Exposure to pesticides can raise blood pressure in kids
(NaturalHealth365) High blood pressure is usually thought of as a health problem affecting adults, not kids. It’s a reasonable assumption, given that 75 million American adults (1 in 3) are currently living with the so-called “silent killer,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, an estimated 3.5% of American children are living with high blood pressure, too – and like adults, many of them are going undiagnosed and untreated.
Conventionally speaking, high blood pressure in kids has been attributed to obesity, family history, medications, and other underlying causes. But, new research exposes another culprit: pesticides.
Could Mother’s Day flowers contribute to a surge in adolescent hypertension? New study reveals shocking findings
In the latest issue of Environmental Research, a team of scientists discovered that children living near Ecuadorian flower fields around Mother’s Day had higher blood pressure after the fields were sprayed with pesticides.
The study involved a sample size of over 300 children between the ages of 4 and 9. Researchers followed up with the kids for up 100 days following commercial pesticide sprays.
The innocent children’s exposure to harmful chemicals like organophosphates – which are already linked with hypertension according to the National Institutes of Health – caused them to develop hypertension, especially soon after toxin exposure.
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To make matters even worse, the affected kids also demonstrated diminished self-control, attention, visuospatial processing, and sensorimotor function!
Fetal, infant, and youth pesticide exposure has already been associated with adverse health effects including congenital abnormalities, low birth weight, asthma, neurobehavioral disorders like autism and ADHD, and pediatric cancer like brain tumors and lymphoma.
To realize that this widespread environmental health threat may also contribute to high blood pressure in our future generation – a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease – is truly concerning.
Want to improve your blood pressure naturally? Be sure to instill these habits in your family
Earlier this year, we reported on a shocking decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who urged consumers to keep taking their blood pressure drugs despite the fact that they tested positive for cancer-causing contaminants.
While we would never advise you to start or stop taking prescription medication without your physician’s input, we DO urge you to adopt various lifestyle habits that have been proven to help control blood pressure. By practicing these habits (and teaching them to your children), you’ll be able to reduce your dependency on side-effect riddled and potentially contaminated antihypertensives.
As a refresher, here are a few things you and your loved ones can do to keep your blood pressure healthy and lower your risk for related health consequences, including heart attack and stroke:
- Reduce stress: Teach yourself and your family skills like deep breathing, journaling, meditating, and time management.
- Exercise regularly: Remember that for kids, play counts as exercise!
- Eliminate or reduce pro-inflammatory (and blood vessel damaging) foods like sugar, dairy, and gluten.
- Lose the extra weight: Even a mere 5% decrease can make a meaningful improvement on your blood pressure. For children, the connection simply can’t be ignored: 50% of 7-year-old kids and 95% of teens with high blood pressure are also overweight or obese.
- Consider adding healthy supplements like aged garlic extract and fish oil to your diet, which support a healthy cardiovascular system.
And last but not least, consume foods that are rich in cardiovascular-healthy nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C – just be sure to select organic and pesticide-free! It’s well-worth the extra expense – just consider it an investment in your family’s long-term health.
Sources for this article include: