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GOLD Learning Speakers

Norway

Merete Aase Eggesboe, MD, PhD

  • Speaker Type: GOLD Lactation 2022
  • Country: Norway
Biography:

Merete Eggesboe, MD and an environmental epidemiologist at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, is dedicated to understanding the role of the microbiome and environmental toxicants in children’s health. In order to do so she initiated the prospective HUMIS & NoMIC birth cohorts, encompassing more than 2600 mother-child pairs where the gut microbiome and toxicant exposure has been mapped in human milk and fecal samples. She has now followed them for 18 years and the longitudinal extensive data collection provides a wealth of research opportunities. It has also been linked to the Norwegain Patient Registry where all specialist diagnosis set on all research subjects are available. The focus so far has been on understanding their role in reproductive health, growth/obesity, neuropsychological functioning and vaccine immune responses. Recent studies have also looked at how toxicants in human milk may affect the infant’s microbiome. And vice versa: how our gut microbiome affects the metabolism of toxicants. She has been cited >6000 times over the last 5 years and has an h-index of 51 and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers. She is a popular speaker, leads several prestigious Norwegian Research council programs and participates in several EU projects.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Environmental Contaminants in Human Milk
According to a recent WHO/UN report, synthetic chemicals are a threat to human health. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) are of special concern to humans since they bioaccumulate and biomagnify. Species on the top of the food chain pyramid such as humans are thus among the most heavily exposed. POPS is a group of chemicals compromising PCBs, DDT, Dioxin, Organic Pesticides, flame retardants, as well as the more recent contaminants perfluorinated compounds. They are ubiquitous in air, water and soil, food and humans. In spite of DDT being forbidden more than 40 years ago, both DDT and its metabolite DDE, are still found in breastmilk. This demonstrates the long legacy of these chemicals. The child is exposed to the mother's accumulated levels while in the womb since most of these chemicals pass to the uterus unrestricted, and through breast milk. In spite of declining levels of forbidden POPs we demonstrate that perinatal exposure to POPs are associated with adverse effects on infant health. Large multi-cohort studies encompassing many thousand mother-child pairs report adverse effects of these chemicals on growth and neurodevelopment, with an increased risk of obesity and behavioral disorders among those most heavily exposed.
Hours / CE Credits: 1 (details)  |  Categories: Breastmilk / Human Milk