Child Development

Child Development

Cow and Bee: Diet for Pregnancy and Childhood : Blood-Brain barrier and Gut

Cow and Bee to Save Our Sanity
Cow and Bee to Save Our Sanity

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Part 1 Diet regime for children and pregnancy
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Some facts from cultural practices related to pregnancy and childhood care.

1) There is an Ayurvedic sutra which prescribes 4 types of rice preparation for pregnant women. Out of which, curd-rice is considered the best. It is said that, if Garbhini eats curd-rice daily, the child will develop unimagined Medha buddhi (intellect) which is enough to understand and realize all 4 Veda(s) (Mind you: To realize even 1 hymn of Veda is super hard work for ordinary minds like us).
2) In last three months of pregnancy, Ayurveda prescribes increased amount of ghee. This is the same time when neural development, neuron network development happens in brain at highly rapid speed.
3) For child below age7, ghee and honey are most important food items. Needless to maintain chaas (butter milk) and Curd (dahi). This is the also highly active brain development period.
Dahi, butter milk, Ghee, Honey – They all are carrier of healthy bacteria. They all are in fact full of healthy bacteria. They are full of prana Shakti which can help healthy bacteria to establish in Gut.
Now, let us understand latest research findings.

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Part 2 Blood–brain barrier & GUT
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Gut and Brain barrier
Gut and Brain barrier

The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective permeability barrier that separates the circulating blood from the brain extracellular fluid (BECF) in the central nervous system (CNS).

The findings suggest that a woman’s diet or exposure to antibiotics during pregnancy may influence the development of this barrier.

The blood–brain barrier may prevent the entry of lipophilic, potential neurotoxins by way of an active transport mechanism mediated by P-glycoprotein and allows only water, some gases, and lipid soluble molecules by passive diffusion, as well as the selective transport of molecules such as glucose and amino acids that are crucial to neural function.

Germ-free mice even have leaky blood-brain barriers as adults. But those leaks closed after the researchers gave the animals the microbes from normal mice for 2 weeks, Pettersson says.

In short, it is most critical filter designed by Mother Nature. Better the barrier, less chances of impaired brain development.

Leaky BBB allows toxins, pathogens and other non-useful molecules to pass the barrier and cause damage to brain. Damage to brain means inability to serve the mind. This may lead to following diseases.
• Meningitis
• Brain abscess
• Epilepsy
• Multiple sclerosis
• Neuromyelitis optica
• Late-stage neurological trypanosomiasis (Sleeping sickness)
• Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
• De Vivo disease
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Cerebral edema

As per latest research [1], healthy gut bacteria repairs leaks in BBB and protects brain from all outside toxins.

Now re-read part 1 and draw your conclusion.

Ghee, Dahi, Milk, Chass, Honey in diet of pregnant mother, lactating mother and child -> Healthy GUT -> Better BBB -> Healthy brain development for a child.
Conclusion: Without Gau mata, it is impossible to imagine citizens of future with adequate abilities to live self-reliant life.

Concluding thoughts and hints for future research:

• For the future of our children, find Gau shala nearby and start worshipping gau mata (Take care of her. Do her seva)
• Use only her Prasad (Milk, ghee, Dahi, gobar, mutra) in diet. This exclude dairy products. Dairy is a greatest sin of our society.
• Provide pure Ghee, Dahi, Milk, Chass, Honey to all pregnant mothers in our society. There is no great charity than this in my humble opinion.
• Just for your reference, I have witnessed my friend curing several brain disorders (Headache, migraine, Epilepsy) cases by Gau ghee based medicines. Doctors should use this treatment to cure Epilepsy & Meningitis which are now common among children age below 5.
• Avoid Antibiotics. If not avoidable in extreme situation, take jaggery water / dahi / ghee in diet during antibiotic course.


Supporting Research


Body’s bacteria may keep our brains healthy

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/11/bodys-bacteria-may-keep-our-brains-healthy

The microbes that live in your body outnumber your cells 10 to one. Recent studies suggest these tiny organisms help us digest food and maintain our immune system. Now, researchers have discovered yet another way microbes keep us healthy: They are needed for closing the blood-brain barrier, a molecular fence that shuts out pathogens and molecules that could harm the brain.

