Breastfeeding – Toxins in Breast Milk

Our body excretes toxins through all our bodily discharges:

  • sweat
  • urine, fecal
  • prostate fluids/semen, menstrual blood
  • and breast milk.

Knowing that you are preparing to have a baby, its best to take the year before to have your heavy metal toxicity checked, remove all mercury amalgams with a biological dentist, and clean up the diet from processed & pesticide laden foods, and eliminate chemical cleaners from the household. That having been done by many mothers, why is their breast milk still coming up so toxic that it cannot legally be thrown down the drain?

Our body stores toxins that we cannot easily eliminate or those toxins that get backed up in our system because our liver detoxification pathways do not have the proper nutrient support to efficiently bind and excrete toxins. We may in addition be slower at detoxification because we have genetic and/or immune and metabolic hindrances to detoxification metabolism.

We can store toxins anywhere in the body, including brain and bone. Depending upon where the toxins are stored determines how long it will take to remove the toxin. For example, Dr. Garry Gordon, known as “the father of chelation” says it takes generally 7 years to remodel bone and therefore it is said to take 7 years to remove lead stored in bone. We take in lead daily from smog and petrochemical pollution we breathe in the air daily!

Every chance the body has, it tries to eliminate toxins via our secretions. Therefore, breast milk will contain concentrated toxins accumulated from the body, not otherwise excreted. A study conducted back in May of 2004 by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) identified common toxins found in breast milk. The most common toxins found in breast milk are methyl mercury (found in mercury contaminated fish, farm raised fish), and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), found in flame retardant sprayed on the fabric for furniture, clothing, including and especially baby clothing and baby care items, PVC coating of wire, copy paper treatment, sealants and caulking used in schools and buildings, adhesives and some paints. It seems everywhere!

Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), is stored in fat tissue and comes from pesticides (which is why eating organic is so important to lower one’s exposure). It is considered a reproductive toxin affecting hormones. It hinders the ability of mammals to reproduce and grow. There is also mounting evidence for a link with breast cancer. It is neurotoxic, meaning it damages nerves and brain and is specifically know to affect the dopamine neurotransmitter (for alertness, muscle fluidity, balance, mental focus).

Hexachlorobenzene is a fungicide and known carcinogen for liver, kidney, and thyroid cancer. Human studies have confirmed that it crosses the placenta and is delivered into breast milk. It is also a known neurotoxins.  Babies are more susceptible than adults to neurotoxins because their nerves are still developing. These chemical products are not easily broken down by the body, so they are stored increasing the damaging effects of these chemicals.

BPA, (bisphenol A) is used to make plastics and is commonly found in children’s plastic toys, plastic containers and drinking bottles. In 2010, the FDA voiced concern about exposure to fetuses, infants, and young children. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications: January 2010; 15 January 2010 [cited 15 January 2010])  That same year, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance and both Canada and the European Union banned it in baby bottles. But it is still in use in USA! Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers take in the BPAs and give it to their baby through breast milk.

With the continued pollution of our air, water, and food supply, we now know that these pollutants cannot be avoided. The ATSDR reported that in studies around the world (US, Japan, Germany, Holland, Sweden) these PBDEs were found in all blood samples taken including breast milk. The European Council of Ministers at that time would have to seek a ban on those products to protect the public. But such a ban would still need to make its way past the World Trade Organization where manufacturers of PBDEs can make their oppositions. What is shocking is that the US government has little to no regulatory impact on the manufacture, use or disposal of PBDEs in this country. The point being therefore, we will continue to live in a toxic world well past the time you stop having to breast feed your children. (Kim Hooper and Thomas A. McDonald, “The PBDEs: An Emerging Environmental Challenge and Another Reason for Breast-Milk Monitoring Programs,” ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES Vol. 108, No. 5 (May 2000), pgs. 387-392.)

What can you do as a breastfeeding mother to help your baby detoxify the chemicals? Immune Matrix has long advised its pregnant mothers to begin to take chlorella regularly (Sun Chlorella) and to stay on chlorella while breastfeeding. They have found that the chlorella does not affect the taste of the breast milk so the baby will not be put off by its presence in breast milk. Furthermore, the mother and baby can continue to safely bind and excrete circulating toxins without stressing kidney or liver function in mother or baby.

Eat only organic food while breastfeeding to avoid the additional pesticide exposures. Avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles. Never heat up anything in a microwave with plastic wrap or stored in a plastic container. Eat plenty of dark green vegetables because they are high in minerals. Drink plenty of mineral/spring water (high in alkaline minerals). Alkaline minerals are essential nutrients the liver needs to bind and excrete toxins from the body. Avoid refined processed food of all kinds and all sodas, both laden with chemicals. You can add a trace mineral supplement to your water/liquids in addition to your diet of dark green vegetables. If you are not a fan of vegetables or need more alkaline minerals, then consider Metagenics PhytoMulti. This product has some surprising benefits on the front of genetic repair and will definitely support your liver’s needs for detoxification.

Metagenics Products

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In the home, eliminate all chemical cleaners and go to biodegradable cleaners, unscented products or products using natural plant essential oils. Remember, toxic exposure is cumulative, so what you eat and put on your skin and breathe in from the fumes in one’s house all accumulates in the body.

If and when you vaccinate your child, insist on thimerisol free vaccines (mercury free vaccines). They have to be special ordered but are well worth the effort to reduce toxic heavy metal exposure (which is cumulative) to your child. When possible talk to your pediatrician on separating and stretching out as long as possible the time sequence between vaccinations so that the cumulative toxic effect of the vaccine has time to be processed for the baby. Immune Matrix has consistently found with all of this autistic patients, heavy metal toxicity. Some children show up heavy metal toxic from only having had breast milk and no vaccines. None of the mothers were taking chlorella during their pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

The news about our ever increasing toxic world is disturbing, but breast milk is still by far the better solution to feeding your nursing child provided you as the mother are taking in clean, nutritious food and you help yourself and your child eliminate what toxins it can with chlorella while breastfeeding.

Please note:

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan