Jaundice Helps Babies!

Jaundice Helps Babies!

A startling study published in the November 25, 2002 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tells how scientists at Johns Hopkins University proved that bilirubin, the pigment that turns jaundiced skin yellow, is actually a powerful antioxidant – capable of protecting a baby’s cells from damage.

Like fever, jaundice was once seen as a problem. Now we know that at normal levels fever and jaundice are both friends – part of the body’s healing mechanism. They might signal an urgent problem, so neither fever nor jaundice should be ignored in a baby. Also, if the levels are too high they can cause problems themselves, so fever and jaundice sometimes need urgent treatment.

Nevertheless, like fever, jaundice can be a baby’s friend, almost like a layer of flexible inside armor, keeping the baby safe.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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