The studies showed that the blood-brain barrier typically forms a tight seal a little more than 17 days into development. Antibodies infiltrated the brains of all the embryos younger than 17 days, but they continued to enter the brains of embryos of germ-free mothers well beyond day 17, the team reports online today in Science Translational Medicine. Embryos from germ-free mothers also had fewer intact gap junction proteins, and gap junction protein genes in their brains were less active, which may explain the persistent leakiness. (The researchers didn’t look at the mice’s guts.)

Germ-free mice even have leaky blood-brain barriers as adults. But those leaks closed after the researchers gave the animals the microbes from normal mice for 2 weeks, Pettersson says.

But how? In the gut, bacteria may influence the gut wall’s integrity through one of their byproducts, energy-laden molecules called short-chain fatty acids. So Pettersson and his colleagues infected germ-free mice with either bacteria that made these fatty acids or ones that did not. The blood-brain barrier improved only when the bacteria made these fatty acids, Pettersson says. He thinks that these molecules may get into the blood and stimulate gene activity that leads to the closure of the barrier.

The gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability in mice

http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/6/263/263ra158

Pivotal to brain development and function is an intact blood-brain barrier (BBB), which acts as a gatekeeper to control the passage and exchange of molecules and nutrients between the circulatory system and the brain parenchyma. The BBB also ensures homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). We report that germ-free mice, beginning with intrauterine life, displayed increased BBB permeability compared to pathogen-free mice with a normal gut flora. The increased BBB permeability was maintained in germ-free mice after birth and during adulthood and was associated with reduced expression of the tight junction proteins occludin and claudin-5, which are known to regulate barrier function in endothelial tissues. Exposure of germ-free adult mice to a pathogen-free gut microbiota decreased BBB permeability and up-regulated the expression of tight junction proteins. Our results suggest that gut microbiota–BBB communication is initiated during gestation and propagated throughout life.

 

Ignore acclimatization, invite trauma

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Childhood

Getting accustomed to high altitudes that is acclimatization is one of the most significant things when you are travelling to Ladakh or any high altitude terrain. Tourists and other visitors might suffer from headaches, dizziness and Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS without proper acclimatization.

Our children, born to this chaotic world, do need similar acclimatization period. First 6 years of life are naturally designed for local acclimatization at home.Learning customs, inviting and getting bath in local microbial seas, receiving lots of love from family members, neighbors and mother nature.

Instead, what do we do?

We bombard stress!

Don’t stress too much for first 6 years! Let them be in flow first!! Play – is the only activity they need! If they love singing, allow them to sing! Dance. If they really really really love alphabets, then only alphabets! No force, only flow!

HPV Vaccine Scam, Sex Education And Brahmcharya

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For parents of baby-girls and teen-girls
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TeenAge

Yesterday I shared here that Early Puberty is not only havoc for your girl child but also her future children.

Early puberty is purely an environmental phenomenon. More artificial hormone-bending chemicals in food, water and air. On top of it, filthy Bollywood and TV matures mind early.

On top of it, so called international schools and their local blind copies promote sex education. TV is full of condom ads. Authors and columnists (Chetan Bhagat type) promote free-sex. And then, there is series of planned days like Friendship day, Valentine day etc.

This results into premature sex. Teen-age encounters. Youth engaged in adult acts.

And then we promote HPV vaccines! 🙁

What we really need for teens is real sex education. Education that helps them to realize critical importance of Brahmcharya!


Neck like opening to the uterus is called Cervix. In Hindi, it is called गर्भाशय मुख. Opening of Womb.
 
This Cervix wall act as a protection wall of uterus (divine soil/kshetra where new jiva resides for 9 months). Behind this wall, Prana, architect of human body, is working 24×7 for 9 months, to carve the human body. Any disturbance to this Prana’s work means deformity or miscarriage. Manual abortions do nothing but disturb Prana’s work.
 
Vagina is full of bacteria. Some of them are healthy bacteria (like lactobacilli which helps newborn to teach breastfeeding) and some of them are pathogens (Any disease-producing agent). This Cervix wall is natural defense against them.
 
Cervix wall starts developing with first cycle of period in teen age females. It becomes mature by the age 18-21. See picture to understand the difference between cervix wall in adult female and teen age female.
 
Liberals often talk in favor of sex education in schools. This education and other mediums bombarding sex is not sex education but lust education. This results into teen girls engaged in sex. Some of them become mother before crossing 18.
 
