Dr. Mercola hits home on Healing Diet promotion and Babies!
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Now – the Mercola article!
There are many reasons why breastfeeding is a superior option to formula feeding for babies, however, a new study provides one of the most compelling to date. Infant formulas are typically processed under high heat, and this leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGES). AGES are sugar molecules that attach to and damage proteins in your body. Not only do they build up in your body over time, leading to oxidation and speeding up the aging process, but they also lead to inflammation, which in turn is linked to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
AGES Double in Infants Switched From Breast milk to Formula
If you’re a breastfeeding mom who needs encouragement to continue nursing for one year or beyond, consider this fact: when infants were switched from breast milk to commercial formula within the first year of life, their levels of AGEs doubled to levels found in people with diabetes. Many of the infants also had elevated insulin levels, which may be directly attributable to the AGEs in the infant formula. While a woman’s blood level of AGEs does impact her newborn’s levels (the researchers found newborns’ blood levels of AGEs were nearly as high as that of their mother’s, which is yet another why pregnant women should cut back on their processed food intake), her breast milk is still a superior source of nutrition. Infant formulas processed with high heat may have 100 times more AGEs than breast milk. As a result, formula-fed babies are being exposed to unacceptably high levels of these toxins, putting their health at risk — completely unbeknownst to most parents!
Why Exposing Your Baby to High Levels of AGEs Could be Tragic …
Glycation is a process in which the sugar in food bonds with proteins and forms so-called ‘advanced glycation end products’, or AGEs. It’s a fitting acronym because – along with oxidation – it’s one of the major molecular mechanisms whereby damage accrues in your body, which leads to disease, aging, and premature death. When sugar is glycated, it contributes to inflammation, which activates your immune system defensively. Macrophages are scavenger cells that are part of your immune defense system, and as such they have special receptors for AGEs, aptly called RAGEs (think: raging inflammation). These RAGEs bind to the AGEs and get rid of them. Unfortunately, this process can leave its fair share of battle scars. Inside your arteries, for example, the scar tissue created from this process is called plaque. This also explains why there’s such a strong connection between diabetes and heart disease, and why infants exposed to high levels of AGEs in infant formula may have had elevated insulin levels. To avoid AGEs in your diet, you need to pay attention to avoiding foods cooked at high heat, including processed and pasteurized foods like infant formula. In July 2011, the first study in humans showing that AGEs promote insulin resistance and diabetes was published. People with diabetes who ate an AGE-restricted diet (this included foods that were poached or stewed instead of cooked at high heat, such as grilling, frying or broiling) had a 35 percent decrease in insulin levels, to give you an idea of just how great an impact appropriate dietary changes can have on your, or your child’s, health. Read More…