ADHD, ADD (ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER)
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
Children with ADHD (mostly boys) find it difficult to control their hyperactive and/or impulsive behaviour. They are usually inattentive, have problems concentrating, and tend to do things without considering the consequences. Symptoms usually emerge before seven years of age. Up to 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
– Brain damage during pregnancy caused by toxins (mercury, lead, etc.), drinking alcohol, smoking or using other stimulants during pregnancy
– Fluoride in tap water, toothpastes, etc.
– Nutritional deficiencies including Magnesium, vitamin D, B12, Zinc, B complex, etc.
– Serotonin deficiency
– Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
– Imbalance of neurotransmitters
– Viral infections
– Brain injury, exposure to lead and polychlorinated biphenyls during childhood
– Immunizations. There are reasons to believe that vaccination can trigger ADHD and autism at least in certain cases
– Food allergies
– Gluten sensitivity. Many children diagnosed with ADHD do not tolerate gluten found in many grains, especially wheat
– Milk and dairy (allergies). Casein (main milk protein) contains opiate-like substances called casomorphins which are accused of contributing to the development of ADHD as well as autism
– Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, etc.)
– Sodium benzoate, food additives & colourings (E-numbered food dyes)
– Refined carbohydrates (sugar, white flour products, refined grains, sodas, pizza, etc.)
– High fructose / high glucose corn syrup (HFCS) and fruit juices
– Allergic reactions. In some cases, ADHD symptoms can be triggered by allergic reactions to different chemicals found in food, perfumes, washing liquids, soaps, etc.
– Emotionally unstable home environments
– Pesticide exposure has been linked with ADHD
Mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding should:
– Take chlorella powder or tablets before breakfast and lunch. Read article on Chlorella >
– Avoid stimulants, sugar, gluten, dairy products, use a good probiotic formula such as Symprove.
– Avoid antibiotics. Instead use natural antibiotics such as raw garlic or Allicin Max capsules, Golden seal alcohol-free tincture, Coconut oil, etc.
– Diet should contain a lot of fibre (unrefined plant foods) and Four critical foods (see HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN).
– Take necessary supplements: Vitamin D3 (10,000 – 20,000 IU a day), Magnesium citrate or another good magnesium (2 x 400 mg a day), Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg after breakfast in the form of sublingual methylcobalamin).
– Ground flax seed – 1 tablespoon 1 or 2 times a day with meals.
– Digestive enzymes with meals.
– Avoid, products with high fructose/glucose syrup, vegetable oils (corn oil, sunflower oil, soya oil, vegetable oil, etc.), margarines.
– In order to speed up the recovery it is crucial to implement principles included in HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN
Unfortunately, it is a common practice among physicians to promote harmful medications for ADHD while at the same time ignore clear scientific evidence supporting usefulness of healthy plant-based unrefined diet, good quality nutritional supplements, super foods, or exercise.
Nutritional improvement (plant-based, unrefined and high in nutrients diet) combined with behavioural modification for rewarding child’s positive behaviour has been proved to be a very effective method of coping with ADHD. Many parents who have managed to implement the described here nutritional recommendations, lifestyle, and used herbal remedies and supplements, usually notice significant improvements after two or three months. However, you need to be patient as sometimes it may take longer. The treatment should include the following (please keep in mind that listed below supplements and herbal remedies are mostly for adults and if you want to use them for a child the dosage must be lower by 2 or 3 times depending on age):
– A high-nutrient unrefined plant-based diet, high in fresh vegetables, fruits, as well as soaked in water overnight seeds and nuts.
– A scientist by the name Feingold recommended parents to avoid any food or drink that comes in a can or a plastic box. They were encouraged to serve their children only natural, fresh, and homemade foods. As a result, great improvement was seen. But even more effective way to deal with ADHD is by encouraging children to go on a wholesome, plant-based, vegan diet. In one of his article Dr McDougal wrote: “There was a home-school convention in Northern Utah, where 100 mothers volunteered their families to be part of the study. The families were asked to do a wholesome vegan diet for one month, one that would include plenty of whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. At the end of the month, 95% of the mothers reported that their children no longer had ADD! The remaining 5% said they saw a significant improvement in their children even though they still had some symptoms of ADD. There is an online testimonial of one adult lady who had suffered from ADHD. When she first learned about avoiding anything from a box, she tried that and noticed an improvement. Then, she found greater improvements from a vegetarian diet of no animal flesh. And, finally, she found total reversal of her suffering after she tried a vegan diet. Certainly, for people who have mental stress from trying to make a complete switch to the vegan diet, improvements can still be achieved. By transitioning over time from the packaged foods, animal flesh, eggs, and dairy to more wholesome grains, vegetables, beans, and fresh fruits, symptoms disappear.”