When teen age females are involved in natural/unnatural sexual acts (which is common in western countries and now in India too 🙁 ), they are early exposed to pathogens and these pathogens passes cervix wall as it is immature and one layer wall (see picture). This lead to infection in uterus and many other issues, including cervical cancer at middle age. So much stress for organ which is still under development.
 
HPV virus spreads only when immature wall is exposed to it in teen age. It cannot work in females who did not experience sex before ripen age i.e after 21.
 
Right sex education is education of Brahmcharya. It should inspire teens celibacy for their own wellbeing. No luring, no lust, pure science. Sanatana principles.
 
Instead of Brahmcharya, our habits, school environment and family environment promotes teen sex. I see many parents laugh on their teens affair relations. Morons!
 
And as a solution, they suggest HPV vaccine! 😀 . HPV vaccine to innocent female teens is like forceful exposure of HPV virus to immature Cervix without any sexual acts. This is giving ample side effects. Sometimes deadly. Sometimes premature ovarian failure. It snatches right of motherhood for many. And if there is motherhood, children suffer from unforeseen sicknesses due to disturbed Prana during pregnancy.
 
This HPV infection is increasing in India as teens are not rampant and involved in sex at very early age. No text book covers this 🙁
 
Sex followed by HPV vaccine is not a solution for teens. Brahmcharya is.
 
We do not give solid food to infant due to their inability, why can’t same be followed for cervix wall?
 
Think about it.
 
PS: Indian govt gave Padma Bhushan award to Bill gates who pushed HPV vaccines in rural India. It is unfortunate. 

STOP Fear Mongering Children

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“यहाँ से चालीस-चालीस कोस दूर तक जब रात में बच्चा रोता है तो माँ कहती है बेटा सो जा नहीं तो गब्बर आ जायेगा|”
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Being a parent, I often observe other parents, so to learn from them. One common thing I observed is that many parents engage in fear mongering to serve the purpose (to make the child sleep or the feed the child etc).

This is highly insensitive practice.

As per Charak Samhita (The Ayurvedic Authority Scripture)

“न ह्यस्य वित्रासनं साधु तस्मात्तस्मिन् रुदत्यभुञ्जाने वाऽन्यत्र विधेयतामगच्छति राक्षसपिशाचपूतनाद्यानां नामान्याह्वयता कुमारस्य वित्रासनार्थं नामग्रहणं न कार्यं स्यात् |” [1]

“Never ever engage in fear mongering. Even if child does not eat, cries and does mischief, do not engage in fear mongering. Never use imaginary characters like भुत, राक्षस,पिशाच,पूतना etc to threaten them. Do not show them shadows as भुत, राक्षस,पिशाच,पूतना”

This practice subconsciously kills their inborn fearlessness and will lead to mild to severe mental issues in adult life. Avoid. This is the challenge of being parent. Learn creative ways to convince child and not the shortcut i.e. fear mongering or threatening. Such parenting will lead you to loss at the end. Take care.

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Fear mongering (or scaremongering or scare tactics) is the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. The feared object or subject is sometimes exaggerated, and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of this tactic, sometimes in the form of a vicious circle.


 

Reference


[1] http://peterffreund.com/Vedic_Literature/charaka/charaka_sharira.html

The Dark Side of the Modern Food

16996246_10156037308429762_1461116504279970802_n
If you can’t pronounce It, Do you still want to eat It? 😀
 
This is called कलियुगी माया! 🙂 Toxic influence of toxins!
 
The problem is, most processed foods have a laundry list of ingredients similar to that of a can of paint. It’s not as simple as adding a little sugar to canned bisque or lemon juice to a scone mix.
 
Take a look at the list of ingredients from the strawberry flavoring of a milkshake served at a zip-through restaurant:
Amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamylvalerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl Nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerbate, heliotropin, hydroxphrenyl-2butanone(10% solution to alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbone, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl slicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobulyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, sore rum ether, g-undecalctone, vanillin, and solvent[1]
 
[1] Schiosser E. :Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, New
York, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2001

Child Development : Work In-progress, Expect hiccups

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Year -1 (in womb and before that when would-be parents are planning for child) to year 7 is rapid growth period. Imagine a construction site in first few months where rapid development is happening. Site is almost all day in chaotic state. Too many changes @ different corners.

