Skip to: navigation | content

05. From the Womb to Later Life

Janice and Rodney Dietert

(l.) Janice Dietert (r.) Rodney Dietert

Rodney R. Dietert, Microbiology and Immunology, and his research colleague conducted the first comprehensive review of diseases—including asthma, allergy, autoimmunity, cancer, cerebral palsy, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and male sterility—that appear later in life among people who were exposed to environmental toxins or drugs as infants or in the womb. In all of these diseases, two immune processes, T-helper (Th) cell balances and dendritic cell maturation, are compromised in ways that disrupt the regulation of inflammatory cell function and lead to exaggerated inflammatory responses. Toxins linked to developmental immunotoxicity (DIT) include herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, antibiotics, diesel exhaust, PCBs, and maternal smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. Most therapeutic approaches have looked at specific disease outcomes from DIT. This study instead examined the common immune dysfunction related to many diseases. Knowing the most common immune dysfunction patterns from DIT enables researchers to consider therapeutics that can restore inflammatory cell regulation, promote dendritic cell maturation, and restore a desirable Th balance. In their literature search, the researchers found that herbal and fungal chemicals offering promising results when taken at appropriate doses include Astragalus, Echinacea, sang-hwang shiitake mushrooms, black seed, Asian ginseng, wild yam, and Greek clover. The study points to the need for further research on immune dysfunction and fetal and infant toxins.

› Top  /  › Next Article  /  › Back to Listing