Friday, June 09, 2006

B vitamins may result in heavier children

US Researches have found that, at least in mice, supplemental folic acid and vitamins B12 results in heavier offspring.This is thought to be due to a chemical change in the mother's DNA.

Women planning a pregnancy are currently advised to take supplemental folic acid to reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defect, such as spina bifida.

Some countries such as the US have even introduced mandatory fortification of flour to ensure women have adequate folic acid in their diet.

However it is a matter of debate, whether this is a good idea. Some research suggests there may be a complex relationship between dietary exposure to folic acid and the risk of developing certain cancers.

New research now adds another dimension to this debate.

Food components including folic acid and vitamin B12 are known to be methyl donors.

This involves the addition of a methyl group to DNA, which in turn affects the activity of genes. Previous research on female Avy mice found that including a methyl donor in the maternal mouse diet influenced the gene activity in her pups, turning the pup's coats from yellow to brown.

Avy mice are also obese, hence Rob Waterland and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, US, conducted experiments to establish whether this too could be altered by epigenetics, specifically DNA methylation.

They fed female Avy mice methyl donating compounds including folic acid, vitamin B12, betaine and choline. The pups of these females were weighed, and the experiment repeated feeding the methyl donors to the female pups.

The team expected to find that weight decreased over the generations as the animals inherited and acquired more methylation. Instead they found the opposite, the mice got heavier down the generations. When the experiment was repeated with non-Avy mice, the results were similar.

The authors concluded that although it is too early to comment on the potential effects of supplementing the human diet with these B vitamins, it would appear that there may be relationship between these vitamins and obesity in their offspring.

This is, therefore, another factor to consider in the debate over whether expectant mothers should supplement their diet with folic acid. Waterland's team are currently conducting further investigations.

Source: Scenta

Practice helps a woman's fitness during pregnancy

Kelly Candelot, 34, of Honolulu has been stretching to fitness during her eighth month of pregnancy. Candelot, a marketing director for a hospitality company, said she was drawn to yoga because of its health benefits. "(I heard) so many good things about the benefits of yoga, so I decided to try it," she said. "I have had a really good pregnancy so far ... (and) after a yoga sessions, I feel it's so much easier to breathe, almost like (I) have created a little more space within (my) stomach." Guiding Candelot in her regular yoga routines is Mary Bastien, 29, owner of Open Space Yoga in downtown Honolulu. Bastien has more than nine years of yoga practice, coupled with six years of training (more than 200 hours) under various yoga experts. She began teaching three years ago. "I teach (what is referred to as) Vinyasa Flow yoga, which links breath with movement, with an emphasis on different breathing practices and meditation," Bastien said. Bastien, a New York native and Honolulu resident, keeps her practice current through continued training. "What I enjoy most about yoga is the ability to help people feel better in their lives," she said. Bastien, although not a medical professional, has received training in working with women in pregnancy, and screens potential students as to their state of health, and if a student's physician has endorsed yoga practice. "I have worked with about a dozen pregnant women ... I work with them before class to let them know what to stay away from ... (as) there are a few asanas (poses) and breathing practices that should be avoided," she said. Candelot's physician approved of her yoga participation, and she is grateful for Bastien's guidance. "Mary is an excellent teacher. She communicates her instructions very well," Candelot said. "I trust her 100 percent with the exercise regiment ... if a position is more challenging for someone, she gives a suitable alternative." Candelot complements her yoga with swimming three times per week and walking when possible. Bastien recommends that anyone taking on a new activity, such as yoga, should always mention to an instructor any health or physical issues that may be complicated by exercise and should always consult a medical professional to receive the appropriate clearance to participate. Source:

Geri's Bluebell Madonna

These are pics of former Spice Girl, Geri Hallwell, and her newborn baby girl, Bluebell Madonna. She's so fragil!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gwen Is Back!

Gwen Stefani, on 6-6-06, took a break as a new mom and went furniture shopping with her husband and new father, Gavin Rossdale. She still looks beautiful, no pics of little baby Kingston yet. They should be out soon.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bay Area Couple Induces Labor To Avoid 06/06/06 Birthdate

The fear of having a baby born Tuesday has one local couple inducing pregnancy. According to the Bible's Book of Revelations, 6-6-6 is the mark of the devil. One South Bay couple arranged to have their pregnancy induced, so the newborn son will not be born on 06/06/06. "You call for a credit card, for anything, and they ask your birthday. I don't want him to have to say 6-6-6 over and over again. I don't want it hanging over his head," said the boy's mother, Stacia Fanara. Some psychologists said a strong reaction or phobia to certain dates, whether it's 9/11 or 6/6/06, is not unusual. Source: NBC 11

