Can Food Choices Affect Your Child’s Speech-Language Development? (Part 2)

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Recently, I wrote an article for The Wellness Warrior blog on this topic, and I wanted to add the rest of my information in this article.  To see the first part of this article, go here: Do Food Choices Affect Your Child’s Speech Development? (Part 1)

As Jayda Siggers, PhD (Nutritionist) mentioned regarding my previous article: “Although there is not a ton of peer-reviewed research on this topic, it makes sense from a physiology point of view.  Of course, speech and other delays are multifactorial, and food sensitivities are not the answer for every child, but for many they are (or at least part of the equation), even if you don’t think food is a problem. Realistically, most of us can improve our diet. If you have a low grade, chronic inflammatory reaction occurring that is nutrient depleting and further decreasing adequate nutrient absorption, it will lead to essential nutrient depletion. These nutrients are then needed for proper development, which can lead to developmental delays.”  Also, a lack of nutrient-rich food can cause deficiencies which can affect brain development (e.g., children with autism who are very picky eaters).

In the article Syndrome of Allergy, Apraxia, and Malabsorption: Characterization of a Neurodevelopmental Phenotype that Responds to Omega-3 and Vitamin E Supplementation by Claudia Morris, MD, and Marilyn Agin, MD, 181 out of 187 families of children with apraxia reported dramatic improvements in a number of areas including speech, imitation, coordination, eye contact, behavior, and sensory issues when their child was given Vitamin E and Omega-3 supplementation. In this article, apraxia appeared to be linked to food allergies, gluten sensitivity, and nutrient malabsorption.

In the article Food Allergies and Infantile Autism by Lucarelli S, Frediani T, Zingoni AM, Ferruzzi F, Giardini O, Quintieri F, Barbato M, D’Eufemia P, Cardi E from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rome, Italy, 36 children with autism were found to have a marked improvement in their behavioral symptoms after a period of 8 weeks on a food allergy elimination diet. In addition, significantly higher levels of antibodies for casein (i.e., protein in cow’s milk) were found in these children as compared to a control group of 20 healthy children. These results suggest a relationship between food allergies and infantile autism as has also been suggested for other disturbances of the central nervous system.

Why are there so many people with allergies now compared to 50 or 100 years ago?

Most people are not born with food allergies/sensitivities/intolerances – they’re acquired.  Many people are acquiring food allergies because the way our food is produced now is so different than 50 years ago.

The wheat grown in America today is very different from the wheat our ancestors grew and ate, and it’s even different from the wheat still grown in Europe.  It has a higher content of gluten and the strand of gluten is different from what was grown by our grandparents.  Also, they processed their grains very differently – stone-grounding their flour and soaking, fermenting, and/or sprouting their grains before baking breads or making porridge.  Sprouting activates enzymes that can help digest the grains better and soaking and fermentation starts to break down the grains before you even eat it. (Information obtained from Katrine Van Wyk, Health and Nutrition Coach)

Soy and corn are mass-produced, and a significant percentage grown in America are derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  GMOs have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques.  Commercial sale of GMO foods began very recently (in 1994).

Our soil and oceans have even changed dramatically due to increased pollution from factory farms, transportation, and other environmental pollutants.  Dairy and eggs have been negatively effected by the increased antibiotics and hormones that are given to animals on factory farms which produce 99% of animal products in America.  Chickens began being raised on factory farms in the first two decades of the twentieth century, and cows and pigs began being raised on factory farms in the 1960s.  So, there have been some drastic changes in our food production over the past century.

Speech and language disorders are multi-faceted and can develop for a variety of reasons.  Diet may be an important piece of the puzzle in some cases.

To read more about the possible link between food and speech-language disorders, see these articles: Why Current thinking about Autism is Completely WrongBreakthrough Discovery on the Causes of AutismSyndrome of Allergy, Apraxia, and Malabsorption articleFood Allergies Linked to Autism?Autism and Its Relationship to Immune ComplexWhat Causes Autism?Autism, ADHD, and Food Allergies

Is some or all of this information new to you?  Don’t feel alone.  Unfortunately, our society has raised us to believe that food does not affect us at such an acute level.  We (including myself) have been taught to eat poorly, and we have to relearn how to be healthy again!  Wishing you and your family vibrant health and happiness!

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