November 6, 2017

Following up on the maternal microbiota and autism risk article from a few weeks ago, we have another piece of literature regarding maternal exposures and offspring disease risk. Over the past few decades there has been a fair amount of published literature regarding the risks of consuming medicines during pregnancy.

This month's Pediarics Journal has an article that shows an association between maternal acetaminophen use and her offspring's risk of developing ADHD. They noted a dose dependent pattern to the risk in the 110,000 children studied. While this study makes clear that this is not definitive causation just association, it is also clear that there is a problem.

My take on this article and the others in this risk analysis is that the acetaminophen use is likely a marker of maternal inflammation and disease which according to the microbiota and autism studies is the likely pathway for abnormal epigenetic phenomena in the child that we see as a neurobehavioral disorder like ADHD or autism. It is likely that, while I do not like the drug acetaminophen because of effects on the scavenger glutathione, acetaminophen is not the cause of ADHD.

Increasing medicine use in general needs to be a wakeup call for us all that we are inflamed and suffering disease. Unfortunately, the highest risk times for inflammation and medicine to do harm is during the rapid growth periods including infancy, adolescence and pregnancy.


For my readers: I have fielded a few complaints over the years regarding mothers feeling "shamed" for the diseases of their children. While I recognize that some mothers may perceive this feeling based on their personal experience and the frustration that the data provides, I am a lover and disseminator of science and will always try to present the information as best I can. I simply wish to present the data in an honest and straightforward way that can help future generations. It is my expressed desire to change behavior in all humans for their personal benefit.

We cannot change the past but we can certainly help the future. My wife and I always talk about what we would have done, knowing what we know now. However, that does not change our current reality, nor does it change the need to be future thinking and proactive for the health of our tribe.

For those that struggle with the words, I hope that this statement helps in some way.

For the record:

Dr. M


Pediatrics Article