– A herbal formula containing Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, Spirulina, Peony, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), and Lemon balm improved focus, response time consistency and speed in children with ADHD (>).
– One tablespoon of ground Flax seed every day with breakfast. Flax seeds and walnuts are rich sources of beneficial but hard-to-find short-chain omega-3 fats, plus they are rich in lignans, minerals, and vitamins. Also soaked in water chia seeds are as high in omega 3 as flax seed.
– A handful of raw soaked in water overnight walnuts with one of the meals.
– Omega 3 fish oil (should be molecularly distilled and therefore free from mercury and other contaminants >): 1000 mg 2 times a day with meals. I recommend this one also because it is high in both EPA and DHA (DHA omega 3 is more important in improving brain function while EPA in coping with inflammation). Research has confirmed that omega-3 fatty acids can improve the symptoms of ADHD more effectively than drugs.
If you don’t want to use a molecularly distilled omega 3 fish oil it’s much better to use high in DHA omega 3 oil from algae and not from fish as unlike fish oils, the algae-derived omega 3, is free from toxins that may be present in some low-quality fish oils.
In case you prefer to avoid swallowing gelatine capsule pierce or cut the omega 3 capsule and squeeze it into a meal or liquid.
A child over the age of seven with ADHD can take about 200 to 500 mg of DHA found in omega 3 oil. Try to compare the content of DHA of different omega 3 brands and choose as high in DHA as possible.
– Avoid sugar, high fructose/glucose syrup, processed foods, no dairy, no oils, margarines, and trans-fats, no chocolate, cola drinks nor anything with caffeine.
– No gluten (especially wheat products).
– Eliminate sugars and grains with gluten from diet. Grains and sugars both may cause allergies in sensitive individuals.
– Replace soft drinks (whether diet and regular), fruit juices, and milk products with distilled water and vegetable juices.
– Spending more time in nature with ADHD children is effective in reducing the symptoms.
– Acetyl L-carnitine (it passes blood-brain barrier much better than L-carnitine): 200-600 mg a day. In one study 50 mg per kg bodyweight of L-carnitine, taken daily, significantly reduced symptoms of ADHD. Similar results were achieved after using an 800 mg daily dose of L-carnosine. In a double-blind study, supplementation with L-carnitine for eight weeks resulted in clinical improvement in 54% of a group of boys with ADHD. The amount of L-carnitine used in this study was 100 mg per 2 pounds of body weight per day, with a maximum of 4 grams per day.
– Taking about 1000mg of amino acid glutamine may be very beneficial in reducing symptoms of ADHD. Glutamine is the precursor of GABA (Gamma-amino butyric acid) the relaxing neurotransmitter which helps the nervous system to calm down. GABA has demonstrated an amazing potential for treating ADHD. It is very beneficial for those who suffer from insomnia anxiety, depression, or panic attacks. Glutamine may be very useful in coping with ADHD because apart from increasing production of GABA, it will also help to recover from the leaky gut syndrome a condition many ADHD children suffer from. Dr. Fredericks discovered patients with ADHD greatly improved their abilities to recall and retain information after taking glutamine supplements. Also studies by Dr. Roger Williams from the University of Texas demonstrated that ADHD sufferers showed neurological and behavioural improvement as a result of taking daily doses of 250 mg to 1,000 mg of glutamine for a month. Keep in mind that the conversion from glutamine to GABA requires vitamin B6 it is therefore reasonable to take this vitamin together with glutamine. Apart from glutamine and vitamin B6 you can boost GABA production in the brain of your child by using other supplements such as L-theanine, taurine, and vitamin B complex. Taurine, apart from boosting GABA also helps to keep magnesium within the cells so that it does not “leak out” when we experience stress.
– Glycine is another neurotransmitter that can cross the blood-brain barrier and help to treat ADHD symptoms. Dr Carl Pfeiffer proved that glycine could decrease sugar craving and help to reduce anger in children with ADHD.
