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Do kids need detox support? We all vary with respect to how efficiently we remove toxins. Genetics play a role, and nutrigenomics does too – that is, how well a person’s genetic make up is supported with the right food, nutrients, and detox supports. Many parents I meet in my pediatric nutrition practice have asked me about detox support for kids over the years.

Yes, kids can need detox support, especially nowadays. Kids in the US have toxic exposures that I never had growing up, and that their parents may never have had either. Since I have been in practice for over twenty years, I am now seeing a second generation of children – and they are struggling more with toxic burdens than the generation before them. It shows: More than half of US children have a chronic condition, disability, illness, and/or obesity. I now encounter children with severe, progressed conditions that were virtually non-existent in this age group during my training in the late 1980s. Kids are not as healthy as they used to be. Detox support can be one path to restoring or maintaining their health, strength, vitality and well being. Nutrition and food are important detox supports for kids, when leveraged correctly.

What are the toxic exposures kids meet, and how can you help detoxify them? Kids – especially babies and toddlers – are more vulnerable due to their smaller size and immature immune systems. Toxins can build up and make it harder for a child to stay well. Behavior changes or agitation, sensory processing glitches, gut symptoms, rashes, or more serious concerns like cough, unexplained fever, immune conditions, or even seizures can result from slowly built up toxic burdens, or from an abrupt large exposure. Detox support for kids may mitigate developmental injury from toxins too.  Toxins can also synergize infections or viral and bacterial exposures, making them harder for a small child to detoxify.

Here are some of our toxins hiding in plain sight:

  • Wildfire – including proximity to leftover dust and burnt debris – has especially toxic and lingering effects. Watch this video to learn more. This one is literally close to home for me. My own family has evacuated three times for wildfire in recent years, and neighboring areas have been decimated by fire.
  • Poor air quality from car exhaust, industrial pollutants, fracking, ozone. This also hits home. It’s not unusual for The Front Range of Colorado, where I live, to have some of the worst air quality on the planet in summer months.
  • Regularly eating GMO foods and processed foods with additives, colorings, artificial ingredients, glyphosate and other pesticides
  • Well check visits where multiple vaccines are administered at once (check here for more detail on detoxifying vaccines) – many vaccines contain aluminum; some still contain mercury; all contain intentional adjuvants to stimulate and irritate the immune system.
  • Shampoos, fabrics, bedding, soaps, toiletries and anything used topically can contain parabens, fragrances, formaldehyde, aluminum, titanium, bisphenol-A (BPA), talc, flame retardants – these and many more toxins are in products our children put on their skin every day.
  • Excessive heavy metals from air, water, medications, food, or even toothpaste
  • Toxic after effects from covid vaccines have been reported. Learn about one way to reduce these effects by using glutathione, here, and other nutrition supports here.
The body has many mechanisms to manage day to day toxic exposures, but as smaller people, kids are especially vulnerable. The best defense is to avoid toxic exposures in the first place, but this isn’t always possible. Items below are tools that I have safely and effectively used in my pediatric nutrition practice as detox support for kids. Check with your doctor if your child uses medications, or if you’re not sure whether these options are right for your child. Any of these products can be found in my FullScript platform. Set up your own account from here to view any of these products and choose the format (chewable, liquid, powder, capsule) that best suits your child.
Detox Support For Kids Option 1
Use foods that give deep mineral and antioxidant support. The body uses these tools to run its own cellular detoxification machinery. Though many nutrients help detox support for kids, standouts are zinc, glutathione and vitamin B12. Phytonutrients from foods help too. Fresh, raw whole fruits and vegetables are perfect for this task. If you have a juicer, use it as often to make fresh juices; or, use a high speed blender to mix berries and other favorite fruits. Drink fresh or turn them into popsicles by placing them in popsicle molds and freezing.
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries, mango, banana, and oranges are perfect for smoothies or popsicles, and for their antioxidant, vitamin, and fiber content. Enjoy these blended fine and sipped right away, or freeze into the best fruit pops ever. If your kids need a calorie boost, add some whole canned coconut milk and honey. For a protein boost, add plain collagen powder.
  • Use snacks of oranges or bananas for vitamin C, B complex, lutein, and helpful minerals like potassium or copper.
  • Combine fresh cilantro with spirulina may help move heavy metals like mercury out of the body. Use handfuls of fresh herb in fruit smoothies
  • Got celery? This trendy veggie is loaded with soothing mineral salts that aid digestion and improve absorption of detox nutrients like methylcobalamin (B12) and zinc. Offer it as a crunchy snack with favorite nut or seed butters, or if you have a juicer, give it a try juiced. Start with small amounts – an ounce or two -and work up, to avoid loosening stool. Celery juice may ease reflux too.
  • Choose organic as often as possible. Avoid GMO foods as often as possible.
  • Use fluoride free toothpaste to avoid excess fluoride (which is also found in many medications, fluoridated water, and dental treatments)
  • Review ingredients in routine shots here. Read package inserts at your child’s well visits and look for “description” to view what’s in the product.
Detox Support For Kids Option 2
Use lots of fiber rich foods. Fiber can bind and carry toxins out of the GI tract while encouraging helpful microbes to stay in the GI tract. Fruits and veggies are detox support winners for sure, but grains can help too. Don’t overlook grains if your child tolerates them well. Especially helpful are oat, buckwheat, or tigernut flour, or any sprouted grains that your child can comfortably digest. More:
  • Add flax meal to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes or soft foods
  • Work in nut flours like coconut or almond nut flour to boost fiber
  • Ground sprouted raw pumpkin seeds work well in place of nuts in pesto. Sprinkle them on any salad, add to trail mix, or grind and add to crumb toppings on baked fruit crisps like this one.
  • Check out gluten free high fiber pastas like Tolerant (lentil flour) or Banza (garbanzo flour). These have good protein levels in them too.

