Navigation Links
Study Questions Giving Babies Botanical Supplements, Teas

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of botanical supplements and teas for infants is a surprisingly common practice, new research finds, but experts warn that such products might not be safe for babies.

The study, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, found that nearly 10 percent of babies are given botanical supplements or teas during their first year of life. The researchers found that even babies as young as 1 month old were given these products.

"Our study is the first to examine the prevalence of dietary botanical supplement and tea use among a sample of U.S. infants," wrote the study's authors. "The wide variety of dietary botanical supplements and teas given to infants increases the likelihood that some are unsafe."

Results of the study are published online May 2 in Pediatrics. The report is scheduled to appear in the June print version of the journal.

Dietary botanical supplements and herbal teas don't receive the same scrutiny that pharmaceutical products do, according to background information in the study. Use of such products can cause adverse reactions with other medications, and these products may be inherently unsafe themselves.

Some supplements may contain heavy metals or other contaminants, and infants are more susceptible to such toxins, according to the study. In addition, some dietary supplements have caused seizures and even death in previously healthy infants. One dietary supplement was recalled in 2007 because of microbiological contamination.

During the first four to six months of life, child health experts recommend that babies only be fed human breast milk or infant formula, according to the study.

Reviewing information from the Infant Feeding Practices Study that was conducted from 2005 to 2007, the researchers found data from 2,653 mothers.

Almost 6 percent said they had given their infant a botanical supplement or tea once during the first 12 months of the baby's life. Another 3.6 percent said they'd given their infant these products more than once during the baby's first year.

Women were more likely to give their babies these products if they reported using botanical supplements or teas themselves. Women who were older, had more than one child and had a higher education or income were also more likely to give their infants such products. Mothers who breast-fed longer were more apt to try giving a botanical supplement or tea to their baby. Hispanic mothers were more likely than white or black mothers to give their babies dietary botanical supplements or teas.

The most commonly used products were gripe water, chamomile, teething tablets and unspecified tea, according to the study. The most common reasons for giving these products were fussiness, digestion problems, colic and relaxation.

When asked whom they talked to for information about such products, only 27 percent said they talked to a health-care professional. Almost 28 percent got their information from the media, and 30 percent talked to friends and family about botanical supplements and teas for their babies.

Dr. Louisdon Pierre, director of pediatric critical care at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, said that parents have to be extremely cautious when giving their baby any type of supplement or tea, especially when the baby is younger than 4 months old.

"The baby's brain is growing and developing, and the immune system isn't yet mature, so babies just can't fight things off like adults can," he said. "Even things that look benign can be dangerous for babies. Anise is an herbal product that people make tea with. In adults, there may be no reaction, but in babies, anise can cause jitteriness and seizures. The young brain is really susceptible."

Dr. Mark Diamond, a pediatrician with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Children's Community Pediatrics, agreed, adding, "Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe. People assume that something's safe if mom or grandma used it, but it might not be."

Diamond said he was also disappointed to see that only about one in four people felt comfortable enough to speak with their physicians about using these products. "That's bothersome to me. Are they afraid to communicate with me about these products? There may be safety issues with some of these products and I want parents to communicate with me."

The most important question parents need to ask of any product is, "Is it safe?" said Diamond. "And that holds true [with] a medicine that I prescribe as much as for an herbal cure," he noted.

More information

Learn about other ways to cope with a fussy, colicky baby from the Nemours Foundation KidsHealth.

SOURCES: Louisdon Pierre, M.D., director, pediatric critical care, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; Mark Diamond, M.D., pediatrician, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Children's Community Practice; May 2, 2011, Pediatrics, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Breast-feeding May Influence Long-Term Health: Study
2. Exercising While Learning Boosts Test Scores, Study Finds
3. Autism Tests for Preemies May Be Faulty, Study Suggests
4. Location of Body Fat May Predict Stiff Arteries: Study
5. Religion Doesnt Help Lower Blood Pressure, Study Suggests
6. Little fingers, big trouble: Yale study sheds light on child self-unbuckling
7. Study is the first to link sleep duration to infant growth spurts
8. Location of Body Fat May Predict Arterial Stiffness: Study
9. Aspirins Clot-Prevention Ability Blunted by Dietary Fat: Study
10. Dual-energy CT may be useful in evaluating the severity of gout, study suggests
11. Animal-assisted therapy decreases patient anxiety in pre-MRI setting, study suggests
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Study Questions Giving Babies Botanical Supplements, Teas
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice ... overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, ... a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated ... has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure ... doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law ... magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are ... , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the ... Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families ... to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., ... developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it was ... Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief ... shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Any dentist who has made an implant ... process. Many of them do not even offer this as ... high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to ... a high cost that the majority of today,s patients would ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: