Preventative Methods and Nutritional Therapy for Down Syndrome


I recently came across some evidence that Down Syndrome and other “genetic” changes are much more preventable and linked to nutritional deficiencies than most people realize. In my naivety, I thought this was amazing news that many people would love to hear! Of course, I was not prepared for the onslaught of accusations of not being politically correct when speaking on this topic, as well as the pervasive medical myths on it.

My goal, however, is to neither speak unlovingly or to carry on the myths surrounding DS. My goal is to provide research-based and results-based evidence that, like almost every other health condition and change in our society, this is another one drastically affected by nutrition, both preventative and in daily care of one with DS.

Remember–I am not a physician. Think of me in this post as more of a nutritional journalist. I have spent time researching this information, compiling research and talking to parents of children with DS, and I am simply sharing what I have found for those who are interested.

So here’s the information. Take it if you want it or move on to the millions of health websites that share the same information we’ve had for decades which hasn’t made a difference in the occurrence and increasing rates of DS.

Prevention

Prevention?! But there’s no possible way to prevent Down Syndrome since it is a genetic disorder, right?!

“Yes, Down syndrome is a genetic disorder. Children with Down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome #21. This in itself is not the problem. The problem comes from the “excessive genetic expression” of genes on the extra chromosome. One of the most serious consequences of this genetic activity is the buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the cells. Exposure to this extremely destructive free radical is likely largely responsible for the mental retardation, poor development, early onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and short lifespan that characterize Down syndrome.

The accumulation of toxic levels of hydrogen peroxide in the body doesn’t happen overnight — and neither does the mental retardation that is associated with Down syndrome. Left untreated, however, the biochemical mechanisms that lead to mental retardation become progressively worse and mental and physical deterioration follow.”
(http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/specialneedchildren.htm)

Based on his observations, Dr. Price was convinced that Down syndrome was caused, at least in part, by a diminished nutritional status of the mother. He based this assumption on two main reasons. His first reason was that he noticed that Down syndrome children had many of the features he believed to be associated with nutritional deficiencies such as underdeveloped jaws and underdeveloped facial features. The second was that he knew that Down syndrome children were more frequently born to older women who had already had many children, and he felt these mothers were at higher risk of being nutritionally depleted.

(Actually, many doctors from Dr. Price’s era thought maternal nutrition was a factor in Down syndrome. See my section on Genetic Disorders for an interesting excerpt from a 1931 medical book on the suspected cause of Down syndrome.)

Continued here: http://www.ctds.info/connective_disorders1.html

Recent epidemiological and other studies have found a positive relationship between hyperglycemia and the risk of chromosomal aberrations including Down’s syndrome.”

Dr. Su pointed out, “ As we know now, hyperglycemia during pregnancy is the causative factor for chromosomal aberrations including Down’s syndrome and others such as Turner’s syndrome. The mother’s age at the time of pregnancy is not necessarily a risk factor of these aberrations, if she does not have hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus. Chromosomal aberrations occur during the first 14 days after fertilization or conception. Thus, a less fortunate fate of the offspring is sealed, if chromosomal aberration has happened as a result of maternal hyperglycemia long before pregnancy is confirmed.“

Dr. Su concluded, “We do not have the remedy for chromosomal aberrations. Although the incidence is still low in comparison with the general birth rate, preventing chromosomal aberrations is very critical for every childbearing woman, who needs to mindfully restrict carbohydrate foods.”
http://www.carbohydratescankill.com/1702/downs-syndrome-childbearing-womens-age-2

Considering that consumption of refined sugar and other refined sweeteners has increased 45 times since the 1700’s and that the average American now consumes the equivalent of 15 pounds of sugar every month, we can see how this could be the case. Refined sugar affects the body in too many ways to list, including rapidly depleting the body of essential nutrients. (For more information on how sugar affects the body, check out my posts here and here.)

Refined grains, like white bread, white pasta, cakes, pastries, etc. now make up a majority of the average American’s diet. According to Dr. Su’s research, drastically restricting these foods, along with reducing/eliminating refined sugars, could go a long way in reducing the incidence of Down Syndrome.

In addition to nutritional deficiencies, other things that have genetic mutation possibilities include vaccines.

German doctor Dr. Buchwald’s discussion of link between vaccines and Down Syndrome:

“In 1866, an English physician described a very strange illness. Children looked like Mongols. His name was Down. That’s why we call it Down’s Syndrome today… I should add that this syndrome is a result of the vaccinations carried throughout England by Jenner in 1796… It (Down’s Syndrome) is probably the first congenital disease caused by vaccinations. In Germany, the first child with evidence of Down’s Syndrome was reported in 1922. Today, one in every 700 newborns has it… But the most terrifying fact is still to come… We already know today of 4,000 illnesses caused by genes. Ten years ago, Germany had 3 million illiterate people. Today, it’s 4 million. America has three times the population, about 240 million, meaning they should have about 12 million illiterate people…”–Dr Buchwald MD

http://www.whale.to/m/buchwald9.html

Nutritional Therapy for Down Syndrome

“If you have been told that nutritional treatment is of no value for Down syndrome children, you may want to read this.”
Andrew Saul, PhD and proponent of orthomolecular medicine (vitamin therapy)

“Dr. Turkel had the nerve to make his claims when everyone ‘knew’ that children with genetic defects could not possibly be treated successfully.”
Abram Hoffer, M.D.

“I know Dr. Turkel, and I can testify to his sincerity and conviction. The results that he reports are striking. There is evidence that the patients would receive significant benefit.”
Linus Pauling, Ph.D.

For more information and links on Dr. Turkel’s nutritional treatment for Down Syndrome, go to:
http://www.doctoryourself.com/turkel.html

Michelle was born with Down Syndrome and as a child, suffered from many health problems like many children with DS do. Here’s her parents’ testimony:

“Two years ago Michelle was a typical 10-year old child with Down Syndrome, attention deficit, always sick and hospitalized many times due to severe asthma attacks. Her life consisted of the nebulizer, antibiotics and steroids. That daily medical regime is no longer part of her life since her parents began giving her glyconutritional mannatech.

Today, Michelle is a typical “middle-school pre-teen.” She participates in PE (even on windy, high-pollen days), is an honor roll student, and hasn’t had an asthma attack for over a year and a half.

Michelle now has the quality of life every parent wants for their child, says Barbara (her mom). We know she’ll get sick from time to time, but it won’t be life threatening. Michelle has always been a beautiful child, but we and others have noticed the facial features associated with Down Syndrome have become less pronounced , a side benefit we did not expect.”

While she was beautiful before, the changes in her health can also be seen in the differences in her facial features as well.

For more information, including lots of incredible info about Down Syndrome and a PDF to Michelle’s story of recovering from it with glyconutrients, go here:
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/specialneedchildren.htm

For an update on Michelle and how her health improvements changed her life and vastly expanded her future, go here:
http://www.viewnews.com/2010/VIEW-Jun-29-Tue-2010/Henderson/36598915.html

Further info on glyconutrients from a former skeptic: http://healthpublications.org/drdanfouts.htm

In addition to removing the potential causative factors listed above like sugar and refined grains, studies found that maternal intake of choline might significantly decrease cognitive dysfunction seen in Downs Syndrome.

Egg yolks from pastured hens (so not store-bought eggs) are one of the best sources of choline. Many natural health experts, including the Weston A. Price Foundation, recommend pregnant women consume at least 2 whole eggs (plus additional yolks if desired) per day.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20528079

Here are some additional links with information for helping people Down Syndrome live more abundant lives through nutritional support:

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for Down Syndrome
http://www.cdadc.com/ds/downsyndromespecificcarbohydratediet.htm

Nutrivene Protocol for special needs children
http://www.nutrivene.com/blog/tag/nutrivene-protocol/

Curcumin for Down Syndrome
http://changingmindsaboutdownsyndrome.blogspot.com/2009/11/benefits-of-curcumin-for-down-syndrome.html

I hope this information can be a blessing to some people. And whether it is or not, I hope and pray that our society values ALL life more, including those with disabilities. The rates of abortion related to suspected disabilities are sickening. Children with disabilities are just as much of a blessing as every other child, and maybe even more so! If you have experience with nutritionally-supporting a child with Down Syndrome or any other genetic illness, please comment and let us know! That is how some of the links shared above were brought to my attention!

Blessings of good health,
Sara

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Comments & Responses

5 Responses so far.

  1. […] Syndrome (click here to read my article on Down Syndrome and how it can be related to poor nutritional status) The mother’s nutritional status at […]

  2. […] Down syndrome is another example of a complication related to improper diet, not maternal age as doctors suggest! (See my article on Down Syndrome here.) […]

  3. cmh says:

    Like the mama above I felt a bit uncomfortable while reading this, however I believe I understand your intent in writing and thank you for the information you’ve shared.

    I wouldn’t change my daughter’s being born with down syndrome for anything in the world however I will do whatever I can to help her stay as healthy as possible as I do all my children, as well as do all I can to help her live up to the potential God has for her life as I do all my children.

    That being said I do agree with the conclusions that Dr. Price came to about nutritional deficiencies and DS. I can’t prove that had my situation been different my daughter would not have been born with DS but I can say that when I became pregnant with my daughter I was “older” (35) she was my sixth baby and I was in the worst health of my life.

