Health tips for cold/ flu season- amidst COVID-19

Kindergartens in Hong Kong will close for 2 weeks starting this Saturday due to outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infections across the city, a precautionary step amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season.

Besides getting your flu shot, what else can you do to stay healthy and prevent infection?

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and well during cold/ flu season:

1. Wear a mask in public places or crowded areas. It is important to wear a mask or face covering that covers your nose, mouth and chin. While people in Asia have been wearing masks since the beginning of the global pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally confirmed yesterday that wearing a mask not only protects others from your expelled respiratory droplets, it protects you as well.


2. VITAMIN D: Researchers in Japan have found that besides getting the annual flu shot, vitamin D is also a potent flu-fighter. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing vitamin D3 supplements (1200 IU/day) with placebo in school-aged children, researchers found that the children receiving the sunshine vitamin had a 42% reduction in contracting influenza A compared to those not receiving it. The study also found that the group not getting the vitamin D had six times more asthma attacks. Another study found that among 800 military men in Finland, those with lower vitamin D levels took significantly more days from active duty to recover from upper respiratory infections than recruits with higher vitamin D levels (above 40nmol). As part of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic guidance, the Scottish government has recommended that people start getting a daily dose of vitamin D in April 2020. It turns out that people with a vitamin D deficiency who contracted COVID had a higher risk of health complications and death.

Vitamin D plays a very important role in supporting the immune system. “Vitamin D helps your body produce a protein called cathelicidin that fights bacteria and viruses,” says Carlos Camargo, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Other studies show that people with adequate levels of vitamin D are less likely to get the flu, and when they do, they tend to recover faster compared to those who are deficient. In Dr. Yik‘s practice, she finds many adults and children in Hong Kong who are deficient in vitamin D. Before you start taking vitamin D supplements though, get your level checked so you can supplement at the correct dosage. Too much vitamin D puts you at a higher risk for kidney stones.

3. Eat foods rich in probiotics. Up to 80% of our immune system lies in our gut, so it makes sense to boost immunity through the gut! Studies show that probiotic supplementation increases T-cell count, which makes you less vulnerable to infections. In a study involving 3- to 5-year-olds, daily probiotic supplementation for 6 months reduced fever, rhinorrhea, cough and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness. Different strains of probiotics treat different conditions, so it’s important to find the right type. A supplement with various probiotic strains including a high(er) amount of Lactobacillus rhamnosus is beneficial for boosting immunity.

4. Eat well balanced, wholesome meals. Make sure you’re eating adequate protein, good fats and a variety of vegetables and fruits. Include immune-boosting foods such as garlic, onions, ginger, shiitake/ maitake/ reishi mushrooms, green vegetables and berries in your diet. Vitamin C and zinc play important roles in immune defence, so remember to eat foods high in those nutrients.

5. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). This nutraceutical offers protection to cells as it supports the body’s antioxidant systems during infections and inflammatory conditions by raising the levels of glutathione, a potent antioxidant. Studies show that patients with low levels of glutathione have more severe COVID-19 infections compared to those with higher levels. We also know that in coughs and upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), NAC breaks bonds in the mucus, making it easier for your body to cough the mucus up.

Click here to read more on how to support your health during the global pandemic. Remember, we are all human, we are all vulnerable to illness and we are all in this together. Please do your part in social distancing and practising good hygiene. Stay safe and healthy during these turbulent times.


Help your child regulate emotions and build meaningful relationships

Have you ever wondered why some people bounce back from setbacks and challenges more easily than others? Or how some people can create and maintain meaningful friendships for life while others struggle in relationships?

Emotional intelligence or emotional literacy refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as to read and respond to the emotions of others. Being able to sense and understand the emotions of others is a big part of a child’s social development and social success. Your child can respond appropriately to others when they can read the emotional cues to get a sense of how other children are responding to their attempts to connect with them. This is key to creating and maintaining friendships and meaningful relationships.

There are different components of emotional intelligence:

  1. Emotional awareness: the ability to recognise and identify one’s own emotions and moods, and how one’s emotions can affect others.
  2. Empathy: the ability to understand the emotions or moods of others and the skill to treat people according to their emotional reactions.
  3. Self-regulation: the ability to manage emotions, to redirect disruptive impulses. Click here for tips on how to help your child develop self-regulation.
  4. Internal motivation: a strong drive to achieve, an inner drive that goes beyond external rewards such as money or status, being optimistic even in the face of failure.
  5. Social skills: the ability to manage relationships, build networks and build rapport.

