Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cradle Cap: Treatment Options

I happened to have the good fortune of hearing a biochemist, Professor Tapan Audhya, from New York University Medical center, who specializes in research on essential fatty acids (EFA's) and child development a few weeks ago. After his lecture I picked his brain about EFA's and my daughter's cradle cap. Any of you who read my blog know that fish oil is one of my favorite supplements for everyone and everything (unless you are getting surgery.) I told him that my kids take a lot of fish oil and it has really helped them, but they have severe cradle cap. I hadn't even finished telling him my story and he said definitively "GLA. Evening primrose oil--six drops." After asking so many doctors about their cradle cap and getting so many pauses and suggestions, having someone give an absolute answer was hopeful.

My seven year old has had cradle cap on and off for seven years and although coconut oil worked temporarily, it kept returning. Although the cradle cap disappeared after a week on six drops of evening primrose oil with her fish oil, time will tell if she is cured. But, research from Sweden indicates that cradle cap may be caused by an insufficient supply of an essential fatty acid called Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA.) According to
"GLA is required for the formation and maintenance of healthy skin cells. The hypothesis is that the infants' have an immature enzyme system and are therefore unable to produce sufficient GLA on their own, thus giving rise to the symptoms."
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it looks like you need a functioning Delta-6-Desaturase enzyme system to convert linoleic acid into GLA. Babies sometimes have an immature D6D systems and end up being deficient in GLA. But GLA and evening primrose oil should be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider because there have been reports of Omega 6 supplements inducing seizures (along with fluorescent lights and playing a Wii!) So consult a nutritionist or a holistic pediatrician (or your favorite biochemist!) before beginning supplementation for cradle cap. Also, Aubrey sells an evening primrose oil that can be used topically.


Dr. Jean Layton said...

You might also want to see if your child is getting enough biotin in their diet/vitamin.
I routinely put children on 300 mcg daily and find that the cradle cap clears within a couple of weeks.

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garry said...

Hi... that was great stuff... I really like reading on this subject Could you tell me more on that... I love to explore !

Cradle Cap Treatment

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