    I had terrible nutrition prior to having children and after my first was born wanting better health for him that I had cut out almost all processed foods, all refined sugars and began to eat a 95% whole food diet, However I had been a vegetarian (vegan by default as I had egg and dairy allergies) off and on for most of my life (from age 12) and for the most part continued to be throughout my pregnancies. After each of my pregnancies my health became worse and worse and worse and in desperation and ignorance I did cleanse after cleanse in an attempt to achieve health. After my fifth pregnancy I did another “Master Cleanse” along with a potent herbal liver cleanse followed by a month long juice fast and year on a raw foods diet, I became sicker by the day it seemed, Why it took me so long to realize I was harming myself further I have no idea. Soon I developed allergies to almost everything I ate. I was on an extremely limited diet, my adrenals and thyroid were in terrible shape, my autoimmune issues were worse that ever and my body covered in Psoriasis. When I became pregnant with Amelia I was terrified, I didn’t think my body or my mental stability could handle another pregnancy. I feared for my baby and I had no idea how I was going to find the energy to parent six children.

    I have an older child diagnosed (educational diagnosis) with autism spectrum disorder and shortly after I became pregnant with my sweet Amelia I had begun reading the GAPS book in hopes of finding help for my son. As I read I KNEW I needed to get on GAPS as soon as possible for the sake of my baby. I was the poster child for a GAPS patient and had been my entire life.

    I know God gave me that book when he did for Amelia’s sake and feel certain that God used it to spare her many of the difficulties she could have otherwise had. Amelia was born at home at 41.5 weeks (which is unusual for a DS pregnancy, they are typically born premature) she was born in her caul, which I believe was due to the huge amounts of bone broth I consumed throughout her pregnancy. My seventh baby was also born in the caul and as I am still on GAPS I also consumed huge amounts of bone broth throughout her pregnancy too. maybe a coincidence but I suspect the gelatin rich foods contributed to this. I should also add that these two deliveries and recoveries were FAR easier than my prior deliveries and recoveries with very very minimal bleeding.) By Gods grace Amelia has had no heart, digestive or thyroid issues, no health issues at all. Nursing was a challenge for Amelia and due to her low muscle tone I struggled with having enough milk for her. We supplemented my breast-milk with the WAP formula and I rubbed additional FCLO into her skin daily. I took large amounts of FCLO, krill oil and ate as nutrient dense a diet as possible.

    So far Amelia (who is a yr and a half as I type this) has had no health issues aside from a nasty virus (I’m thinking it was this yrs flu bug) that recently went through our family and even that she was able to work through without complications. She is off the DS growth charts for both height and weight and falls right into the average range on charts for typically developing children. She is now eating some solid foods but we plan to keep her on a the full GAPS protocol plus raw dairy since she seems to have no issues with it at all for the foreseeable future. At six months I began to add bone broth, egg yolk, additional FCLO (instead of rubbing it into her skin) and liver to her formula and she has had no digestive issues whatsoever with any of the foods we have added to her diet. She loves any and all the foods we have introduced her to regardless of how “gross” they may be. She loves cultured foods, organ meats, all veggies…

    All this to say that I believe whole hardheartedly that she will have greater health and have the ability to live up to Gods potential for her life bc of the good nutrition she has and will continue to receive as will all my children. I only wish for all of their sakes I knew what I know now sooner.

    I should also add that even after another pregnancy very close to Amelia’s my health is better than it ever has been too 🙂

    Oh one other thing I should add is that we have avoided most of the conventional advice we have received from medical Dr.s regarding DS. The diet they recommend for people with DS is completely opposite of what they should be recommending. They of course also strongly recommend vaccines which we have avoided with all our children but feel even more strongly about avoiding for Amelia. We have used homeopathy, acupressure and herbal support for her as needed.

  4. gay says:

    What wonderful news and good info.

  5. Brittany says:

    I have a 5 yr old daughter with down syndrome and i must say that this article has gotten me fired up on a few different levels. First off, let me say that I love your site and have recently started the journey to a healthier diet and I am loving it. Ok, here it goes, my two cents: My initial reaction is to be somewhat offended. I had to ask myself, why do I feel offended by this? I think its because the automatic assumption is that Down syndrome is something bad, to be prevented or avoided. I don’t think that down syndrome is some sort of disease that should try to be avoided. In my heart, I know that the Lord knits together every child as he sees fit and I believe that children with down syndrome just have a little bit of variety that the Lord has throw in. Like chocolate sprinkles on top of vanilla ice cream. Theres nothing wrong with a child who has down syndrome and if you have one, it doesn’t mean its because you have been a bad parent by eating the wrong kinds of foods and causing it to happen. Ok, moving on. Second, I do agree that nutrition therapy can play a huge role in the development and health of a child with down syndrome. In my daughters lifetime, I have seen huge improvements when I make healthy changes to her diet and add in the key nutrients. She has taken the NurtiveneD supplement and I have seen a big improvement when she is on it. She was born with hypothyroidism and with the correct nutrition therapy, craniosacral therapy and NAET treatments, we have been able to restore her slow thyroid to a normal functioning thyroid! So I am totally encouraged by seeing more info on the impact of nutrition therapy for Children with down syndrome. So there you have it. my two cents, for what its worth. This was an interesting article, thanks for sharing it.

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