Four Ways to Build Your Kids’ Emotional Intelligence

  1. Name the feeling or emotion. When your child is young, make a list of feelings or emotions with them. Brainstorm all the feelings you can think of. Until someone has the vocabulary associated with emotions and feelings, they will not be able to explain how they feel or identify how others are feeling. Furthermore, researchers have found that labelling the emotion (e.g. I am angry) deactivates or calms the negative intensity in the brain and can help reduce the physiological manifestation of this emotion.
  2. Link physical symptoms to the emotion. Help children recognize how different emotions can manifest or present in their bodies. Do your shoulders feel tight when you are stressed? Do you feel “butterflies in the stomach” or a bit queasy when you are anxious? When children notice these physical representations of emotions, they will begin to recognize when they are starting to feel something. They can then find ways to regulate their emotion, as needed.
  3. Find appropriate ways to manage the emotion. When your child is able to recognize, name and understand the source of a feeling or emotion, the next step is helping them regulate or manage the emotion. Everyone is different. Some may focus on taking a few deep breaths. Some may need to physically release tension (e.g. doing jumping jacks). Others may retreat to a quiet corner with their favourite toy or book. Others may prefer talking it through with you (see #4).
  4. Relate to your child. Wait for your child to calm down and when they are able to listen, empathise with them. Talk to them about a time you felt the same way and what happened. This will help them to understand their own feelings and show that you understand and care about them. 

World Mental Health Day 2020 was a few days ago, on October 10th. The challenges we faced this year were unprecedented in the wake of a global pandemic, but by helping children build emotional literacy, we can help them overcome struggles, build resilience and enjoy meaningful relationships for life.


What to eat to support probiotics in your gut

Everyone knows the health benefits of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that promotes good health. Many people ensure adequate probiotic intake either through probiotic foods or through supplementation. But how can we help our friendly bacteria flourish in our gut? It turns out that eating the right foods can feed the good bacteria in our gut and help them flourish.

Not many people are familiar with prebiotics, a type of fiber or natural sugar that the human body cannot digest. Prebiotics serve as food for probiotics, stimulating their growth in the gut. Prebiotics also help to increase calcium and magnesium absorption for stronger bones, reduce blood triglyceride levels and support weight/ appetite management.

Examples of prebiotics: 

  • Onions, shallots, garlic, leek, green onions
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Chicory root, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower
  • Red kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Bran
  • Oats
  • Almonds, pistachio nuts, walnuts, pecans
  • Flax seeds

Easy ways to incorporate prebiotics into your diet

  1. Add almonds, walnuts, pistachio nuts or pecans onto your breakfast bran cereal or oat porridge.
  2. Have avocado on whole-grain toast or on its own.
  3. Add a variety of legumes to stews, soups and salads.
  4. Snack on whole-grain lentil crackers.
  5. Use garlic, onions, shallots, leeks and green onions in stir-fry dishes or daily cooking.
  6. Add artichokes, asparagus, broccoli and kale to your salad or as a vegetable dish to your meal.


Hidden health risk of junk food snacks

Hong Kong’s Consumer Council revealed yesterday that eating too many chips and French fries may carry hidden health risks. 

The watchdog’s study tested 39 samples of pre-packaged and freshly fried potato snacks from restaurants and found that 30% of the
39 samples contained levels of a cancer-causing agent called acrylamide which exceeded EU standards. Out of 77 samples of crispy snacks that were also tested in Hong Kong, 70 were found to contain acrylamide.
Among the brands tested, Japanese brand Topvalu’s Best Price Potato Chips Salt Flavour was found to have 2,614 micrograms of acrylamide per kg. This is nearly 3.5 times the EU standard of 750mcg/kg.

French fries from fast-food chain Five Guys, waffle fries from Ikea and Spaghetti House’s hash browns were among those found to have exceedingly high levels of acrylamide. In a response to the council, Five Guys said it would reduce acrylamide in its products by monitoring the quality of potatoes and create guidelines for changing cooking oils.

Currently, Hong Kong has no safety standards regarding the level of acrylamide in food. In the EU, food business operators are required to limit the amount of the substance during production.

So, what about the healthier chip alternatives? Commercially sold prawn, corn and quinoa chips typically contain less acrylamide and fat, but they are high in sodium. 

Try some healthier snacks below.


