Vol. 5, No. 1, 1999 Page 3

Are formulas toxic?

Researchers are finding that adding nutrients to infants' formulas can raise their IQs (see related article, Crime Times, 1999, Vol. 5, No. 1, Page 3). But are infants getting too much of at least one element from their formulas?

Manganese, an essential element, can be toxic to the brain if ingested in excess. Francis Crinella and colleagues note that infant formulas-and particularly soy formulas-contain amounts of manganese far higher than those contained in human breast milk.

A pilot study by the researchers found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tended to have higher levels of hair manganese than non-hyperactive subjects, with 5 of the 18 ADHD subjects having markedly elevated scores. Crinell la et al. say their findings are supported by earlier research, including a Chinese study that found an elevated incidence of learning disabilities in elementary school children environmentally exposed to manganese. Crinella and colleagues speculate that excess manganese may cause ADHD by altering dopamine levels in the brain.

Researcher Roger Masters, who also is concerned about high levels of manganese in infant formulas, says excess manganese could explain why "studies show breast fed infants have IQ scores 2 to 8 points higher than comparable babies fed infant formula."



"Environmental pollution, toxic chemicals, crime and disease," Roger Masters, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rmasters/.


"High hair manganese in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder," E. J. Cordova, F. M. Crinella, and J. E. Ericson, unpublished study. Address: F. M. Crinella, UC Irvine, Child Development Center, 19722 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine, CA 92612.


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