Growing child too goes through rapid development cycles during first 7-8 years of life. And during this time, body connect and disconnect with several environmental and genetic factors. During these communications, many times, stress is observed by cells who are in transition, while becoming more mature organ from being immature/nascent.

During this duration, viral infection (I called it cellular stress) is natural. It happens at least 12 times a year. Sometimes in upper respiratory track and sometimes in Gut area. Sometimes fever, sometimes diarrhea or constipation. During this time, body enters into vital dialogue with Marut(s) or Prana or bacteria for getting instructions for further development. This happens under an optimal thermal state. But this is deemed as ‘fever’ by the doctor. Drugs are given to bring down the fever, and antibiotics are administered to knock the microbes out. A peace talk is thus aborted, the child acquires lifelong immuno-deficiency and his natural growing-up is thwarted. On top of it, we alter our environment so rapidly and so chaotically that chaos withing face difficulty in cope up with the chaos outside (which is expected as at peace to help chaos within). Results in autoimmune disorders. Allergy and Asthama.

1781063_396266687164912_3051057853081859162_o

Pediatrician friend suggests: Let body take care the development phases. running nose or regularly irregular bowel sensations are just fine for initial years. Problem with current generation is that they fall sick, not only because of development phases but also due to toxic environment and reckless life style of parents. So first thing parents should do is: Radically improve life style.

Intervene when only you see sudden toxic look or temp rises above 101. Only assistance you can provide in such chaos is, let the Prana is instilled enough by natural ways i.e. Turmeric, Lemon, Honey, Milk, Butter milk (all used in different conditions).

PS: I have just shared my understanding. Use your own common sense and take decisions as per your environment.

There is no safe dosage of poison : Avoid Sugary Food

poison

We reported this sometime back:

Increasing Eye diseases? High fat-High Sugar diet and Microbes

So, few parent readers responded : “Once in a while, it is ok!”

“Everything in limit is fine? You must occasionally allow kids to eat chocolates. And if you are not doing so, your parenting style is against the growth of kids in modern times!”

Let us count few obvious occasions.

1) 40 peers @ school – 40 chocolates days
2) Add 20 neighborhood friends. 60 chocolate days per year.
3) Add 20 family and friends birthdays. 80 chocolate days per year.
4) Add 50 casual offering by parents, grandparents, relatives.

130 chocolate days per year. Is this limit? 35% is good limit?

Btw, as per this news, over 40% Irish parents give their children sweets daily.


News


Over 40% of Irish parents give their children sweets daily

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/over-40-of-irish-parents-give-their-children-sweets-daily-1.2640765

More than 40 per cent of Irish parents are giving their children unhealthy treats like chocolate, crisps and sweets more than once a day.

The new research from Safefood, the food safety promotion board, published on Monday showed the majority of parents (73 per cent) did not consider these types of foods as treats.

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, director of human health and nutrition at Safefood, said an over consumption of these treats was a “serious threat” to children’s health.

“As parents, we need to break the bad habits of giving these every day as it’s now become the norm and not really a ‘treat’ anymore,” she said.

“ Parents are really finding this difficult and these products are simply empty calories.”

Children aged five and under were the age group given the most daily “treats” at 50 per cent.

Research: Viruses flourish in healthy gut : Get rid of germ-phobia

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One more evidence to cure our germ-phobia. Viruses and bacteria are everywhere. They are harmless. They are doing their duties. They are helping and participating in the sustenance of the universe.

Problem is with us. Our crimes of not following routine as per changes in age, season and region. Intellectual errors or प्रज्ञाअपराध as known in the world of Ayurveda, is the root cause of our so called bacterial and viral infection.

In case of children, infections are due to normal errors in their growth. As a parent, we must provide them environment where self-healing becomes quick (Fresh Air, boiled water, Rich organic food, stress-free family life, isolation from noisy environment, exposure to mother nature). Lack of such environment leads to critical situations. Be vigil, cure before it becomes critical. Only cure if self-helping.


Research


https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0208/9228/t/8/assets/anatomy-160524_1280.png?2085709924575077035
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0208/9228/t/8/assets/anatomy-160524_1280.png?2085709924575077035

Viruses flourish in guts of healthy babies

Bacteria aren’t the only nonhuman invaders to colonize the gut shortly after a baby’s birth. Viruses also set up house there, according to new research atWashington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Bacteria aren’t the only nonhuman invaders to colonize the gut shortly after a baby’s birth. Viruses also set up house there

All together, these invisible residents are thought to play important roles in human health.

