Interview by Safe Baby Healthy Child Founders Sandra Blum and Samantha Fox Olson
Ever since my daughter started eating solids, I wondered if a supplement was necessary. If so, what do I look for? Can they really boost her immune system and keep her healthy? Are they overkill and a waste of money if she is eating healthy foods? All of these questions and so many different products to choose from.
There is an overwhelming selection of vitamins, minerals and immune boosting support supplements on the market. So, I decided to ask my pediatrician for her recommendation. She suggested ChildLife® Essentials Vitamins and also added that it was one of the best supplement companies on the market. Then we read the survey done by the FDA that found elevated levels of lead in many supplements available for children and we really wanted to dig deeper. We wanted to know more about ChildLife®.
So we contacted the founder, Dr. Murray Clarke. He was kind enough to share his expertise and answer our many questions. The answers gave us more insight than we expected and third party test results on their products that we greatly respect.
ChildLife® Essentials Product Review
We want to make clear that this post is a product review. We personally tried ChildLife® products with our 2 toddlers for a few months and loved our personal results. SO, we wanted to learn more about supplementing and ChildLife® in particular.
We do not use all of these supplements every day. We do use these supplements however, and I personally use the Multi Vitamin daily with my baby girl and this fall and cold season I am sometimes using the Cod Liver Oil in her yogurt or smoothies and keeping her on a very small dose of the Echinacea tincture for added immune boosting support since we travel often. Safe Baby Healthy Child believes that supplements should never take the place of a nutritionally sound diet.
Here are our questions as parents when it comes to supplementing. Also, we choose to share the entire line of ChildLife® with our readers so that you may find what best suits the needs of your baby and child this season too.
ChildLife® Essentials Founder and Homeopathic Doctor: Dr. Murray Clarke
ChildLife® provides a complete line of nutritional supplements designed specifically for infants and children. Their experience with infants’ and children’s healthcare is extensive. Dr. Murray Clarke, who founded the company and developed the product line, has been specializing in pediatrics in his homeopathic and nutritional clinic in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, for the past twenty years.
Many Children’s Supplements Contain Heavy Metals
Here is how our email conversations began with ChildLife®:
We were so delighted to try your supplements and are amazed at how much our little girls love to take them! We are also concerned with this survey, done by the FDA, which states that there are high levels of lead in many children’s supplements. Can you please comment on the survey?
We are pleased to hear that your daughters are enjoying the supplements. Thanks for forwarding over the link to the FDA survey on the Children’s, Pre-Natals and Women’s Formulas. Overall, this study and survey highlights the reality of today’s world. That the last 100 years of industrial pursuits have contaminated the earth’s water, air and soil. Not even the south or north poles are immune from contamination.
“Twenty-five percent of the pollutants in our Los Angeles air each day comes over from China.”
The air we breathe in Los Angeles contains particulate matter, including lead and mercury. Twenty five per cent of the pollutants in our Los Angeles air each day comes over from China. No matter how cleanly we try to live it is almost impossible to completely avoid exposure to chemicals and metals. Over the past 20 years in my clinic, I have conducted thousands of hair analyses on children and adults to screen for all the heavy metals. The results show that no one is completely clean and my conclusion is that we have to look at how we can reduce exposure wherever possible and take supplements that can help our bodies and our children’s bodies detoxify and eliminate these contaminants on an ongoing basis. Then we need to look at the results and amounts of the lead in each of these products and determine what is acceptable.
For a child I would suggest that it would be good to keep the acceptable level below 0.25 mcg. From the results you can see that there are about 20 or so products that are above this amount in the Children’s category. At ChildLife® we also periodically test our products for heavy metals with an independent third party laboratory analysis. The panel tests for total amounts of Lead, Mercury and Cadmium. I have enclosed a copy of these test results for you.
We always look for these results to be below 10 ppm (parts per million), which is at the lowest end for detectable amounts. I trust that this helps to clarify the subject and once again appreciate your interest in our ChildLife® formulas. Best Regards, Dr. Murray Clarke
Why Supplementing Our Babies’ and Children’s Diet is Important
You state, “We have to look at how we can reduce exposure wherever possible, and take supplements that can help our bodies and our children’s bodies detoxify and eliminate these contaminants on an ongoing basis.” What products of yours help detoxify and eliminate contaminants from children’s bodies?
The antioxidant vitamins and minerals are the body’s first line of defense against all environmental pollutants. Vitamins A, E, C, and the minerals zinc and selenium are actively involved in neutralizing toxins and assisting their elimination and removal. This is why taking a Multi Vitamin/Mineral and additional Vitamin C on a daily basis is so important.
What contaminants are being detoxed?
The main pollutants and toxins that we are all exposed to these days are metals such as mercury, aluminum and lead, the petrochemicals which include phthalates, bisphenol-a and PBDE’s (polybrominated biphenyl ethers) and the insecticides and herbicides that are used in agriculture and consequently end up in the food chain. These are the primary contaminants that need to be neutralized and eliminated on a daily basis.
“Researchers found an average total of 287 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of each baby.”
Are there ever any side effects to detoxifying with these supplements?
No, if your child is taking the correct dosages on an ongoing basis then it is a gentle process of neutralizing and eliminating these pollutants as exposure occurs.
What is the number one way children’s bodies are being contaminated with heavy metals?
From the air, the water and food. They are all number one in this day and age. There are some outstanding individual sources such as the mercury content in shark, swordfish and tuna but it is really the combined effect and impact of our entire environment that we should be aware of. A benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies in America was conducted and published by the Environmental Working Group in 2005. Researchers found an average total of 287 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of each baby. This is where children are starting from, the exposure only continues to accumulate from there. Parents have a choice, help your child’s body detoxify and eliminate these contaminants.
Do children, who live in larger cities, where there is generally more pollution, need more supplements? Any other suggestions to parents about what they should do to make sure their children stay healthy.
Studies conducted by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have documented that children who are born and grow up in larger cities have a higher degree of pollution exposure which directly contributes to an increase in allergies, asthma, skin conditions, immune conditions and even reduces the overall size that a child’s lungs will grow to. When the environment is unable to be avoided then the only wise action you can take as parents is to take the steps that counteract and neutralize the negative exposure.
- Keep your homes clean and green with all non-toxic cleaners, materials and furniture wherever possible.
- When you can control your child’s diet, always provide organic foods.
- Always use clean, pure water.
- Provide your child with the daily supplements that help their bodies and brains cope with the exposure that they are unable to avoid.
Immune System Booster
We love your First Defense. It works like magic! After how many days should you stop giving this product to your child before taking a break from it?
The First Defense can be used when symptoms arise and also preventively throughout the cold and flu season. When needed the First Defense can be given 3-4x daily for up to 10 days. Preventively it can be given 1x daily on an ongoing basis through the winter months.
To boost my child’s immune system during cold season, do you recommend giving him/her First Defense or Echinacea or both?
The First Defense and Echinacea work a little differently. Because the First Defense is a formula with five ingredients it is stronger in action than the Echinacea. They can both be utilized to boost and protect your child’s immune system. If your child is relatively healthy and doesn’t catch things too easily then the Echinacea may be enough and can be given 1x daily to boost and protect
If your child is catching things too often and too easily then the First Defense would be a better choice, 1x daily for boosting and prevention.
It makes sense to supplement if my child is a picky eater, but what if my child gets plenty of vegetables and fruits? Aren’t supplements a waste of money?
If your child eats well and you can provide 100% organic foods all the time then your child can obtain all the nutrients they require for their growth and development. Then you need to consider supplementing to provide the additional nutrients and antioxidants that your child requires to neutralize, detoxify an