A Dose of Methyl Paraben?

I delivered week two of food to my friend last night. We got to catch up. Mom looks great! I had a perfect wintery night chatting in the kitchen; a cup of tea in one hand and a three week old sleeping on my chest for a few hours. My friend and I will always discuss health, healing and wellness and other silly things. I’ve not had my own child, yet have a wealth of information from my stint as a nanny, as a day care teacher, and always as a friend of a new mom. She had a doozy for me this time.

First, the little guy gained a half a pound his first week. According to the pediatrician that’s unheard of for an exclusively breast fed baby but other healthy friends’ MDs said the same thing. Next, the doctor shared that Vitamin D is missing from breast milk. That’s not exactly true. Yes, I know it is winter and I know we live in that northern area most deficient of Vitamin D. My friend does give the little one daily sun baths which definitely compensates, and thanks to his fair skin tone he needs less than 2 hours each week of sun exposure. Regardless, the pediatrician prescribed infant Vitamin D drops. Vitamin D is sort of like the missing link in the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus. The doctors are concerned about bone and heart health. The prescription remained unfilled, but when the now 3 week old started with a few sniffles Dad picked it up from the pharmacy.

When mom looked at the ingredients, she was shocked. Should I really knowingly give my child methylparaben, polysorbate 80, sodium hydroxide, red food dye, and caramel coloring just to get a dose of Vitamin D? Am I being a negligent mom by knowingly depriving my child of a vitamin or by knowingly feeding my child synthetics? Many of my friends have chosen to postpone or abstain from all vaccinations. That is a personal educated choice. Children’s immune systems are fully intact by age two. My personal choice would be to keep their systems clean and pure of synthetics at least until that age. Most of my friends have chosen to use only glass bottles, natural cloth diapers, organic pesticide-free food, and all those other good things. Here blatantly on a label for all to see are chemicals preserving and coloring a vitamin easily sourced from the sun, oily fish and fish oils and fortified milk.

First of all, red food dye and caramel coloring is apparently to appease the parents’ vision and palatability because a 3 week old isn’t seeing much right now. Caramel coloring is an emulsifier as is Polysorbate 80 – keeps the ingredients combined. Polysorbate 80 is a common emulsifier in cosmetics, vitamins, vaccines and even ice cream and milk products and has been proven to damage fertility. Sodium hydroxide is a pH buffer. Hello, if you didn’t use synthetic ingredients you wouldn’t need to buffer the medication.

Then comes the methyl paraben. I understand medicine needs preservatives but there are natural alternatives like soy lecithin and beeswax. Parabens offer an inexpensive way to increase the shelf life of products and to inhibit the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts even though they are known to be highly toxic. Scientific studies have found that parabens have the potential to cause cancer. The estrogen activity of this ingredient has been directly linked to the development of certain cancers, including breast, prostate, ovarian, and uterine.

Health conscious folk have been lobbying for years to have laureth sulfates, parabens, and phlatates removed from personal care products. Product ingredients can be searched on cosmeticdatabase.com and the site includes a risk ranking and the effects the ingredient has on the body. Cosmetic companies have made some changes but for the most part, consumers are absorbing chemicals with every use. Unfortunately, I found no resources for medications free of synthetics.

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2 Responses to A Dose of Methyl Paraben?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I’m a new mom of a 7-month old and didn’t even know I might need to give vitamin d to my baby while breastfeeding. Now I found out I have a vitamin d deficiency myself, and we live in the north so not much sunlight in winter. Anyway, I don’t know much about my own vitamin d shortage yet, but did find this website: http://www.ddrops.ca/. I’m going to try these drops for my baby, they are apparently paraben free. Thought your friend would want to know.

  2. l.rae says:

    Thanks for the info. This product is a step above the prescription my friend received.
    Dr. Andrew Weil has a concern about Palm Kernel Oil, though.

    “Rees Moerman, product engineer at Spectrum Naturals, a California company, which sells high quality expeller-pressed oils, tells me that unlike palm oil, palm kernel oil can’t be obtained organically. Instead, the oil must be extracted from the pit with a gasoline-like hydrocarbon solvent. In short, palm kernel oil is a cheap, unhealthy fat, and I recommend avoiding food products containing it.

    Fractionation is a further phase of palm oil processing, designed to extract and concentrate specific fatty acid fractions. Fractionated palm oil, as found in food products, has a higher concentration of saturated fat than regular palm oil and is used for the convenience of manufacturers who like its stability and melting characteristics. The healthful aspects of natural palm oil are largely lost in the process. I’ve noticed that fractionated palm oil is a common ingredient in many power bars sold in health-food stores.

    The bottom line is that of all these oils, organic, minimally processed palm oil is the healthiest, followed by conventionally processed palm oil. Palm kernel oil is less healthy still, and fractionated palm oil is the least desirable.”
    Andrew Weil, M.D.