  1. Do you like crispy or crunchy foods? Try making sweet potato/ yam or lotus root chips. Slice the raw vegetable, soak the slices in water for 15 to 30 minutes before baking or air-frying them until crisp. Soaking them first in water can reduce acrylamide formation while cooking.
  2. Enjoy a handful of nuts. Researchers at the Imperial College of London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that people who eat 20g (around a handful) of nuts on a daily basis have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as respiratory conditions, diabetes and infections. Click here to read more about the benefits of nuts.
  3. fruits-82524_1920Fruits are a healthy, refreshing snack. Berries, papaya, avocado, pomegranate and seasonal fruits are great choices. Apple slices with nut butter are also healthy and satisfying.
  4. Chia seed pudding made with almond milk and topped with berries and pumpkin seeds makes a nutritious and delicious snack.
  5. Try baby carrots or celery sticks with hummus or tahini.


COVID-19: How to care for dry hands

Frequent handwashing and alcohol-based hand sanitizer gels can often lead to dry, cracked skin. When we wash our hands, the suds created by soap remove not only dirt and germs but also the natural, protective oils from our skin. This leads to dryness, flaking, irritation and in severe cases, cracks in the skin which can increase your risk of contracting infections.

How to care for dry hands:

  1. Use lukewarm (not hot) water to wash your hands.
  2. After washing your hands, gently pat your hands dry instead of rubbing them.
  3. Remember to moisturize your hands with hand creams or ointments after washing your hands. These are more nourishing than lotions.
  4. Choose hands soaps that contain natural plant oils like coconut oil, jojoba, shea butter and/ or glycerin- without the added fragrances, synthetic colours or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
  5. Hand sanitizers with a moisturizing base are less harsh on the skin, but know that they will not be as effective in killing germs.
  6. Apply thick “recovery” hand creams or balms before going to bed. Cover your
    hands with gloves overnight for better absorption while you sleep.


Tackling high blood pressure and high LDL (bad) cholesterol

High blood pressure (also referred to as HBP or hypertension) is a condition in which your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high. Under the new guidelines in 2017 from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, anyone with a blood pressure of 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher meets the criteria of stage 1 hypertension. If left undetected or uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss and sexual dysfunction.


LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol because high LDL levels lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries (also known as atherosclerosis), which increases your risk of stroke and heart attack.

To tackle high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels, doctors typically encourage lifestyle modifications first before trying pharmaceutical medications. Always work with your doctor to develop a plan that works best for you and your health. Here are a few easy lifestyle changes to combat high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol:

  1. weight3LOSE WEIGHT. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help to lower blood pressure. For every 20 pounds you lose, you can drop 5-20 points in systolic pressure (first/ top number of the blood pressure reading). Have difficulty losing weight? Click here to learn the top 5 reasons why you can’t lose weight.
  2. ARE YOUR GENES TO BLAME? An MTHFR gene mutation or variation may change the way you metabolise and convert nutrients from your diet into active vitamins, minerals and proteins. An MTHFR mutation or variation can cause elevated homocysteine in the blood, which is linked to increased LDL cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Dr. Yik offers MTHFR gene testing in her practice. Click here to read more about MTHFR.
  3. REDUCE SODIUM INTAKE. Cut back on the salt. Check the food labels. The ideal amount of sodium intake per day, particularly if you have high blood pressure, is no more than 1,500 mg per day for adults, according to the American Heart Association. Even cutting back by 1,000 mg a day can improve blood pressure and heart health. Beware of what the American Heart Association has dubbed the “salty six,” foods where high amounts of sodium may be lurking: breads and rolls, pizza, soup, sandwiches, poultry and cold cuts/ cured meats.
  4. EXERCISE. Cardiovascular/ aerobic exercise can help lower your blood pressure and make your heart stronger. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, jumping rope, cycling (stationary or outdoor), swimming, cross-country skiing, skating and rowing. Aim for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week.
  5. LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE AND STOP SMOKING. A 2018 study published in the prestigious journal Lancet looked at how much alcohol is too much. Click here to read more about the study’s findings.
  6. doctor2REDUCE (negative) STRESS. Meditate. Journal. Do deep breathing exercises. Listen to calming, soothing music. Spend time in nature. In 2018, “nature prescriptions” such as nature walks started being prescribed by doctors to patients in Scotland’s Shetland Islands as part of treatments for chronic illnesses. According to the National Health Service Shetland, these “nature prescriptions” help treat a range of afflictions, including high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure as well as levels of the stress hormone cortisol, calming the body’s fight-or-flight response. The visual aspects of nature can also have a soothing effect, according to Dr. Jason Strauss, director of geriatric psychiatry at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance. “Having something pleasant to focus on like trees and greenery helps distract your mind from negative thinking, so your thoughts become less filled with worry.” Click here to learn more about how nature can help.