Report: Avoid Canned Tuna If Pregnant

(WebMD) Recommendations published in the magazine Consumer Reports this week urge women to avoid eating any canned tuna while pregnant because of uncertainties about the risk of mercury contamination to developing fetuses. The recommendations are stricter than the federal government's advice issued two years ago. Then, the FDA advised women and young children to limit — but not avoid — consumption of canned tuna because of contamination. But the magazine's experts say women should avoid the popular item altogether because of FDA data showing that some canned tuna may have higher mercury levels than once thought. "What we did is take a closer look at the data," says Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., a toxicologist and a senior scientist at Consumer Reports. Higher-Than-Average Levels Canned tuna and most other fish and seafood contain some amount of toxic mercury that has worked its way through the food chain because of industrial pollution. In adequate doses, the metal can damage the developing nervous system in fetuses and children. The FDA specifically warns against the consumption of shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish — which have high levels of mercury — by women who are nursing or women who are pregnant or of childbearing age; the FDA warning also applies to young children. In 2004, the FDA urged women and young children to eat no more than 12 ounces of a variety of fish and shellfish with lower levels of mercury (including canned light tuna) or 6 ounces of white tuna (albacore) per week to minimize mercury risks. Canned light tuna on average contains lower mercury levels, the agency said. But the Consumer Reports analysis of the FDA's data shows that 6% of cans of light tuna contained at least as much mercury as white tuna, also known as albacore. It wasn't enough to skew the average beyond white tuna, but enough to warrant concern for pregnant women, Rangan says. "We're not telling you not to eat tuna. But for pregnant women in particular where you are talking about potential fetal exposure — and it's an avoidable risk — we're saying go ahead and take some extra measures to reduce your Hg [mercury] exposure at all costs," she tells WebMD. FDA Interpretation David Acheson, M.D., chief medical officer of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, says the agency does not dispute the magazine's calculations. Acheson says that "a single dose of mercury is not good." But he says that a years-long scientific review convinced the agency that there is little danger even if pregnant women eat canned light tuna with higher-than-average mercury contamination once in a while. "We are not aware of any science that would indicate that having an occasional meal at that level would cause any harm, and if that science is out there, I would love to see it," Acheson tells WebMD. Consumer Reports urged women of childbearing age to limit tuna consumption to about three chunk-light cans per week or one can of white tuna (albacore) or solid-light tuna, since mercury can linger in the body even after you are no longer eating it. Six-ounce servings of lower-mercury seafood — including salmon, tilapia, shrimp, and clams — appear safe for daily consumption by women, the magazine said; three-ounce servings for small children up to 45 pounds also appear safe. Other Perspectives Joshua T. Cohen, Ph.D., a lecturer at the Institute for Clinical Research at the Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston, says Consumer Reports was misinterpreting the significance of data showing that 6% of light-tuna cans exceed averages for higher-mercury white tuna. "What your body sees is the average [mercury dose] over several weeks. The idea that the departure above the average on one day is going to mean a bad health outcome is like saying that two slices of apple pie at Thanksgiving is going to lead to obesity," says Cohen, who authored a major study on the risks and benefits of fish consumption. The study was funded by food industry groups and the U.S. Tuna Foundation, another industry group. A statement by the foundation said tuna has proven health benefits and that Consumer Reports had done "a great disservice" by using "incomplete facts." Rangan says that more-than-usual caution is warranted for pregnant women. "We're talking about exercising caution for a particularly vulnerable population with fetuses with vulnerable nervous systems. The fact of the matter is that it's a preventable risk, so why when there are so many options, wouldn't you want to minimize your risk of exposure," she says. Source: CBS News

Here she is: Shiloh Jolie-Pitt

The picture that many people have been waiting for. Surprise! Surprise! She looks like a baby. Honestly, I never quite understood why her picture was in such high demand. But she is cute, like most babies are. Little Shiloh caused quite a stirr in the tabloid industry: "All the weekly magazine editors were summoned to the offices of the Getty photo agency at Canal and Varick late Saturday night. "We were sequestered into separate and un-air-conditioned offices," said one. "The photos were shown to us around 10 p.m. to midnight, and then we had to submit bids by 6 a.m. Sunday morning. No one got any sleep at all, as it was a manic game of phone-tag to top each other's bids. I'm convinced it was Brangie's revenge on the weekly magazines." The pictures went to People for $4.1 million." I think people made too much of a big deal. She's just a baby. Let her sleep and eat and sleep and cry and eat some more. Source: Just Jared

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Diamond pacifier for the Brangelina baby

Just a few days old and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter Shiloh Nouvel is already receiving loads of celebrity swag.

A website called has sent a one-of-a-kind 14K gold and diamond studded pacifier worth $17,000. The binky is made of European white gold and 3 carats of white diamonds.It has 278 pave cut white diamonds totaling 3 carats set in a 14K white gold base. It has a silicone nipple and a moving handle but the company says they "do not recommend actual use." The pacifiers, which sell for $17,000 can be customized with colored diamonds and engraved.

Interestingly, the design was inspired by the birth of Donald and Melania Trump's son Barron William.

While Brangelina have already given money to the African community which hosted them, including $300,000 dollars to two state hospital maternity wards, TMZ contacted CARE, a leading humanitarian organization, to see how much this binky would provide to an African community if its monetary worth were donated.

The $17,000 would pay for:

283 girls to go to school for one year

708 school kits - with pen, pencil, slate, pencil sharpener, erasers, notebooks and transportation of the supplies to remote areas.

61,000 people to eat for a day or feed 400 families for a month.

77 families to start small poultry businesses. Each family would get 25 chickens, a hen house, feed, and vaccinations for the chickens.

1,000 families to receive a fishing kit (two packs of twine, one pack of hooks) so they can fish to feed themselves.

10,000 safe delivery kits to help women give birth in communities or in emergencies where there is no hospital or clinic. The kits contain soap, razor blades, plastic sheeting, string and instructions to help facilitate a clean, safe delivery.

Source: ChinaDaily