Babies are hospitalized with rickets and brain damage after parents fed them homemade formula using recipe from trendy ‘alkaline diet’ books
- A new report from the CDC said three infants were hospitalized after consuming ‘nutritionally deficient’ homemade formulas based on alkaline diet recipes
- The three infants were treated in separate emergency departments in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware for severe hypocalcemia and rickets
- Infants were fed a homemade formula that followed the alkaline diet that contained 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 turn to more traditional breast milk or commercial formula diets which contain the vitamins and nutrients babies need
Newborns have been hospitalized with rickets and brain damage after after being fed restrictive alkaline-diet formulas by their parents.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said between August 2020 February 2021 three infants were hospitalized after consuming ‘nutritionally deficient’ homemade formulas based on alkaline diet recipes.
A new report from the CDC said three infants were hospitalized after consuming ‘nutritionally deficient’ homemade formulas based on alkaline 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 was fed a homemade formula that followed the alkaline diet that contained ingredients like sea moss, hemp seeds, dates, coconut water, and alkaline water but had insufficient nutrients like vitamin D and calcium, insider.com reported.
The alkaline diet is promoted to fight disease and cancer but is not supported by scientific evidence.
The celebrity- backed diet promotes the idea that eating alkaline food, which include raw fruits and veggies, nuts, legumes, and soy, while limiting acidic foods like animal products and grains, can help the body maintain a healthy pH balance.
WHAT IS AN ALKALINE DIET?
It is based around a theory that you can change the pH balance in your body and blood through the food you eat.
It involves eating mainly alkaline foods in order to keep the body’s pH between 7.35 and 7.45.
The ultimate aim is to eat 80 per cent alkaline foods and 20 per cent acidic foods.
After the food we eat breaks down during digestion it becomes either acidic or alkaline base.
Foods classed as acidic include meat, wheat, refined sugars, dairy products, caffeine, alcohol and processed food.
Alkaline foods in turn are more plant-based like fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
It’s claimed that the alkaline diet can improve your health, but there is no strong scientific evidence to support this.
And the body maintains its pH balance regardless of diet.
The diet lacks evidence, and some versions that advise cutting out entire food groups should be avoided.
Sources: Good Food, Marie Claire, NHS
The report described one four-month-old who had been on alkaline formula for a month who was found unresponsive in the home after suffering respiratory distress earlier this year.
The four-month-old had to be intubated and receive mechanical ventilation and after being resuscitated doctors found he’d suffered brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen, as well as serious electrolyte deficiencies.
The baby also had symptoms of rickets- the softening and weakening of bones from an extreme vitamin D deficiency.
Around the same time a five-month-old also went to the emergency room with stiff limbs, skin discoloration, and trouble breathing after two months on an alkaline-diet formula.
Lab test showed he had low calcium levels and bone deformities consistent with rickets.
He was given an IV loaded with calcium and magnesium and sent home after being put on a commercial infant formula diet.
The report also said in August 2020 a nine-month-old boy arrived at the hospital after five days of irritability.
He was found to be underweight, short for his age and had a misshapen head.
The baby also could not sit up without assistance and had poor motor skills.
Tests also showed the baby was deficient in calcium, vitamin D, and iodine and he was diagnosed with rickets.
He was given supplements and discharged to a long-term care facility.
The CDC and the FDA have issued warnings about the use of homemade infant formula and said these three cases highlight the potential for ‘grave consequences’ for parents who feed their children homemade formulas.
‘Infants fed an alternative diet can develop severe deficiencies and experience long-lasting developmental consequences,’ the report said.
The CDC said parents should turn to more traditional breast milk or commercial formula diets which contain the vitamins and nutrients babies need for optimal growth and development.