– Take 50 mg of 5-HTP tryptophan in the afternoon and another 50 mg before bed. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, the feel-good hormone and strongest antidepressant. By increasing serotonin tryptophan also helps to produce melatonin, a neurotransmitter involved in the sleep cycle. In our body tryptophan is first transformed to 5HTP (form of tryptophan), then to serotonin, and part of serotonin is converted to melatonin. Since this process requires vitamin B6 it a clever idea to take it in the form of supplement.
– Amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine are the precursors of dopamine as well as adrenalin and noradrenalin, also called epinephrine and norepinephrine. By boosting those two neurotransmitters phenylalanine and tyrosine will help your child to get focused and motivated. It is also important to know that the conversion process requires vitamin B3, vitamin B6, iron, copper, and vitamin C.
– Iodine (from Kelp) – Iodine aids in the detoxification process of these elements as well as heavy metals, such as mercury. Children and adults are exposed to these toxic chemicals daily. Thus, it would be a great benefit to work with a knowledgeable practitioner to help detoxify the system with iodine/iodide as well as other modalities currently researched and proven to be effective.
– Since Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folate) play especially important role in dealing with ADHD, I recommend getting B complex in the form of a good-quality multivitamin-mineral formula which is high in B vitamins. One of my favourite ones is Healthy Mega (HealthAid) as it is not only high in B vitamins and at the same time it contains zinc, selenium, herbs, digestive enzymes, micronutrients, and few super grasses. Compared with other popular formulas Healthy mega may contain even up to 60 times more vitamins per tablet!
Adults may take 1 tablet of Healthy Mega after breakfast, children 1/2 tablet (or less) crushed and mixed with juice after breakfast.
– Beneficial herbs: Tulsi (Holy basil), Lemon balm (Melissa), Turmeric, Valerian root, Chamomile, St John’s wort, Hops.
– Since in ADHD the oxidative stress is increased and detoxification is decreased > it is very important to detoxify the body using chlorella, charcoal, distilled water, vegetable juices, etc. and provide best possible antioxidants (NAC, Alpha lipoic acid, etc.). They are also most important to boost Glutathione.
– Children with ADHD are deficient in antioxidant Glutathione (king of all antioxidants) which plays most important role in detoxifying and regenerating the body. In order to increase glutathione a child needs to receive L-cysteine or NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) (600mg a day), Milk thistle, should be used on regular basis. Although glutathione supplements are available you will get better results by increasing it through regular exercise, NAC, Methylcobalamin, Alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin B6 (in active form P5P), Folate, Selenium, Garlic, Onion, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Vitamin E and C, Milk thistle, and isolated whey protein.
– To remove mercury from your Child’s body and brain use Chlorella. It gives excellent results in ADHD! Children with ADHD can’t detoxify their body properly especially from heavy metals. That is why chlorella gives such a good results. Apart from that it can regenerate nerve tissue! Read more about Chlorella
– Use good-quality probiotic formula such as KidsProbio, UltraProbio for adults (HealthAid) or Symprove as ADHD may be associated with lack of probiotic bacteria and negative changes in the colon (Leaky Gut Syndrome, diarrhoea, constipation, and abdominal pain, etc.).
– If possible, your child should be on Hallelujah diet (most effective of all diets). Read more >
– Vitamin D3: 10,000 IU a day with meal (children 5,000IU). When African children move to America they develop high rates of ADHD. It is believed that one of the reasons is vitamin D (sun vitamin) deficiency. Try to increase the blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to at least 50 or more ng/ml.
– Magnesium citrate or another well absorbed magnesium: 2 times a day 200-400 mg between meals. The more vitamin D3 is used the more magnesium must be taken as D3 leads to magnesium deficiency. In addition, magnesium can be used also externally. Dr. Caorlyn Dean demonstrated great effectiveness in treating children with ADHD by soaking them one to two times a day for about 20 minutes in a warm bath water with added Magnesium. After approximately 14 days of this treatment, all symptoms of ADHD disappeared! All the details are included in her book “Magnesium Miracle”.
– Zinc: 15-30mg after meals. ZINC most important! If you decide to take Brainvit and Healthy Mega at the same time you don’t need additional zinc supplementation.