If you are currently on pharmaceutical medication for high blood pressure and/ or high cholesterol, don’t suddenly stop taking the drugs. Discuss lifestyle changes with your doctor and work together. This can ultimately lead to lower drug dosages and/ or fewer pharmaceutical interventions.


Abdominal pain and diarrhea? Bloated or excessive burping? You may have SIBO.

What is SIBO?sad

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition affecting the small intestine. SIBO is caused when bacteria that normally grow in other parts of the gut start growing in the small intestine. It typically causes pain and diarrhea. Experts estimate that up to 80% of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers may actually have SIBO. Some people with inflammatory bowel disease may also have SIBO. Here are some common symptoms of SIBO:

  • Bloating
  • Cramping and pain
  • Cramps after eating, indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Food sensitivities
  • Regular feeling of fullness
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Consuming grains, fibre, starches, legumes may make symptoms worse

Instead of allowing the villi and microvilli to absorb nutrients from the food in the small intestine, the bacteria digest it instead, causing it to ferment. Not only that, but SIBO can also lead to damage to the villi and microvilli. This can lead to malabsorption of a variety of nutrients, especially B12, folic acid, magnesium, iron and calcium. 

These gases cause a variety of symptoms such as bloating, wind, cramping, diarrhea, burping and constipation. Foods containing fermentable fibre, starch, lactose and fructose can make SIBO symptoms worse, as do gluten, grains, starches like potatoes, legumes and pulses, fruits and some vegetables. 

It is difficult to treat other digestive problems if SIBO is present, and the longer it remains in the small intestine, the more damage it can cause.
What causes SIBO?
SIBO may be caused or exacerbated by the following conditions:
  • Food poisoning
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Antibiotic use
  • Acid blockers
  • Fungus overgrowth
  • Surgical intervention and operations to the abdomen (e.g. appendectomy)
  • A dysfunctional ileocecal valve
  • Oral contraceptive (birth control) pill
  • Overconsumption of simple carbohydrates
  • Stress causing changes to the acidity levels in the stomach and motility of the small intestines
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Initial colonization of bad bacteria due to Caesarian birth and/or lack of breast feeding
How do I test for SIBO?
breath test is a common test for diagnosing SIBO. The test detects methane and/or hydrogen gas, which are byproducts of the bacteria’s digestion only produced by the bacteria and not our bodies. Dr. Yik at IMI clinic offers SIBO testing. 

COVID-19: practical ways to cope with stress and anxiety

img_1188.jpgHong Kong endured nearly 8 months of social unrest before COVID-19 hit the city in January 2020. Citizens were already facing a major mental health burden, with the medical journal The Lancet reporting that almost 2 million people in Hong Kong- about 1 in 3 adults in the city- experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) one time or another during that period. The current global pandemic only adds more worries and anxiety as people are thrusted into a “new normal”. Social distancing, economic or financial uncertainty, school closures, home learning, information overload- not to mention you, loved ones or friends getting sick or succumbing to COVID-19… The impact of this coronavirus outbreak can be overwhelming.

The following self-care strategies can help you cope.

  1. Take care of your physical health. 
    1. Get enough sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Try to stick to your typical daily schedule as much as possible. 
    2. Consume a healthful diet. salmon-fish-grilled-fish-grill-730914.jpegEat more colourful vegetables and fruits such as dark greens, carrots, and berries, which contain a lot of nutrients and antioxidants. Click here to find the top healthful foods. Ensure adequate protein intake. Consume more good fats. Avoid sugary foods/ drinks and processed foods.
    3. Avoid excessive refined sugar and junk food. Limit caffeine intake as it can aggravate stress and anxiety. Click here to learn how to avoid overeating if you are staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    4. Keep active. Daily physical activity and exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. Even 30 minutes a day can help keep you fit and lift your mood.
    5. Avoid alcohol, drugs and smoking. If you smoke tobacco or if you vape, you are already at a higher risk of lung disease. COVID-19 affects the lungs, so your risk increases even more. Drinking alcohol reduces your coping skills and can make matters worse, not to mention it can increase your risk for pneumonia. Read more here.
  2. Avoid constant exposure to media. Constant news about COVID-19 from all types of media can fuel anxiety and fear. Get your news from a reliable source and limit your news reading or watching to once or twice a day.
  3. Focus on positive thoughts. Start each day by listing 3 or more things you are thankful for. Some people find it helpful to draw on their faith or religion to maintain a sense of hope and purpose during difficult times.
  4. Recharge by setting aside time for yourself. Some people benefit from practices such as journalling, deep breathing or meditation. Listening to nature sounds or relaxing music, reading a book or doing something you enjoy can help you relax.
  5. Build support and strengthen relationships. Stay connected with others by email, text messages, FaceTime or phone. Check in on your family members, friends and neighbours. If you can, help those who are in need. Find purpose in helping others.
  6. Get help when you need it. If you notice persistent feelings of helplessness, sadness, fear, anger or anxiety OR if you are struggling to do routine chores, having trouble concentrating or experiencing body aches/ pains/ insomnia, it is time to ask for help.

