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Suddenly, Where are Sudden Infant Death Studies?

"In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood." - Henry David Thoreau

An email was recently received from a reader who was highly critical of Notmilk for its lack of providing 21st century studies on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Yesterday morning, I checked the medical literature to find just how many SIDS studies had been published during the past three years. What level of importance has the scientific community assigned to the thousands of tragic deaths occurring in cribs each year?

I accessed Medline and searched various issues:

During the past 36 months, I found 71,629 diabetes studies. For scientific researchers, "diabetes" is where the money is!

During the past 36 months, I found 42,127 breast cancer studies.

Then I got silly and typed in the word "thumb" and found a ridiculously high 1,900 studies.

Just for the heck of it, I typed in the word "halitosis". How many studies were performed regarding bad breath? 195 studies!

So I went for the absurd and typed in "cooties" in the search mode and found 129 studies. It is a tragedy when somebody gets cooties. School children make fun of those who get cooties.

Finally, I went for it and typed in "sudden infant death syndrome AND milk". There were just three studies done and published in the past three years.

One was performed on newborn lambs. (Effects of postnatal smoke exposure on laryngeal chemoreflexes in newborn lambs.) I wondered just how many mother ewes smoked post-birth cigarettes in the same room as their lambykins nestled in their cribs.

The second study title was: High-protein diet in lactation leads to a sudden infant death-like syndrome in mice. I wondered why humans should be concerned with studies done in surf and turf restaurants on creatures who have a completely different set of digestive enzymes and lack gallbladders?

The third publication was one done with human subjects. Yaay. One study in three years. The subject was breastfeeding. Scientists found that breast-fed infants had fewer cases of SIDS than those laying alone in cribs sucking up a formula made from cow's milk. I call such research "duh moments".

It is clear that scientists have ceased to examine sudden infant death, despite the fact that thousands die each year needlessly and tragically. Why? Could it be that the act of autopsy on a two-month-old baby human is just too painful for a researcher to endure?

Examine the previous Notmilk research and you tell me why American society does not seek to find an answer, while British journals have discovered a truth that Americans would prefer not to know:

"Hypersensitivity to milk is implicated as a cause of sudden death in infancy." - The Lancet, vol. 2, 7160, November 19, 1960

"Those who consumed cows milk were fourteen times more likely to die from diarrhea-related complications and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than were breast-fed babies. Intolerance and allergy to cow's milk products is a factor in sudden infant death syndrome." - The Lancet, vol. 344, November 5, 1994

"Those infants who died of SIDS expressed inappropriate or inflammatory responses suggesting violent allergic reactions to a foreign protein. Lung tissue and cells showed responses similar to bronchial wall inflammation in asthma."
- The Lancet, vol. 343, June 4, 1994

Robert Cohen

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