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What is glutathione? What are glutathione supplements used for?

What is Glutathione? Glutathione, often referred to as the "master antioxidant," is a naturally occurring molecule found in the cells. Glutathione is a tripeptide, meaning it is made of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamine, and glycine). It is produced in the liver and plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Glutathione is involved in various biochemical processes that help protect and maintain the health of the body. Functions of Glutathione in the Body: Glutathione has several essential functions within the body. One of its primary roles is to act as a potent antioxidant. It neutralizes harmful free radicals and protects cells from...

Is stinging nettle safe for children? What is it used for?

Urtica dioica, commonly referred to as stinging nettle, boasts a rich history of culinary, medicinal, clothing and ceremonial practices. Belonging to the Urticacea family, it is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia, now found in temperate regions worldwide and considered a weed in intensive agriculture due to its rapid growth and colonization.1 The plant can grow to heights of 2 meters and is covered with microscopically hooked hair-like protrusions that cause the stinging sensation it is named for. This skin-irritating effect is triggered by the release of biochemical substances like histamine and acetylcholine from its needle-like protrusions.2...

Clinical evidence for the use of chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) in children

The Timeless Appeal of Chamomile Chamomile, scientifically known as Matricaria chamomilla, is a widely used herb in traditional medicines around the world. Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman medical texts describe using chamomile as a calming tea infusion and for treating dry, weatherworn skin.1 Chinese medical traditions first detailed chamomiles’ (known as “Bamu Nai”) attributes during the 10th century in Uyghur medicine.2 Similarly, the Unani medicine system, prevalent in the Indian subcontinent, boasts a centuries-old association with chamomiles’ therapeutic potential.3 For thousands of years, chamomile served as a symbol bridging the spiritual with the wonder of medicine. Egyptians and Saxons regarded chamomile as...

Safety and the use of Verbascum thapsus (Mullein) for common children’s conditions

Mullein is a wonderful, abundant herb used for a number of children's conditions. In this article we will explore the clinical research, safety and efficacy of Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) for use in children. Introduction Mullein, scientifically known as Verbascum thapsus, is a versatile flowering plant belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family, widely recognized for its medicinal properties across various cultures throughout history. Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, mullein has also naturalized in other regions, including North America, where it thrives in diverse habitats such as meadows, roadsides, and wastelands. From ancient civilizations to contemporary herbal medicine, mullein has been revered for...

Probiotics and Their Role in Alleviating IBS and Constipation in Children 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and constipation are common gastrointestinal issues that can significantly impact the well-being of children. Treatment options for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are notoriously inadequate or come with potentially serious side effects and risks.1 It's crucial to explore gentle, holistic approaches (that actually work) to address these concerns. Probiotics have the potential to modulate the gut microbiota and have emerged as a promising solution. In this article, we’ll delve into the relationship between probiotics, IBS, and constipation in children, examining specific probiotic strains, prebiotics, and their mechanisms of action.  Understanding IBS and Constipation in Children  IBS is a functional...

Is Echinacea Safe for Children? Is it Effective?

Introduction to Echinacea in herbal medicine Have you ever strolled through the pharmacy section at your local grocery store and noticed cold and flu medications boasting echinacea as a key ingredient? While the flashy labels are clearly promising relief from stubborn bugs, you might be wondering: does echinacea work? Is it safe? What exactly is echinacea?  Echinacea is an herbal gem with roots stretching back through time. In this article we will unpack some of the potent history of this plant ally as well as take a peek into the latest scientific discoveries from the past decade (ish). We’ll dig deep into...

Medicinal use of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) in naturopathic medicine

The historical use of thyme Thymus vulgaris, commonly known as thyme, has a rich and varied history of use that dates back to ancient civilizations. The ancient Egyptians used thyme in their embalming practices, recognizing its strong preservative and antibacterial properties. In Ancient Greece, thyme was widely used for its aromatic qualities; it was burned as incense in sacred temples and was also a symbol of courage and admiration, with soldiers often given thyme before battles as a sign of bravery. During the Roman era, thyme was valued for its culinary and medicinal qualities. The Romans used it in bathing and massaging....

Understanding the stages of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

What is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet? For a full intro into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet see Getting Started with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. For children who are struggling with inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis you may want to check out Seattle Children's Hospital article: "Can the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease?" Listen to some of their success stories! Overview of the Stages of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is broken down into a short introductory phase and five proceeding stages. The initial stage of SCD is called the “Intro Diet”. Details on how...

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Getting started with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

What is the rationale behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet? The rationale behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) centers around the idea that certain harmful gut pathogens flourish on carbohydrates that are more difficult to digest. In people with inflamed intestines or dysbiosis, breaking down and transporting large molecules (such as most carbohydrates) across the small intestines becomes impossible.1 The undigested sugar molecules become the primary food source for bacteria and fungus, encouraging pathogens to colonize the small intestine.1 In addition, excess pathogens produce more toxic byproducts than the small intestines can rapidly eliminate, leading to intestinal mucosal injury.1 Bacterial overgrowth can...

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The fine line between Elimination Diets and Eating Disorders

As a pediatric naturopathic doctor I have over ten years of experience using therapeutic elimination diets in children. I have seen many cases of dramatic reversal of chronic disease or behavior concerns. That said, in the last few years I have found myself increasingly hesitant to recommend restrictive diets, especially as elimination diets have exploded in popularity in the last few years. Food sensitivity tests can now be purchased online and social media is enamored with all sorts of elimination diets. Although they can be a powerful tool for healing, there’s certainly some nuance that we collectively seem to...

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and the “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin

What is 5-HTP? 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical the body makes from tryptophan, an amino acid found in food. After tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP it is converted again, but this time to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries messages from the brain to various parts of the body and plays a role in sleep, appetite, digestion, impulse control, PMS, mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory and more. It’s often referred to as the “feel good” neurotransmitter because of its ability to create a sense of happiness or wellbeing. Appropriate serotonin levels are essential for a healthy brain and normal levels support...

Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency and supplementation in children

What is thiamine? Thiamine, or vitamin B1, is a water soluble vitamin found naturally in some foods and added to others. All of the B vitamins are essential for energy production because they help convert carbohydrates to glucose, the body's primary fuel source. Thiamine is important for nutrient metabolism, a healthy liver, skin, hair, eye and nervous system functions. Thiamine is sometimes called the “anti-stress” vitamin because it strengthens the immune system and thus increases the body’s tolerance to stress.1 Recommended dietary allowance for thiamine (Vitamin B1) The RDA for thiamine is as follows: Newborns, 6 months: 0.2 mg (adequate intake) Infants, 7 months to...

The evidence for CoQ10 supplementation in children. Is CoQ10 Safe?

The evidence for CoQ10 supplementation in children

What is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and what does it do? Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat soluble compound synthesized in the body. It is commonly referred to as ubiquinone because it is found in almost every cell in all living organisms, making it ubiquitous in nature. CoQ10 is found in the mitochondrial membrane where it helps convert food to ATP, the energy used by cells.1 More specifically, it converts carbs and fats to ATP by delivering electrons to oxygen as part of the electron transport chain in the final steps of fatty acid and glucose metabolism.1 Therefore, CoQ10 is an essential...

Abortion and vaccination (and other religious objections to immunizations)

This video is from Dr. Krumbeck's vaccine education course, Vaccines Demystified. Before you listen to this video please understand: this video is not meant to judge, comment upon, or endorse any particular faith group or religious belief. At Naturopathic Pediatrics we understand that many families have deep spiritual or religious convictions that may affect the way they want to immunize their child. This video is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult your own faith leader if you have questions about the moral issues regarding vaccination. Why were vaccines derived from an aborted fetus in the first...

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Clinical uses of L-tyrosine in naturopathic medicine

What is Tyrosine and what is it used for? L-Tyrosine, commonly referred to as just tyrosine, is a conditionally essential amino acid that the body makes from another amino acid, phenylalanine. Tyrosine is essential for the production of a family of neurotransmitters called catecholamines that includes epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.1 Neurotransmitters are cell messengers that send signals from neurons to other cells in the body and in this case, play a role in mood regulation, memory, and alertness. Additionally, tyrosine is a precursor to thyroid hormone and melanin synthesis.1 Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Tyrosine Technically, there isn’t an RDA established for tyrosine...

What’s the difference between a picky eater and a sensory eater? 

Most parents have likely thought their child was a picky eater at some point. It’s normal for kids to go through phases where they’re more or less picky during periods of growth and as their taste buds develop. In some cases, picky eating is less about the food, and more about the sensory experience of that food. The term “picky eaters” typically describes children who consume a limited number of foods and/or have multiple food aversions. Sometimes, picky behaviors can contribute to nutrient deficiencies, impacting the child’s growth and development. The difference between picky eaters and children with sensory eating issues...

Copper deficiency, toxicity and supplementation in children 

Copper is a mineral found in all body tissues and most secretions. It serves as a cofactor for enzymes involved in energy production, iron metabolism, and neurotransmitter synthesis.1 Additionally, copper is a cofactor for superoxide dismutase, an important part of the body's antioxidant defense against oxidative stress. Copper is necessary for the synthesis of connective tissues like collagen and elastin, has a hand in blood clotting, immune function, and the activation of several hormones.2 Copper is also involved in the development of new blood vessels, regulation of gene expression, and brain development.1  Food sources of copper  Copper can be found in a...

4 ways your child may not tolerate cow’s dairy: allergy, milk protein sensitivity, cerebral folate deficiency, and lactose intolerance

People may choose to avoid milk products for a variety of reasons, but often they don’t understand the differences in a true milk allergy, a milk protein intolerance, and lactose intolerance. In this article, we’ll discuss the unique causes, symptoms, and treatments related to each condition.  Milk Protein Allergy (IgE-mediated response) A milk allergy differs from a milk intolerance in how the immune system responds. A milk allergy involves an immunological response to the proteins in milk, typically casein or whey. A milk intolerance is a non-immunological response that’s often the result of digestive issues.  A milk allergy is diagnosed using a skin prick...

Why do children need so much calcium? What do naturopathic doctors use calcium for? 

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Approximately 99% of calcium is found in the bones and teeth with the remaining 1% in extracellular fluid like blood and soft tissues. Calcium is critical for many cellular processes, including regulating heart rhythms, nerve function, muscle contraction, blood clotting, and enzyme activation.1  Calcium is so important for physiological functions that the body has built in mechanisms to tightly control the amount of calcium in the blood and tissues. If calcium in the blood drops too low, the parathyroid hormone sends a signal to the bones to release more calcium into the...

Quercetin supplementation for children: research, safety and efficacy

What is Quercetin? Quercetin is a plant pigment found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid known as a flavonol, important for its antioxidant properties.1 Its antioxidant properties help neutralize free radicals that may otherwise cause inflammation and contribute to a wide range of chronic diseases.  Quercetin is best known for its use in treating seasonal allergies, although research continues to demonstrate its versatility in other conditions. In fact, quercetin is known for having “anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, antihistamine, vasodilator effects, antiobesity, antihypercholesterolemic and antiatherosclerotic activities."1 Furthermore, it helps reduce blood clots and oxidative stress in the arteries...

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