Detox Support For Kids Option 3 – Cardiovascular Support: Myocarditis and cardiovascular events including stroke have emerged in healthy athletes, teens, and children following covid vaccines – a virtually never-seen-before phenomenon. Detox support following a covid shot may be useful. Some functional foods and supplements can mitigate this risk by reducing inflammation and preventing clots:

  • High potency DHA and EPA omega 3 fatty acids – at least 500 mg DHA and 500 mg EPA. Use a pure and clean brand that allows independent product testing for heavy metals and toxins. My favorites for kids:
    • Nordic Naturals Pro Omega 2000 Junior 2 softgels daily (chew or swallow)
    • Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil 1 teaspoon daily (good option for high potency with low volume of liquid)
    • Barlean’s High Potency Omega 3 Key Lime (pudding like texture)

If your child can swallow capsules, these detox supports can be helpful to keep blood flowing freely:

  • Pycnogenol Douglas Labs 25 mg capsule daily. Pycnogenol has been shown to lower inflammation in children with asthma, to reduce asthma medication needed, and to benefit cardiovascular health. Kids on seizure medications should check with their doctor or prescriber before using pycnogenol. Pycnogenol may lower blood pressure too.
  • Allergy Research Group Nattokinase 36 mg capsule – Nattokinase is an enzyme that has been shown to reduce arterial plaque and lower blood lipids.

Detox Support For Kids Option 4 – Anti-oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Support: Here is a short list of some of my favorite supplements to use for kids detox support. They’re easy to use (chewables, liquids) and have ample clinical and published evidence for their efficacy as antioxidants and reducing inflammatory markers.

  • DaVinci Labs CoEnzyme Q10 ChewMelt – 1/2 chewable daily
  • ReadiSorb Glutathione 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily
  • Empirical Labs Liposomal Curcumin / Reseveratrol 1 to 2 teaspoons daily
  • D-Hist Junior chewables – 2 (smaller children) or up to 6 chewables (kids over 50 lbs) daily
  • Seeking Health Optimal Vitamin D drops 2000 IU per drop – get a baseline vitamin D level at your pediatrician to discern if more than 4 drops weekly are needed.

Detox Support For Kids Option 5 – Gut and Overall Immune Support: The role of the gut in immune function is fast emerging. It’s hard to separate gut function from immune function at this point, and my clinical observations over the last two decades concur with new evidence that shows how crucial a healthy array of beneficial gut microbes is. These microbes help bind and detoxify invasive agents, and help keep gut wall integrity high, so foreigners can’t gain access to general circulation.

  • SBI Protect 1 scoop daily in soft food or liquid  – this is a dairy free, highly purified source of immunoglobulin from bovine serum. It can boost a depleted or sputtering immune system. For children with repeat infections, this has been a big help in my practice.
  • Probiotics – Allergy Research Group Lactobacillus or ProFlora 4R Spore Probiotic. There are hundreds of probiotic products out there, but these are safe and effective starters for most children in my practice.
  • Animal sources of vitamin A: Cod liver oil 1/2 teaspoon daily for children <50 lbs and 1-2 teaspoons daily for larger children. This gives the form of vitamin A (14 hydroxy retro-retinol) that turns on T cells. Synthetic vitamin A supplements (retinyl palmitate) don’t do this and neither do plant carotenoids (at least not without some metabolic transitions first).  You can also use vitamin A rich foods like grass fed organic full fat dairy foods including butter, pastured egg yolks, and liver.
  • Cats claw – capsules or drops available. Cats claw is an herb with diverse anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties. Some evidence suggests it may help defend against covid and other viruses as well.
    • QuickSilver Scientific Cats Claw Elite – 1 pump daily
    • Pure Encapsulations Cats Claw capsule 1 daily (children over 70 lbs)

There are many ways to use supplements to support detox for kids, but the most important change you can make is using fresh whole foods as often as possible. If you have a picky eater who won’t eat these foods, or if you need more help and suggestions, contact me here.

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