The study, published online Sept. 14 in Nature Medicine, reports data from eight healthy infants and is one of the first surveys of viruses that reside in the intestine. The investigators analyzed stool samples to track how the babies’ bacterial gut microbiomes and viromes changed over the first two years of life.

The picture that emerged may be worthy of a wildlife documentary: It includes the discovery of viral strains new to science and suggests a dynamic ecosystem of interacting organisms, including predators and their prey.

“We are just beginning to understand the interplay between all the different types of life within our gut,” said senior author Lori R. Holtz, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics. “They are not stand-alone communities. We also are seeing that the environment of the infant gut is extremely dynamic, which differs from the relative stability that has been shown in adults.”

“We were surprised that right from the beginning quite a diversity of viruses was found in the gut,” said Holtz,

The earliest stool samples were taken at 1-4 days of life, and even at this early time point, Holtz noted, viruses were present.

“We were surprised that right from the beginning quite a diversity of viruses was found in the gut,” said Holtz, also a pediatric gastroenterologist who treats patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “It prompts the question — where do these viruses come from? We don’t know yet whether diet, method of the baby’s delivery or other environmental influences play a role.”

Children, Modern Toys, Household plastic and Chemical Cocktail

toy_1265b

For a growing child, every moment is learning. Learn, forget, re-learn and master the life. To do this, they seek help from toys. Toys provide them artificial simulation opportunities.

Over the past century, toys have become the focus of a massive industry, the opening wedge for the commoditization of childhood, icons of cultural controversy, subjects of serious (and not-so-serious) scholarship, and sometimes even tools for psychological research.

To avoid anti-growth effects of toys, it is important to keep them simple. Since this is not the topic for this note, we will park it aside.

Most toys in India are dumped by China, made up of toxic plastic. Even branded toys. Here are some researches related to plastic toys.


Research


Endocrine disrupting chemicals in baby teethers

http://www.goethe-university-frankfurt.de/55655899/041

In laboratory tests, two out of ten teethers, plastic toys used to sooth babies’ teething ache, release endocrine disrupting chemicals. One product contains parabens, which are normally used as preservatives in cosmetics, while the second contains six so-far unidentified endocrine disruptors.

“Our study shows that plastic toys are a source of undesirable chemicals. Manufacturers, regulatory agencies and scientists should investigate the chemical exposure from plastic toys more thoroughly”, Wagner concludes from the study. The additives have only limited benefits for the quality of the product, but can represent a potential health issue. This is especially true for babies and infants, whose development is orchestrated by a delicately balanced hormonal control and who are more susceptible to chemicals exposures than adults.

Household Chemicals May Impair Thyroid in Young Girls

EXPOSURE TO PHTHALATES IS LINKED TO DEPRESSED FUNCTION IN THE “MASTER CONTROLLER” OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT, POTENTIALLY EXPLAINING KNOWN PHTHALATE-RELATED COGNITIVE PROBLEMS

Early childhood exposures to specific phthalates were associated with depressed thyroid function in girls at age 3, according to scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Phthalates, a class of chemicals thought to disrupt the endocrine system, are widely used in consumer products from plastic toys to household building materials to shampoos.

https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/household-chemicals-may-impair-thyroid-young-girls

Is there something up with stinky inflatable pool toys?

http://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/research-news/all-english-research-news/is-there-something-up-with-stinky-inflatable-pool-toys-/12218368

Inflatable toys and swimming aids, like bathing rings and arm bands, often have a distinctive smell which could indicate that they contain a range of potentially hazardous substances. Some of these compounds, which include carbonyl compounds, cyclohexanone, phenol and isophorone, might be critical when present in higher concentrations in children’s toys, say Christoph Wiedmer and Andrea Buettner, who are authors of a study in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (ABC), which is published by Springer.

Lead author Wiedmer (Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany) and his team conducted tests using an inflatable beach ball, a pair of swimming armbands and two bathing rings they bought off the shelf from local stores and online suppliers in Germany. A small piece of material from each sample was analysed using a variety of material analysis techniques, including one that takes infrared measurements, and it was concluded that the inflatable objects were all made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

The researchers then investigated the molecular make-up of the distinctive smells arising from the pool toys. They extracted detectable odours from each sample using solvent extraction and high vacuum distillation methods, and then identified the main odorants using a combination of sensory and common analytical approaches.