Everyone reacts differently to challenging situations, and it’s normal to feel worried, lonely or stressed. But if you feel persistently overwhelmed, reach out to someone and seek professional help.



How to delay memory loss and cognitive aging

Everyone ages, but have you noticed that no two people age in the same way? Some people experience dramatic memory loss as they grow older, while others remain cognitively fit. Some experts say that diet is key, while others emphasise exercise and keeping active. Both factors have an impact on how your brain will age, but you may ask, which is more important to keep your brain healthy? Well, it turns out it depends on your genetic makeup.

Researchers from Kings College, London in the United Kingdom recently found that changes in lifestyle such as diet and exercise can “delay a decline in memory and thinking but that the effectiveness of these approaches will depend on the genetic makeup of each person.” In a study they published earlier this month, people with a particular genetic variant of GRB10 were found to benefit from consuming a Mediterranean diet, while those with variations in gene SIRT1 benefited more from physical exercise.

You may talk to your doctor about getting your DNA tested to know which- diet or exercise- will have more impact on your aging process. But regardless, here are some ways to help keep your brain healthy:

  1. Consume a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olives/ olive oil and fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel, and nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, etc. Click here to read more about the benefits of nuts.).
  2. Exercise regularly. According to Heidi Godman, Executive Editor of Harvard Health Letter, “exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills.” According to a study done at the University of British Columbia, regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Interestingly, resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not yield the same results. “… Engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,” says Dr. Scott McGinnis, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School. Regular exercise can reduce insulin resistance as well as inflammation, both of which have been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying active also improves mood and sleep while reducing stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas commonly cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.
  3. If you are experiencing memory loss, mental decline or cognitive impairment, find a healthcare practitioner who will work with you in addressing your concerns. According to Dr. Dale Bredesen, professor of neurology at University of California, Los Angeles, Alzheimer’s disease is a result of what happens when the brain tries to protect itself from inflammation (from infection, diet, stress, etc), a shortage or decline of supportive nutrients and hormones and/ or toxic substances such as metals or moulds.
    He suggests testing for insulin resistance, certain nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, heavy metal toxicity, food sensitivities/ intolerances and genetic status particularly for APO E4 (*see below), all of which are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bredesen believes that by correcting and rebalancing these factors, the cognitive decline of early Alzheimer’s can be prevented and even reversed in some cases. Dr. Ardyce Yik offers such testing in her clinic.
  4. Get enough sleep! Sleep plays a vital role in brain function and helps you consolidate your memories. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, seek a healthcare practitioner who will address the cause and not just give you a quick fix. Sleeping pills can compromise cognitive function. Click here to read more on how to get a good night’s rest.

*Genetics may affect your risk for Alzheimer’s disease but it doesn’t mean you will necessarily have the condition. Increasing evidence is showing that environmental and lifestyle factors (i.e. epigenetic changes) can affect whether that gene is turned “on” or “off”. You are in control of your own fate much more than you realize.


Bredesen, D. (2017) The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Programme to Prevent and Reverse the Cognitive Decline of Dementia. UK: Penguin Random House.


2020’s “Dirty Dozen”: What are the most pesticide-laden foods?

strawberry-1180048_1920The 2020 Dirty Dozen™ List is out! Here is the list of foods that contain the most pesticide residues:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

The list is released each year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization which uses more than 40,000 produce samples tested by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Childhood cancer, brain disorders such as ADHD/ autism/ dyslexia and infertility have all been linked to pesticide exposure. The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture insist that pesticides on produce are nothing to worry about, but doctors and scientists strongly disagree.

Dr. Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard and lead author of a 2014 study linking synthetic chemicals to brain disorders, is concerned because even ordinary (undiagnosed) children are often affected. In the study, he found that certain types of pesticides may cause cognitive delays “The greatest concern is the large numbers of children who are affected by toxic damage to brain development in the absence of a formal diagnosis… They suffer reduced attention span, delayed development, and poor school performance. Industrial chemicals are now emerging as likely causes.”

“Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children’s exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.