– Vitamin C (use only L-ascorbic acid, not ascorbic acid!): At least 1000 mg a day with meal. According to one study the behaviour of autistic children was significantly improved after receiving few thousand milligrams of vitamin C a day. Read my very interesting article on Vitamin C >
– Good quality Multivitamin-mineral formula (Healthy Mega by HealthAid, Earth Source by Solgar, Special Two by NOW Foods, etc.): 1 after breakfast.
– Evening primrose oil.
– Methylcobalamin (must be sublingual): 2000mcg under the tongue a day. There are studies which demonstrated effectiveness of this form of vitamin B12 in reducing symptoms of ADHD. >
– Alpha lipoic acid: 200 to 600mg a day.
– Use only raw organic Coconut oil. No other oils or fats.
– Exercise, every day.
– In order to speed up the recovery implement principles included in HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
Please read this extremely important part (LINK) very carefully as it reveals the secret of finding true source of strength necessary to overcome bad habits and will help you to gain a powerful motivation to not only practice but also enjoy the new and very healthy way of life.
Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disturbance usually starting before the age of seven, lasting at least six months, and in some cases persisting to some degree into adult life. Intelligence is usually normal or superior, but the victims have symptoms which are observed by third parties who may label the child with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or ADHD. These children may talk excessively, interrupt and intrude upon others, and have difficulty in playing quietly. They tend to leave tasks unfinished, and shift prematurely from one subject to another. Once the symptoms get well developed, they usually tend to remain constant for that individual, not usually getting much worse. Mild cases will often grow out of it, especially at puberty, but about ten percent persist into adult life (Ref. Journal of the American Medical Association 273:1871, 1995). Some doctors believe it may affect as many as one in 20 adults (Ref. Atlanta Constitution D5, Jan 15, 1995).
There is a widespread epidemic of hyperactivity and learning disability syndromes which plague our society. A five-minute observation of the child is not adequate to make a good assessment. Children of a wide variety of diseases, symptoms, and disorders are lumped together under the labels of attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, or ADHD. Yet, ADD appears to be caused by multiple factors operating at once, one of which is believed by some researchers to be failure of the mother to have peace and happiness during pregnancy.
Dr. Thomas Armstrong, a psychologist who has written several books on children, one called The Myth of the ADD Child, believes ADD is being vastly over-diagnosed, and Ritalin greatly over-prescribed. He states that there are children who are distractible and hyperactive or impulsive, but his question is “What accounts for it?” He believes ADD is far too simplistic. Children get labeled ADD even though they represent a large group of children who have complex social problems at home and school, and emotional, psychological, and educational hurdles which have caused their unacceptable behavioral expressions.
He believes there are some children who have physical disease as the basis for their behavioral problems, and it is far more likely the children generally diagnosed as ADD have health-based or lifestyle problems which can be treated without medication. Many others agree with Dr. Armstrong, such as Dr. Julie B. Schweitzer of Emory University. She believes that ADD and ADHD have a biological rather than a psychiatric base. She has discovered differences in blood flow in specific brain regions in ADHD sufferers, compared to normal children.
Physicians are not trained to look for alternatives either in diagnosing, or treating these youngsters without drugs.
The first phase of treatment is proper diagnosis. Try to make a more specific assessment of the child than the catch-all of ADHD, and get the most appropriate label on his behavior. While the medication may work to calm the child, or any child, the problem could be deeper, but since no one looks for it, family conflicts remain uninvestigated, moral and social issues are unaddressed, the child continues to watch hours of TV daily, or the school makes no changes, and the child grows up with a sort of band-aid therapy—Ritalin. As soon as the psychostimulants wear off, the symptoms will come back or the behavioral problem will express itself in some other equally unacceptable behavior.
Many of these children are highly creative who have very different ways of thinking, and need correction and training rather than a powerful mind-altering drug. Try to get some adult the youngster will respect and love to take an interest in him (we use the pronoun him since about 75 percent or more are males) and be with him several hours each week.
TV is almost always injurious to these youngsters. We recommend the television actually be removed from the home. Even occasional watching is sufficient to increase the difficulty he has in controlling himself. Virtually all TV has been found by Dr. Wilhelm Raab and others to cause the production of stress hormones by the adrenals. Give a one year TV moratorium and you will very likely never return to TV watching.
