As we've previously reported, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is on the rise among Americans. Now findings published online today in Pediatrics show nearly one in 10 babies in the United States are given herbal supplements within the first year of their life. Health Day reports:
Reviewing information from the Infant Feeding Practices Study that was conducted from 2005 to 2007, the researchers found data from 2,653 mothers.
Almost 6 percent said they had given their infant a botanical supplement or tea once during the first 12 months of the baby's life. Another 3.6 percent said they'd given their infant these products more than once during the baby's first year.
Women were more likely to give their babies these products if they reported using botanical supplements or teas themselves. Women who were older, had more than one child and had a higher education or income were also more likely to give their infants such products. Mothers who breast-fed longer were more apt to try giving a botanical supplement or tea to their baby. Hispanic mothers were more likely than white or black mothers to give their babies dietary botanical supplements or teas.
Although the study didn't analyze if infants experienced negative reactions to the herbal supplements, researchers pointed out that dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA to treat, cure or prevent any disease and urged parents to consult with their health-care provider before using such products.
Photo by Alessandro Perilli