Between 32 and 46 odours were detected in each sample, of which up to thirteen were quite intense. The majority of these odorants were identified and among these were several fatty smelling mono- or di-unsaturated carbonyl compounds and their epoxidised derivatives, but also odouractive organic solvents such as cyclohexanone, isophorone, and phenol.

 

 

Stressed Fathers Before Child Planning: Children’s brain development affected

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Father passes stress impact to newborn
Father passes stress impact to newborn

I wrote one post two days back about how not only gene legacy but habit legacy help/jeopardize future generations.

Helpful legacy is fine but what about controlling unwanted legacy? Like life-degenerating addictions? Sometimes your ancestors passed through natural calamities with altered habits which you really don’t need now. Your parents were under great stress to fight against the poverty but now you want to get rid of that stress impact on your body.

So what is the solution if we receive unwanted legacy from ancestors?

If legacy stress is so intense that you get physical anomaly, physical anomaly is difficult to cure but we can certainly cure mental anomalies.

There is a way prescribed by our culture and forefathers : We do श्राध्ध & पितृ तर्पण. तर्पण is psychologically so potent ritual that you will hardly notice transformation it will do by subduing unwanted mental legacy. It is our fate if we prefer to live under the control of delusional rational mind with complete negation of mind’s requirements like Tarpana. 🙂 (Y) Ignore this post as superstitious rant 🙂

You can learn Pitru Tarpana from Shri Narasimha Rao‘s compilation here:http://vedicastrologer.org/tarpana/index.htm

As I said, only way to help future is to prepare future for them by living ideal life now! 🙂 If you have chosen to be married couple, be ready to sacrifice all your anti-life fun and addiction while you plan for kids.

All would-be parents can take care by:

1) No stress at work. No family quarrels.
2) Healthy food and sound sleep
3) Always remain cheerful and positive about life
4) Pranayam, Asana, Concentration, Meditation

If you claim being scientific, you must accept process where legacy you transfer to your kids. And once you realize it, you must act. knowing and not acting is a greatest state of laziness. 🙂

We seek better world in future but we don’t participate when our turn comes🙂 . Child planning is a great duty towards society! Perform and participate! It is not mere fun-sex!!


Research


Read this paper:

Penn: Stressed Dads Affect Offspring Brain Development Through Sperm MicroRNA

https://news.upenn.edu/news/penn-stressed-dads-affect-offspring-brain-development-through-sperm-microrna

“More and more, scientists have realized that DNA is not the only way that a parent can pass on traits to their offspring. Events experienced by a parent over a lifetime can also have an impact.”

“It’s remarkable to me that seemingly mild stress to a male mouse would trigger this massive change in microRNA response and that that would get wired into the course of his offspring’s development,” Bale said.

When subjected to a mild stress, in this case, being restrained briefly, the offspring that arose from the zygotes that received the multi-miR injections had lower cortisone levels compared to offspring in the control groups. The mice in the multi-miR injection group also had significant changes in the expression of hundreds of genes in the paraventricular nucleus, a brain region involved in directing stress regulation, suggesting wide-spread changes in early neurodevelopment.

Finally, the researchers aimed to determine how the miRs were carrying out this effect after fertilization. Because miRs are known to target and degrade mRNA, the team looked at the stored maternal mRNA, a genetic bundle that is contained in the egg when it is fused with the sperm and exists for only a brief window of time to direct early zygotic development.

“People used to think that because that stored maternal mRNA gets translated during that initial two-cell and four-cell development, the mom gets a lot of say in those early stages and the dad gets no say,” Bale said. “But we thought maybe these sperm miRs could be attacking that maternal mRNA and directing which mRNAs get translated.”

The researchers again injected miRs into zygotes and performed control injections, but this time they incubated the zygotes for eight hours and then amplified the RNA in each single cell to look for gene expression levels. They found that, indeed, the multi-miR injection appeared to be attacking the maternal mRNA, resulting in a reduction in those mRNA levels compared to control injections. Specifically affected were genes involved in chromatin remodeling.

Bale suspects that when a male experiences stress it may trigger the release of miRs contained in exosomes from the epithelial cells that line the epididymis, the storage and maturation site for sperm between the testes and the vas deferens. These miRs may be incorporated into the maturing sperm and influence development at fertilization.

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