The American Academy of Pediatrics has decided that kids as young as four years of age can be labeled as having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). The Academy recommends that they be given ADHD drugs after behavioral management techniques have been tried (Dooren).
Presently, 1 in 12 kids an ADHD diagnosis and it is the most common neurobehavioral problem among children. And what do the pediatricians and psychiatrists recommend? Ritalin® (methylphenidate) and other drugs documented as potentially dangerous, and as addicting as codeine and related narcotics.
Why don’t they look for the curable causes? Most of us who have studied the biochemistry of healing have been curing this disorder for over three decades. When will medicine catch up? Or doesn’t it want to because there’s no money in well kids?
Simple nutritional checks: magnesium and zinc
If you want to see how ignorant many practitioners are, just ask them if there’s any proof for nutrient assays or hypoallergenic diets or any other of the other myriad proven causes of this brain disorder. If they deny the use of these approaches, they are clueless.
For example, let’s start with something very simple like the diagnostic diet that I wrote about three decades ago in The EI Syndrome. In one study 73% of hyperactive/ADD kids were better with a hypoallergenic diet (Boris), while in another, 80% of children were better with a hypoallergenic diet (Crook). Drugs don’t have stats that impressive, and especially without side effects.
Or, let’s look at something as simple and epidemic as a magnesium deficiency, which many readers are probably more well-versed in than most pediatricians. (Just ask a conventional physician how he assays it; chances are he or she doesn’t know how to accomplish this.)
A magnesium deficiency is common in ADHD–that is if it’s looked for! (Kozielec, Starobrat-Hermelin) And it won’t surprise you that giving magnesium in these cases has decreased ADHD symptoms (Starobrat-Hermelin). The children’s symptoms returned when the magnesium was stopped. How much more proof is needed?
Further, over one third of kids with ADHD have been shown to be low in serum zinc (Toren).
This information is not new. It’s been known for well over a decade. Yet show me a pediatrician or a psychiatrist who even does a rudimentary RBC for zinc (Bekaroglu). And if you load the poor kid with Ritalin but don’t check his zinc, then the Ritalin may not even work (Arnold), so the dose is raised!
Environmental pollutants are poisoning our kids
The number one pollutant in the human body is the family of phthalates or plasticizers; they damage the very chemistry of the brain. Yet the majority of baby bottles are no longer glass but plastic. Children’s bodies now are as toxic at age six as adults are at age 40 after many years of toxins accumulating.
One thing phthalates do is lower carnitine levels. So not surprisingly, supplementing with Acetyl L- Carnitine has produced improvement in memory and learning in some ADHD kids (Stevens). It all depends which individual deficiencies are in need of repair in each child.
Adding to this problem, in this era of processed foods it turns out that the form of manganese used in some infant formulas can be toxic, and levels are often 2 to 50 times higher than the level in human milk, depending upon the brand (Stastny). Not only is this excessive amount of manganese able to permanently damage the infant brain (Tran, Crinella) but many other problems with these synthetic formulas have arisen. Soy estrogen can have an influence on male testicles, leading to adult infertility or tumors. And of course phthalates can set the stage for adults’ breast and prostate cancers.
It’s important to remember that in this era, we’ve changed the actual chemistry of the human body including the brain. The brain is 40% fat, and we have changed the ratio of the most crucial fats: many of the omega-3s have been changed to omega-6s. The ratio of these fats in the human brain and body used to be 3:1 and now it’s more than 1:16-20 (Richardson, Simonopoulos). This has a major bearing on brain function.
Further, the brain is an underappreciated allergic target organ. Just because it doesn’t sneeze like the nose or wheeze like the lungs does not mean that it’s not affected by hidden food, dust and mold allergies. Depression Cured At Last! is a must read for anyone who wants to make sure they have the best brain health (even without depression), for it shows many unsuspected causes of brain dysfunction.
Ninety-five percent of brain neurotransmitters like serotonin are not made in the brain but are made in the gut. If a physician does not check the status of the gut, there’s no hope of healing the brain. If he or she has prescribed antidepressants, anti-hyperactivity drugs, or other brain-altering drugs without looking at the gut first, it screams ignorance.
And don’t forget that most children now have been weaned on plastic baby bottles which opens the door for nprecedentedly high levels of phthalates in the brain.
Remember that health is a process, not one book or blog post or newsletter. You must learn it to earn it. There’s no substitute for looking at the actual chemistry of the brain. The focus of medicine is clearly on drugs, devices and surgery while ignoring the cures that have been present for decades. This is a critical time in the history of U.S. medicine and very few folks are even aware of it.
What are you going to do about it, at least for your own children and grandchildren?
• Dooren JC, ADHD guidelines issued for 4 and up, Wall St J A6, Oct 17, 2011
• Boris M, Mandel FS, Foods and additives are common causes of attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children, Anns Allergy 72:462-8, 1994
• Crook WG, Diet and hyperactivity, Pediatrics 68:300-1, 198• Kozielec T, et al, Assessment of magnesium levels in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Magnes Res 10:143-8, 1999
• Starobrat Hermelin B, The effect of deficiency of selected bioelements on hyperactivity in children with certain specified mental disorders, Annales Academiae Medicae Stetinensis 44:297-14, 1998
• Starobrat Hermelin B, et al, The effects of magnesium physiological supple mentation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Positive response to magnesium oral loading test, Magnesium Res 10:149-56, 1997
• Monsain-Bosc M, et al, Improvement of neurobehavioral disorders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. I. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, Magnesium Res 19:46-52, 2006
• Toren P, et al, Zinc deficiency and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Biolog Psychiatry 40:1308-10, 1996
• Bekaroglu M, et al, Relationships between serum free fatty acids and zinc and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a research note. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 37:225-7, 1996
• Stastny D, Manganese intake and serum manganese concentration of human milk-fed and formula fed infants, Am J Clin Nutr 39:972-78, 1984