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March 4, 2024

Section I

Pregnancy is a super important time. Do not take by inhalation, ingestion or other exposure anything that is a potential toxin for the body.

Things to avoid:

1) Caffeine - in low to minimal doses, it is clear that caffeine is safe for pregnant women and their offspring. Caffeine easily crosses into the placenta and thus the baby's circulation. In utero babies cannot metabolize caffeine well putting them at risk with increasing exposure. The data does not support the same reality for more moderate to high doses. Caffeine is known to raise blood pressure and heart rate in all users in variable numbers based on metabolism capabilities. Thus, as pregnancy is a state of elevated blood volume and cardiac output, caffeine as a drug is counter beneficial to the mother and thus the child. The studies note: 1) there is an increased risk of early trimester bleeding/miscarriage, preterm births and birth defects (Choi et. al. 2020) 2) smaller infant birth parameters including weight, length and head circumference (Gleason et. al. 2021) 3) Caffeine "may" decrease fertility in both women and men and this is possibly dose dependent if we believe the association as the data is weak. (Kumar et. al. 2022)(Bu et. al. 2020) My take home here is limit caffeine to mild doses when pregnant.

2) EDC's - There is so much data here regarding associative risk that I absolutely believe in complete avoidance. These chemicals are extremely dangerous to a growing fetus. Phthalates and Bisphenols among others are a major problem for humans as they disrupt endocrine function interfering with the growing placenta, the fetus and the mother. There is solid evidence that these chemicals are raising the risk of intrauterine growth delays, gestational metabolic derangements as well as preeclampsia. These chemicals are another risk factor for autism and neurobehavioral changes to growing humans. Avoid synthetic chemicals like solvents/lubricants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), dioxins, plastics like bisphenols with any letter (BPA, B,C, F, S, AF), plasticizers like phthalates, pesticides, fungicides and more. These chemicals are called forever chemicals because they do not degrade well over time in nature putting us at high risk for exposure and disease.

3) Acetaminophen - just don't take this product while pregnant. This drug blocks glutathione activity among other pathways and is not safe while pregnant. Increased attention, sleep and behavior concerns were noted in the offspring of acetaminophen users. (Sznajder et. al. 2022) Is it possible that the acetaminophen users had higher inflammation driving drug use which was the actual cause of the findings? Yes it is. Thus, I recommend all of the known functional medicine lifestyle decisions to reduce the risk of all inflammatory concerns that push someone to use medicines. From the paper: "research has found acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a lower intelligence quotient (IQ) when used without the presence of a fever." ((Sznajder et. al. 2022) There are tons of studies on both sides of this debate. I fall on the avoid side, plain and simple.

4) Alcohol - Nuff said - avoid.

5) Spray suncreens - inhalation of these chemicals are bad for everyone. Stick to creams that are approved by the environmental working group. Visit this link. It is always smart to limit the use of all sunscreens in general to only the skin that is exposed and based on your skin color and location at the time of use. There are no controlled studies in this space.

6) Avoid heavy metals - Mercury from large fish, arsenic from apples, rice, mushrooms, lead from old houses and pipes, copper from pipes/contaminated water. Tons of literature here. (Cleveland Clinic Site) Filter your house drinking water.

As always, prevention lis the only true way to lessen risk even when the data is not purley causative.

Have a great week,

Dr. M


Choi BMC Preg Childbirth

Gleason JAMA

Gingrich Cell

Puche Juarez MDPI

Kumar Cureus

Bu BMC Womens Health

Sznajder PLOSOne