavior.)

Re: FAS: Totally!

IMO, we've too long looked at behavior as *solely* a moral choice, as solely mind-over-matter. However, when repeated research shows something as basic as Omega-3 intake can determine levels of criminal behavior...well. A year's worth of the highest quality Omega-3 supplements is s hell of a lot cheaper than a year in prison--and doesn't produce a victim.
cathshaffer
Oct. 9th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC)
By the way, this 30 Day Diabetes Cure program recommends using milk thistle or similar for detoxing starting in the third week. Do you have any advice about that? How much to use, how long, how do you know it's working, when do you stop?
blairmacg
Oct. 9th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Not specific advice, but information. ;-)

First, the warnings. If taking medications to lower blood sugar--especially insulin--blood sugar levels MUST be monitored VERY closely, as milk thistle can sometimes cause lower blood sugar. Also, anyone with a history of what the Mayo Clinic calls "hormone sensitive conditions" (breast cancer, fibroid cysts, etc.) should avoid milk thistle, as should folks allergic to daisies, kiwi, thistles, and the like.

Now.

I've known a handful of folks who've jumped in to higher milk thistle doses right away, and ended up with headaches and nausea. When I used it last year, I stair-stepped the amount I took. I started with about 350mg milk thistle (standardized, 80% sylimarin), split into two doses a day. Two weeks later, I did 700mg, split into two doses. No side effects. I took it for six months.

In individual use--without a series of blood tests--it's difficult to judge whether milk thistle is "working," because it's usually part of a dietary and lifestyle overhaul. Research shows positive outcomes for a variety of (mainly) liver-related conditions. It helps clean the liver (NOT "flush" it), and supports its ability to self-heal and rebuild. My clients generally use it for three months as a means to support overall detoxification, normal blood sugar levels, and better overall digestion.

It's generally safe enough that research has even been done in children regarding its supportive use during chemo (with positive results!).
cathshaffer
Oct. 9th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm starting out with pretty good health and following the plan to lose weight, reduce future risk, and age successfully, so for some of the recommendations of the book, which is written for sick people, it's hard to know what to do with them. I'll probably use the bottle I bought and call it good. I'm glad to hear it's safe. That is always my concern with herbal/alternative remedies.
blairmacg
Oct. 9th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind that the supplier's quality is just as important as the herbal they're supplying--not only because of basic efficacy of dosage, but because of possible contamination.

Contamination is prevelant in off-brands and/or "private label" supplements, particularly if the supplements aren't also in Australia and/or Germany.

Low nutrient value is prevelant in cheap box store brands. Forex, a front label will say 1200mg fish oil, but the actual Omega-3 value might be 200mg. Or the wrong part of the plant will be used in herbals (Echinecea stems versus echinecea root).

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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