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Effect of Veganism & Dogs on Kids

From eNewsletter 2/1/2021

DID YOU KNOW that we found two new important studies, one good, and one not so good, regarding children? Findings from the Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy, and Asthma Longitudinal Study (WHEALS) suggests pregnant moms with a dog in the home had children with less immunoglobulin E (IgE) allergies. WHEALS is a large, racially and ethnically diverse general-risk birth cohort established in 2003 with funding from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Adolescents who had prenatal exposure to dogs showed nearly a 30% decrease in IgE trajectory levels compared to adolescents whose mothers did not have a dog while pregnant. The benefit to a child’s immune systems may in part be due to dogs bringing bacteria into the home, which likely impacts the gut microbiome. Alternatively, a new study from EMBO Molecular Medicine found that young children on a vegan diet had significantly lower levels of several nutrients compared with children not eating vegan, including vitamins A, D, essential amino acids, and a complete lack of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the omega-3 fatty acid which plays a key role in the development of visual function.

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VITAMIN D UPDATE Steve and Bonnie: While we could have posted hundreds of recent studies on vitamin D, many just on COVID-19, here are the most interesting and prescient.

All-Cause Mortality

Low vitamin D levels predicted all-cause mortality in a large study of middle-aged and elderly men in as study presented to European Congress of Endocrinology 2020 that explored the optimal way to measure vitamin D levels when determining likelihood of death. Men with the lowest 25(OH)D levels had a 91% increased risk for all-cause mortality compared to those with the highest levels.

Blood Pressure

According to a study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000IU vitamin D3 reduced mean systolic blood pressure variability significantly more compared with 800IU among adults age 60 years and older.

Brain Shrink

In a dementia-free subject group, vitamin D deficiency was associated with a smaller brain tissue volume and hippocampus volume, according to a study in Clinical Nutrition. Smaller brain tissue volume increases the risk of neurological disorders.

Cardiovascular Disease

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in British Journal of Nutrition, a once weekly 50,000IU dose of vitamin D3 for two months reduced the risk of cardiovascular and liver diseases by significantly lowering homocysteine and C-reactive protein levels compared to placebo.


A new study from The Journal of Nutrition states that vitamin D deficiency adversely impacted COVID-19 hospitalization and severity in the Chinese population.

Genetic Risk

Finnish researchers detailed how they are beyond just testing the vitamin D levels of their population. They are now going to test their genetic factors involved in vitamin D synthesis to better personalize supplementation. Detailed in The Journal of Nutrition, this is a brilliant idea. Not only because we test for this :) but the Fins get very little sun exposure due to their climate and latitude.


Optimal second-trimester maternal vitamin D3 levels were positively associated with IQ in children at 4–6 years, suggesting that gestational vitamin D status is critical for neurocognitive development, according to a study in The Journal of Nutrition.


According to a study in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, in patients with prediabetes, vitamin D supplementation at moderate to high doses (at least more than 1000IU/day), significantly lowered the incidence risk of Type 2 diabetes, compared with placebo.


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