The child should be homeschooled and not sent away to school until the child is coping well—usually that means adulthood. The homeschooled child will do much better socially, as young children cannot be expected to understand illness, especially one having to do with the nerves, which is difficult even for adults. Children can be very cruel in their ostracism and unkind remarks which may be made very innocently, but cut very deeply. The outcome will be much better eventually for the homeschooled child, and the child’s cooperation is more likely.
The child needs training at the right time in books, but for those with a nervous system problem such as ADHD, never before age eight. Without saying the child is slow or delayed, quietly change his curriculum to minimize scholastics and maximize practical arts. Present topics such as sewing, cooking, carpentry, gardening, horticulture, biologic field trips, or rock gathering expeditions. Train slowly and painstakingly, and try to get the child to become proficient in something. The brain develops at different rates in different children.
Not every child learns best sitting quietly at a desk with a work sheet. Some may need, to in order to learn, to build things, work on projects, and go on field trips. Confined to a desk they become fidgety. A wise parent, teacher, or counselor is alert to this matter and directs the child to a schooling situation best suited to his needs. Unquestionably a home school is the very best school for these children. They will exhibit night and day differences in a homeschool, as compared to any group school. It may be challenging. Tutors for special instruction such as music, typing, domestic arts, and computers may be needed for a period to get the child and mother started.
If there is no option but a group school, at any rate the child must not start to school before age eight. His nervous system is not mature enough yet, and school almost always makes him worse. Other children disrespect him, and teachers consider him a nuisance. He comes to believe this is what he is like—unloved, disrespected, unable to make friends, and a failure in scholarship. Often, nothing is farther from the truth with good management. He may be endearing, brilliant, and a loyal friend.
One reason for the popularity of the ADD diagnosis is that with it nobody is to blame, and no further time or effort needs to be taken with the situation. We can relax and try to cope personally. If the child becomes much more docile, starts listening and behaving, then everybody is absolved of any responsibility to get at the root of the difficulty and his true problem festers and boils under the surface to break out elsewhere. The child gets labeled with a psychiatric disorder. Two million children in the United States now carry this label (Ref. Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Tuesday, January 16, 1996, D3).
People who have difficulty visualizing verbal instructions (either spoken or written) are often labeled ADD. Dr. Schweitzer says those labeled with ADHD should be taught first to visualize verbal instructions before responding. Persons taking Ritalin show more normal blood flow in the brain in the visual association cortex. In our opinion, this does not mean the child needs the drug, but much more probably needs time to mature that part of the brain. The immature child cannot visualize what he cannot see. If “book learning” is forced on the unready mind, it will result in the child’s becoming cemented in the self evaluation that he is not good with books; maybe not as intelligent as others. This is regrettable if he only needs two to four years more maturation in that area.
Test the child with a wide variety of foods for sensitivity. Milk and dairy products are most frequently involved; up to 60 percent or more of all food sensitivities. You must read labels as the very sensitive child may require only a teaspoonful per week to keep him in a reaction. These foods are followed by coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate. Next come citrus fruits and juices; then meat, fish, veal, lamb, eggs, and seafood; then wheat, apples, strawberries, and bananas. Get a list from an allergist or get our book Food Allergies Made Simple.
We had one twelve year-old girl who had never passed a single test in school, nor made a single grade, but no teacher would hold her back a second year because they could not tolerate her. When she was thirteen years old her mother brought her to me after she had been expelled from the third school, and had exhausted her options. I recommended our typical diet for hyperactive children. She was allowed to watch no TV, and her grandmother took the summer off to work with her. They walked alone in woods and fields several hours each day. They did housework together, cooked together, and occasionally drove to some special place such as a museum. Within three months she was a transformed little girl. She started making good grades, became a well-behaved young lady, and eventually got married and holds down a responsible job. In her case the problem was food sensitivities, physical inactivity, an unstructured home life, and irritation from schoolmates.
In appendix B of our book Natural Remedies we have a list of foods high in naturally occurring salicylates. You should remove those for a test period of three months to see if you can gain some benefit from their removal from the diet. Improvement is not always as dramatic as the one above, but if any help can be found, it should be obtained for these children, as many are highly intelligent and can be very productive.
One study showed very definitely that ADD could be benefited greatly by exercise. Get the child into sports which do not require involvement of other children. Being around other children, whether at school or in the neighborhood, will usually be found to have an adverse effect. Many sports are appropriate—backpacking, canoeing, gardening, bicycling, spelunking, exploring, swimming, etc. The child needs adult companionship. Some of our most famous Americans were reared in a homeschool without any or many other children around. Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin are examples.
Another support for the biologic base for much ADD or ADHD, rather than psychiatric-base, is that of a thyroid problem. Dr. Peter Hauser of the National Institutes of Health reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 1993, that about 70 percent of children resistant to thyroid hormones also have the disorder. Doctors treating children with ADD and ADHD should consider a complete physical workup on the child in an effort to identify physical problems which may be at the root of the disorder.
Altering the diet may be helpful in normalizing the thyroid function. See our book Nutrition for Vegetarians or write to us for a counseling sheet on the thyroid. Enclose a business size self addressed stamped envelope and $1.00.
Visual defects, hearing loss, emotional or social disorders (depression, anxiety, child abuse, split home, etc.), and mental retardation may be confounding factors in making a diagnosis. Each of these has specific things to be done. Study the child and do not make the mistake of neglecting to supply the appropriate remedy when one is available.
There is an herb which one should try called licorice. It is available as the root powder. Take one tablespoon of the powder for an adult in a quart of water, and one teaspoon of the powder for a child in a pint of water. Boil it very gently for about 20 minutes, strain if desired, and drink the amount over a period of one day. Make it fresh daily. If one seems to get some benefit from it, double the dosage of the powder used. On the long-term basis (more than a year) there is the possibility of getting mineral imbalances from it, revealed by feeling weak and faint, but if it helps it is worth the trial—merely watch for the side effects. Licorice has been used for generations to make candy and chewing tobacco. It is quite nontoxic, except on a long-term, heavy use basis (one to three years of four tablespoons or more a day) in which case imbalances in minerals have been reported.
For many years mothers have observed that sugar and foods containing sugar as one of the ingredients, and various chemical sweeteners and coloring agents have a drastic effect on their children. Physicians have noticed that patients in all ages may respond adversely to these articles of diet.
“The truly sugar sensitive individual may have a family history of alcoholism, sugar craving, overweight, diabetes, or all four. This happens so frequently that it suggests a strong genetically determined idiosyncrasy,” says Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, writing in Townsend Letter for Doctors, June 1994, page 609. He suggests that repeated exposure to sugar or other sweet articles in diet affects the limbic system in the brain, which causes somewhat of a similar reaction as addiction to drugs. Omit all sugar, honey, malt, syrups, and molasses, as well as all sugar substitutes.
Regularity in all things is essential. The parent or caregiver must discipline herself in order to be an appropriate guide for the child.
A five year old girl, called very “hyper,” was taken into a foster home where she had a simple diet and a well structured program of eating on time, going to bed on time, and living with a calm family in a quiet country setting with no TV. Within less than a month people could not believe it was the same little girl. Unfortunately, she went back to her mother, where she ate what she wanted, when she wanted, went to bed late, and watched TV a lot. In no time she lost what she had gained. We cannot overemphasize attention to details of family government. There are multiple benefits. If you are kind and careful, your child’s mind will translate your carefulness to mean, “They care enough about me to make rules. I must be a worthwhile person. I must try to live up to their expectations.”
