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New Research on Twins Confirms Genetic Role in Autism

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor ecomii.com
November 10, 2009
File under: Health, Pregnancy


There has been an unprecedented increase in recent years in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  A variety of elements are suspected of playing a role (see our recent post linking environmental toxins to autism). 

Researchers have known that a higher incidence of autism exists among twins¹, and this new study confirms a substantially higher risk of autism in identical twins as compared to fraternal twins.²  The report, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, studied 277 twin pairs in which at least one had an autistic disorder.

Researchers found that when one identical twin developed an autistic disorder, the other twin did 88 percent of the time. That compared with 31 percent among fraternal twins. Fraternal twins share only 50 percent of their genes and are no more genetically similar than non-twin siblings, unlike identical twins, who share 100 percent of their genes.  …read more of New Research on Twins Confirms Genetic Role in Autism here

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New Study Links Autism to Environmental Toxins

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor ecomii.com
August 26, 2009
File under: Health, Pregnancy


A recent study by researchers at the University of California M.I.N.D. Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) has linked soaring rates of autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with fetal and infant exposure to pesticides and household chemicals.

“It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California,” M.I.N.D. Institute researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto, an internationally respected autism researcher and professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology.

Hertz-Picciotto said that many researchers, state officials and advocacy organizations have viewed the rise in the incidence of autism in California with skepticism. Some claim that the increase could be due to the migration to California of families with autistic children, earlier diagnosis because of increased awareness and also the inclusion of children with milder forms of autism in the counting. …read more of New Study Links Autism to Environmental Toxins here

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ABC’s of Vitamins for Healthy Moms and Kids

By Latham Thomas ecomii.com
May 4, 2009
File under: Family Time, Food, Health, Pregnancy


Get your vitamins the old fashioned way with delicious fruits and vegetables. Learn which foods provide the most nutrients and put them to use in your kitchen and with the kids.

Taking a supplement is one thing, but at this time of year when farms are ample with a variety of colorful produce of every size shape and color – why not cut right to the source?

Fruits and vegetables picked at peak spring and summer ripeness deliver the most flavor and texture. When used along side healthy foods like whole grains, legumes/beans, nuts, seeds, savory cheeses and lots of sunshine, you’ll be sure to get all the nutrients you need.

Plus, eating foods that are better for your body also tends to be better for the planet. Choosing nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods (preferably seasonal, locally grown ones) helps curb the estimated 24 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions produced the food industry, a large portion of which comes from processing and packaging. …read more of ABC’s of Vitamins for Healthy Moms and Kids here

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Earth Day, Every Day: Reflections

By Latham Thomas ecomii.com
April 19, 2009
File under: Family Time, Pregnancy


I am reminded of the wonders of the earth mother everyday. Witnessing and experiencing cycles of building and destruction like the ebb and flow of the tidal waters. This experience is one that I’ve taken solace in.

Growing up in the green laced city of Oakland, CA and working with plants, then moving to the asphalt streets of New York, where the buildings themselves grow towards the sky line, mimicking trees competing for sunlight, ascending towards the heavens.

I see underneath it all, an opportunity to reflect, learn, and take new and inspired action.

This is a time to reflect, teach, and learn about what we can do to protect our most precious asset, our planet. …read more of Earth Day, Every Day: Reflections here

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Green Mamas Breast Feed

By Latham Thomas ecomii.com
March 10, 2009
File under: Food, Health, Pregnancy


Breast milk is one of the most alkaline foods on the planet; it’s perfect nourishment for your growing baby, protecting baby against illness such as ear infections and the flu, and lowers the risk for asthma, diabetes, obesity, and leukemia later in life.

Breastfeeding gives you and your baby a special connection. Babies become calmer, satiated, and seemingly intoxicated from their milk. Moms tend to find it very relaxing and special bonding time too.

The world average for breastfeeding is 4.2 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies breastfeed for at least two years. Two years may sound like a long time to share your breasts, but think about the developmental and emotional benefits your child will experience from connecting to the breast.

Besides the wonderful connection you establish with your baby, breastfeeding also encourages …read more of Green Mamas Breast Feed here

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