As the father of three young daughters, I am asking Beyoncé to seriously reconsider her misguided notions about diet and health because impressionable young ladies are watching.
With her recent announcement focusing on a vegan diet and even launching a vegan meal delivery service, I believe she needs to consider the science behind how this could make her responsible for increasing autism and depression, perhaps in her own children.
Autism is on the rise in this country. Because junk science led so many parents to opt out of vaccinating their children for fear of autism, we now have a bigger problem with diseases like measles that were once basically eradicated. That is why we cannot take issues like this lightly.
Arthur Beaudet, chair of molecular and human genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine and a physician at Texas Children’s Hospital, is the senior author of the report that appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The findings suggest that dietary intake of red meat, especially among very young children, could reduce the chance of developing autism. Additionally, a study from Egypt showed a clear improvement in the mental and physical symptoms of the disease in autistic children who consumed higher levels of L-carnitine.
Meat eaters receive about 75 percent of their carnitine from their diet. However, dietary carnitine levels are low in vegetarians and particularly in vegans. In most people, levels of carnitine are balanced by the body’s ability to manufacture its own carnitine in the liver, kidney and brain, starting with a modified form of the amino acid lysine.
If you compare the dramatic increase in autism to the marked decline in meat and milk consumption during the last 10 years, it certainly gives one cause for concern that our diet is likely leading to increased autism. Are parents finally going to have to take responsibility for giving their children this horrible disease because they were trying to follow some ridiculous Hollywood trend?
In addition from various studies, we know that 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood. Do you want your daughters to have to fight depression in addition to all the challenges teenagers have to deal with already?
Many recent peer reviewed studies have proven that vegan and vegetarian diets are associated with an elevated risk of depression. Research, published in February 2014 in the journal PLoS ONE, compared four different nutritional groups: a vegetarian diet, a carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, a carnivorous diet less rich in meat and a carnivorous diet rich in meat. The results were bleak for vegetarians. Vegetarians suffered from higher rates of allergies, cancer, anxiety and depression. They were also vaccinated less often than all of the other groups, and visited the doctor for preventative check-ups less frequently than subjects eating a carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
German research compared completely vegetarian, primarily vegetarian and non-vegetarian study participants and found that vegetarians displayed elevated prevalence rates for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders.
Extensive research has shown that diminished vitamin D consumption during pregnancy results in significant problems with brain development and cognitive function of the baby. These babies were also more likely to suffer autism and other debilitating neurological conditions. Circulating vitamin D converted into calcitriol that controls brain cell growth and acts on receptor molecules found in brain cells from the first days of embryo formation. Hence the importance of vitamin D during pregnancy.
I would also urge Beyoncé, as a parent, to check out Nina Teicholz’s nine years of research into the misleading information that has been dispersed about fat in the diet at www.thebigfatsurprise.com. Let’s not start another wave of misinformation that poisons a generation of Americans with unhealthy dietary choices.
I am asking all parents, grandparents and supporters of America’s children to stand with me in asking Beyoncé to use her public status for the good of our youth rather than placing their health and their lives in danger to promote the most recent Hollywood diet fad.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at email@example.com.