September 19th, 2022
"Human offspring come into this world much like the young of all other mammals, and like all the others, within minutes of our arrival, we are hungry. Food figures prominently in our lives ever after, but never is it more important than in childhood, when it serves as the literal construction material of those growing bodies and brains.
The initial food choice for human babies should be self-evident, as it is for all other baby mammals: the milk of their mothers. The provision of that milk is among the defining characteristics of the mammalian class; it is part of what makes us what we are.
Of course, though, another thing that makes us Homo sapiens what we are is these large brains of ours, which are, of course, capable of great achievement, but, unfortunately, great mischief as well. One variety of that mischief is complicating the simple, and over a span of decades, we have certainly done that with regard to breastfeeding, which has gone in and out of fashion. Fortunately, it is now very much back in fashion and, one hopes, here to stay. There are, of course, contraindications to breastfeeding, but these are idiosyncratic. Overwhelmingly, the literature attests vigorously and consistently to the wide array of benefits of breastfeeding. Mother's milk is the right first food for baby mammals almost all of the time, and baby humans are no exception.
If complications and mischief have encumbered the simple choice of breast milk, they have done far worse to the more challenging options that follow. What should human children eat? If we once again initiate our answer by considering our place in nature, that answer would seem to be: what their parents eat. Children should learn to eat the food that will sustain them throughout their lives"....... Remainder of article link
Here is another great part of the article at the end: "Most mammals seem to take the basic care and feeding of their offspring very seriously. Most mammals seem to recognize childhood as the time to cultivate the dietary aptitudes and attitudes that will shape a lifetime of sustenance. Our own species, or at least its currently prevailing culture, seems inclined to treat the feeding of our children as something of a joke. We seem inclined to confront the prominence of junk food in the diets of our children with a nudge-nudge, wink-wink, as if it were at worst cute—at best, a legitimate food group in its own right.
It is neither. What we feed our children initiates and propagates a lifetime of taste preferences. What we feed our children cultivates lifelong perceptions and expectations. What we feed our children influences energy balance that, in turn, shapes the trajectory of weight across the lifespan. What we feed our children propels them away from, or toward, the risk of debilitating chronic disease. What we feed our children exerts a profound influence on their medical destinies. What we feed our children—and only that—is the construction material for those fast-growing little bodies we profess to love.
What we feed our children matters, profoundly. If our culture is inclined to think otherwise, we are, most egregiously, kidding ourselves."
I could not agree more. He is spot on in this article about the problem that faces our children at the hands of adults that purport to care for them. A nightmare of epic proportions. Where is the parental outrage?
Since the systems in power are doing the opposite of what is necessary for our children's health, it is up to us to start this process at the ground level with our children in our homes. Pack nourishing lunches from home in place of the highly processed children's breakfasts and lunches as the public school system is providing. We have to lead by example. We eat well and provide a table setting of the minimally or better yet not processed foods for them as well. We give thanks for food that nourishes our mind and our body. We start small and aim for greater health regardless of the system that does not value us and our children.
I interviewed Dr. Katz last week and his podcast is forthcoming. He is an amazing orator and teacher. Get ready to enjoy his mind. We touch on some tricky topics.
We need to stop normalizing ultra processed foods as healthy. They are not and never will be. There is a push in some parts of the liberalized country to normalize junk food in an effort to prevent food shaming. This is akin to allowing your child to smoke marijuana or crack and not say any thing for fear of shaming a behavior. I am sorry. This is the same as letting them hurt themselves purposefully. Eating processed food on a consistent basis is akin to death by a thousand small cuts. This is not ok in any setting. The line has to be drawn.
Section I part B:
In a recent publication in the journal Alzheimers and Dementia, we see a data set shedding more light on the work discussed in podcast #26 with Bonnie Kaplan. In this case the micronutrient supplements are used to treat cognitive decline. From the paper: A total of 2262 participants were enrolled, and 92% completed the baseline and at least one annual assessment. Cocoa extract had no effect on global cognition. Daily multivitamin and multimineral supplementation, relative to placebo, resulted in a statistically significant benefit on global cognition, and this effect was most pronounced in participants with a history of cardiovascular disease. Multivitamin-mineral benefits were also observed for memory and executive function. The cocoa extract by MVM group interaction was not significant for any of the cognitive composites.
These co factors are very involved in many neurological pathways. In modern America and many developed nations, diets have become cofactor depleted leading to a plausible mechanistic pathway for these effects as observed. It is really pleasing to see these results as they make sense and the treatment has zero risk. This is unlike every pharmaceutical grade medicine where risk exists and is inherent and treatment benefits are very weak for dementia to date.