Rheumatoid Arthritis – low zinc and fully leaded!

Several studies found an inverse correlation between Zinc (↓) and toxic metals (↑) in arthritis patients. Taking antioxidant micronutrients, particularly a zinc supplement, may protect against the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition to giving focused nutrients to reduce abnormal biochemistry and inflammation, you also have to remove the undesirable elements. In this case, there is more toxic metals like lead, arsenic and cadmium in patients with arthritis than in the average person.

Chelation is a very effective and safe process practiced since the 1940’s to remove undesirable metals from the body, which usually improves more than only the targeted disease.

In this instance, lead, arsenic and cadmium are known mitochondrial energy production inhibitors, linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disease, thyroid and other hormone problems.

Action item: If you have rheumatoid arthritis, ensure you take appropriate, condition focused nutrients AND ask a board certified natural or integrated doctor to test if you have excessive toxic metals in your system that can fuel the disease along.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis: low zinc, high lead, cadmium & arsenic

Anti-inflammatory neutraceuticals  as therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

Interaction between zinc, cadmium, and lead rheumatoid arthritis subjects in relation to controls.

A pilot study on zinc levels in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Even Low Lead Exposure Hinders Kids’ Reading

The negative impact lead has on our children is becoming more and more dangerous. All recent studies are suggesting that lead is much more of a problem at lower levels, than was previously thought. This will make us rethink the lead pipes in many of our homes. Especially for sensitive children, lead and other toxic metals can threaten their ability to grow and thrive normally.

By Nancy Walsh, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: May 13, 2013: Reviewed by F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE; Instructor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Young children exposed to lead — even at low levels — are at risk for not meeting reading readiness benchmarks in kindergarten, a large study of urban children found.

On tests of reading readiness, children with blood lead levels between 5 and 9 mcg/dL scored 4.5 points (95% CI −2.9 to −6.2) lower than those with levels below 5 mcg/dL, according to Pat McLaine, DPH, of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues.

And those with lead levels of 10 mcg/dL and higher had scores 10.1 points (95% CI −7 to −13.3) lower, the researchers reported online in Pediatrics.

Almost 25 years ago the CDC established 10 mcg/dL as a “level of concern” for blood lead levels in children, and more recently determined that children whose levels are 5 mcg/dL should be targeted for intervention.

“Learning to read is critical to the entire process of formal education,” McLaine and colleagues stated.

This requires “proficiency in phonologic processing skills (using the sounds of one’s language to process written and oral language) and in the ability to decode new words,” they explained.

A possible association between lead exposure and reading readiness has not previously been examined, but cooperation between school and public health authorities in Providence, R.I., provided an opportunity to consider this.

Using linked data from the Rhode Island Department of Health and Providence’s public school district records, McLaine’s group compared results among 3,406 children who had been tested for blood lead levels an average of three times before entering kindergarten.

Reading readiness was assessed on the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening-Kindergarten (PALS-K) instrument, which measures reading-relevant cognitive abilities.

The test is given in the fall of kindergarten, and children who score lower than 28 out of a total of 102 are given additional classroom instruction throughout the year, the researchers explained.

The goal is for children to score 81 or higher by the time the test is repeated in the spring.

The study population was diverse and largely low income, with almost 60% being Hispanic and more than 90% qualifying for federal school lunch assistance.

The median blood level of lead in the entire group was 4.2 mcg/dL.

One in five children had had at least one blood level reading of 10 mcg/dL or higher, and more than two-thirds had at least one level of 5 mcg/dL or above.

“These results are markedly higher than [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey] estimates from the same time and suggest that national population estimates may seriously underestimate the lead problem in urban schools,” the researchers observed.

The highest levels were seen in blacks and children whose first language was not English or Spanish, such as those of Asian descent.

About 35% of the children tested below the cutoff score on the PALS-K in the fall. These low scores were most commonly among boys, Hispanics, those receiving free lunches, and those with blood lead levels of 10 mcg/dL or higher.

Low scores also were seen in children whose mothers hadn’t completed high school or had public insurance at birth.

More than two-thirds of children whose blood levels were below 5 mcg/dL passed the cutoff PALS-K score, compared with only half of those whose levels exceeded 10 mcg/dL.

The prevalence ratio for not meeting the PALS-K benchmark score on the fall test was 1.21 (95% CI 1.19 to 1.23) among children whose blood lead levels fell between 5 and 9 mcg/dL and 1.56 (95% CI 1.51 to 1.60) for those with levels of 10 mcg/dL or higher.