For more information contact: Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center, 30 Uchee Pines Road #75, Seale, Alabama 36875, Tel. 334-855-4764, www.ucheepines.org
How ADD & ADHD Can Be Reversed With Simple Vitamins
When my brothers and I were cranky, Mom used to tell us that “There are good boys and tired boys, and tired boys cry.” She meant there are no “bad” boys (or girls) by nature. If we were fussy, we must therefore need a nap. As a former teacher, Mom knew that you seek to change the behavior, not condemn the person. I have taught every grade there is. My students have ranged from primary school, long ago, all the way to the doctoral level. This experience has helped me to understand the essential role that nutrition plays in the education process. May you never have a class full of sugared up, chemically fed, vitamin deficient students. Regardless of age, they are too poisoned to pay attention. Many, perhaps most, of the “difficult” pupils in schools today are not “bad” but nutritionally impaired. School lunch programs attempt to provide calories and a full belly, and they are clearly better than nothing. It would be much better to approve and fund only menu items free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and added sugar. The addition of a good multiple vitamin and extra Vitamin C to each meal would do even more. Over and over again, large research studies confirm that American kids are NOT getting even the modest US RDA of many vitamins and minerals. This has to affect their school performance. What would be surprising would be if it did not. For some reason, though, “natural foods” and vitamin supplements are taboo in most nurse-and-dietician circles. “Just eat a balanced diet” still rules nutritional politics. How bad is it? Well, did you know that Food Stamps cannot be used to buy vitamins? But you CAN use Food Stamps to buy “Trix” and “Fruit Loops” cereals, which are loaded with sugar and chemical colors. What do you expect, when nutrition textbooks say, in the same chapter, that 1) Vitamin C is quickly destroyed by heat AND 2) French fries are a good source of Vitamin C? Did you know that children are not allowed to take vitamin tablets in school without a doctor’s written permission? Yet they can be fed cupcakes and candy right in class or the lunchroom. Even Rodney Dangerfield might agree that vitamins and natural food “don’t get no respect.” Does comedy show food awareness? “My wife: I won’t say she’s a bad cook, but how come the flies chipped in to fix the screen door? Hey, should meat loaf really glow in the dark? But seriously…” There is reason to suspect that Attention Deficit Disorder is really Vitamin Deficit Disorder. What is so difficult about giving schoolchildren a multivitamin supplement to make up their deficit? Don’t tell me that vitamins would be too dangerous, expensive or impractical to administer in school. They give kids the prescription drug methylphenidate (Ritalin) in schools everywhere. Look at Ritalin’s dangers, contraindications and side effects, listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference (Medical Economics Co., Oradell, NJ). Such information covers over three columns of fine print and you might not enjoy reading it. Now compare this to non-prescription vitamins taken safely by nearly 100 million Americans every day. Let’s get food supplements into kids whose parents cannot afford them. Isn’t that the logic behind school meals? Schools can easily avoid artificial chemicals in their menus. You want to see for yourself? Visit the kitchen of your local public or private school and read the labels on the boxes they get from their food distributors. Yet a school district has only to specify a standard and the suppliers will jump to keep their business. Cars have seatbelts and airbags now. How about putting a little pressure on your Board of Education to go chemical-free in their served meals? The behavior benefits of subtracting food chemicals and adding vitamin supplements are elementary. Many children respond promptly to a chemical-free diet. Benjamin Feingold, M.D., an allergist, wrote Why Your Child is Hyperactive to help parents get behavior improvement through foods without drugs. It works for many, and it’s safer than “speed.” Ritalin, after all, has “a potency between the amphetamines and caffeine… it is now estimated that over 750,000 public school children are currently receiving such treatment in the United States.” (Ray and Ksir, Drugs, Society and Human Behavior, 5th ed., 1990, page 121) As of today (2000), that number is probably nearer to two million. Like the amphetamines, Ritalin reduces a child’s growth rate by up to 20%. Kids as young as age six line up daily, in school, for this drug. Let’s line them up for vitamins instead. You can create behavioral-social problems in an animal with a vitamin deficient diet. Many major symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are very similar to those of niacin deficiency. Natural diet need not work for every child to still help thousands of them. It is safe to try it for all. There are no harmful side effects whatsoever from avoiding added sugar and artificial food additives. Drug dependency isn’t encouraged with good nutrition. Neither are all those adverse reactions (I counted over 30 just for Ritalin alone) listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference. There is a copy of the PDR for you to look at behind any pharmacy counter. I know, of case after case, where a kid stops getting food additives and starts taking vitamins, especially C and the B-complex, and is off Ritalin in two weeks or less. It is most effective to give vitamins in divided doses with food. Breaking a common B-complex tablet in thirds can cover all three meals. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. recommended giving children their age in grams of Vitamin C (a gram being 1,000 milligrams). We found that half of that was enough to keep our kids well; that is 4,000 mg daily for an eight-year-old, divided over three meals and snacks. To paraphrase my mother: There are good kids and there are misbehaving kids, and misbehaving kids are probably malnourished. – Andrew W. Saul
For more information, I highly recommend that you read Dr. Hoffer’s ABC of Natural Nutrition for Children, by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D (Quarry Press, Kingston, Ontario 1999) ISBN 1-55082-185-7
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Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.