Babies with rickets and brain damage are hospitalized after parents feed them homemade formula based on recipes from trendy books on “alkaline diets”
- A new CDC report said three infants were hospitalized after consuming “nutrient-deficient” homemade formulas based on basic diet recipes
- The three infants were treated in separate emergency rooms in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware for severe hypocalcemia and rickets
- Infants were given a homemade formula that followed the alkaline diet, which included sea moss, hemp seeds, dates, coconut water, and alkaline water
- The alkaline diet is promoted to fight disease and cancer, but is not supported by scientific evidence
- The CDC said parents should switch to more traditional breast milk or commercial infant formulas that contain the vitamins and nutrients babies need
Newborns were hospitalized with rickets and brain damage after receiving restrictive alkaline diets from their parents.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said three infants were hospitalized between August 2020 and February 2021 after consuming “nutritionally deficient” homemade formulas based on alkaline diet recipes.
The three infants were treated in separate emergency rooms in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware for severe hypocalcemia and rickets.
A new CDC report said three infants were hospitalized after consuming “nutrient-deficient” homemade formulas based on basic diet recipes
The alkaline diet is promoted to fight disease and cancer, but is not supported by scientific evidence
According to their parents, each of the infants were fed a homemade formula that followed the alkaline diet that included ingredients like sea moss, hemp seeds, dates, coconut water and alkaline water, but didn’t have enough nutrients like vitamin D and calcium, insider.com reports.
The basic diet is promoted to fight disease and cancer, but is not supported by scientific evidence.
The celebrity-endorsed diet promotes the idea that eating basic foods, which include raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and soy while limiting acidic foods like animal products and grains, can help the body maintain a healthy pH -Maintain balance.
WHAT IS AN ALKALINE DIET?
It is based on a theory that the food you eat can alter the pH balance in your body and blood.
Mainly alkaline foods are consumed in order to keep the pH of the body between 7.35 and 7.45.
The ultimate goal is to eat 80 percent basic foods and 20 percent acidic foods.
After the food we eat is broken down during digestion, it becomes either acidic or basic.
Foods classified as acidic include meat, wheat, refined sugars, dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods.
Alkaline foods, on the other hand, are more plant-based, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.
It is claimed that the alkaline diet can improve your health, but there is no strong scientific evidence to support it.
And the body maintains its pH regardless of diet.
The diet lacks evidence, and some versions that recommend cutting out whole food groups should be avoided.
Sources: Good Food, Marie Claire, NHS
The report described a four-month-old child who had been given alkaline formula for a month and was unresponsive at home after suffering from shortness of breath earlier this year.
The four-month-old had to be intubated and mechanically ventilated and resuscitated Doctors found that he had brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen and a serious lack of electrolytes.
The baby also had symptoms of rickets – the softening and weakening of bones due to extreme vitamin D deficiency.
At about the same time, a five-month-old child with stiff limbs, skin discoloration, and difficulty breathing also went to the emergency room after two months on an alkaline diet.
The lab test showed he had low calcium levels and bone deformities consistent with rickets.
He was given a calcium and magnesium laden IV and was sent home after receiving commercial infant formula.
The report also said that in August 2020, a nine-month-old boy was hospitalized after five days of irritability.
He was underweight, short for his age, and with a misshapen head.
The baby was also unable to straighten up unaided and had poor motor skills.
Tests also showed the baby was deficient in calcium, vitamin D, and iodine and was diagnosed with rickets.
He was given nutritional supplements and was released to a long-term care facility.
The CDC and FDA have warned against the use of homemade infant formula, saying that these three cases highlight the potential for “serious consequences” for parents feeding their children homemade formulas.
“Infants fed an alternative diet can develop severe deficiencies and long-term developmental consequences,” the report said.
The CDC said parents should switch to more traditional breast milk or commercial supplements that contain the vitamins and nutrients babies need for optimal growth and development.