This analysis found a “clear dose-response relationship” between early-life lead exposure and kindergarten reading readiness, even after adjustment for socioeconomic status, language spoken, and other demographic factors.

“Our results suggest the need to evaluate current screening approaches for early reading intervention and to determine whether adding a history of elevated [blood lead levels] could improve targeting of children who are at risk of school failure and are not presently being captured in that system,” the researchers stated.

They plan to follow these children during elementary school “to better understand the long-term impacts of both kindergarten reading readiness and childhood lead exposure on school success.”

These findings offer a caution about children who are exposed to fairly low levels of lead, according to Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who was not involved in the study.

“This study reinforces the fact that levels we used to think were safe — up to 5 mcg/dL — actually can impact children’s growth and neurodevelopment,” Chatham-Stephens told MedPage Today.

Limitations of the study included unclear reliability of measures of lead levels and possible residual confounding.

The study was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center for Occupational Safety and Health, the CDC, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The authors reported no financial conflicts.

Primary source: Pediatrics

Source reference: McLaine P, et al. “Elevated blood lead levels and reading readiness at the start of kindergarten” Pediatrics 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2277 .

Folic Acid Supplementation Before & During Pregnancy

The need for folic acid supplementation in pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects is already well known by both physicians and many mothers-to-be. In addition to preventing these birth defects, there are multiple reasons for young, fertile women to take folic acid before and during pregnancy, all of which are equally important and beneficial for their future child. The following discussion highlights just a few of these reasons.

Recent studies suggest maternal folic acid supplementation may help to: 

-Prevent delays in childhood speech development

-Decrease childhood behavioral difficulties

-Support fertility in both partners

-Prevent pre-term labor

Printed in a recent addition to the Journal of American Medical Association, an article by clinical psychologist Christine Roth discussed the connection between low maternal folic acid and childhood speech development:

“Maternal use of supplements containing folic acid within the period from four weeks before, to eight weeks after conception was associated with a substantially reduced risk of severe language delay in children at age 3 years”

These findings support current recommendations for young, fertile women to take folic acid before and during early pregnancy. Since folic acid deficiency is known to disrupt nervous system development early in pregnancy, it is not surprising to find that there may be other symptoms of an impaired nervous system, such as delayed speech. There is great potential for other neurological symptoms to arise in mothers not getting enough folic acid.

Early data from another study, this one published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggests more behavioral difficulties arise in children (average age of 8 years) whose mothers had a lower level of folate during early pregnancy. Specifically, these children were at greater risk for hyperactivity and difficulties with peers.

Folic acid supplementation doesn’t only apply to future moms. Both women and men should consider supplementing before pregnancy, as it is an essential part of the reproductive system for both sexes. Research suggests  a deficiency in folate (the body’s form of folic acid) may impair fertility for both partners, as it is an important nutrient in sperm and egg maturation.

Another widely studied basis for taking folic acid is to prevent early labor. In one such study of moms, all with varied but normal folate levels, those with higher levels were as much as 60% less likely to give birth to a pre-term baby. With so many known health risks for preemies (learning disabilities, delayed development, death, etc.), taking folic acid should be a step every women takes before starting her family.

 

According to the National Institutes of Health, foods richest in folic acid include:

   Enriched grains

   Legumes: Black-eyed peas, Great Northern beans, Lentils, Peanuts

   Vegetables: Spinach, Green peas, Broccoli, Asparagus

Common causes of folate deficiency include:

   Pregnancy and breastfeeding

   Alcohol intake

   Malabsorption

   Medications such as Metformin

Potential symptoms of folate deficiency:

   Loss of appetite

   Irritability

   Diarrhea

   Heart palpitations

   Weakness

   Sore tongue

If you are planning on beginning a family, or you are already pregnant, speak with your healthcare provider today about the right supplements for you.

 

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

 

References:

NIH: Office of Dietary Supplements, http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets
MedlinePlus–Healthday, Folic Acid in Pregnancy May Prevent Kids’ Language Delays, 2011
Scholtz, W., et al., Lower maternal folate status in early pregnancy is associated with childhood hyperactivity and peer problems in offspring., J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 2010 May; 51(5): 594-602.
Ebisch, I., et al., The important of folate, zinc and antioxidants in the pathogenesis and prevention of subfertility., Oxford Journal: Human Reproductive Update, vol. 13, issue 2, pp. 163-174.
Bodnar, LM., et al., Maternal serum folate species in early pregnancy and risk of preterm birth., Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Oct; 92(4): 864-71.