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Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are growing problems. The number of globally reported ADD cases has increased rapidly, especially in the United States. It’s estimated that in the United States, three to five percent of all children suffer from common side effects of ADD such as reduced attentiveness and concentration, excessive activity, distractibility, and impulsiveness. That’s one child for every classroom! While there is no known cause for ADD, this manual is going to outline possible explanations for the rise in ADD and suggest potential solutions to naturally reduce ADD symptoms.
ADD and Dieting
The connection between ADD and food began in the 1970’s when Dr. Benjamin Feingold published the novel, Why Your Child is Hyperactive. Dr. Feingold, a pediatrician and allergist, noticed behavioral changes in his patients when placed on special diets. The Feingold diet is based on the premise that allergic reactions to certain types of food cause or contribute to ADD/ADHD symptoms. Out of nine studies looking specifically at children with ADHD, in eight of these studies behavior worsened after consuming dyes or improved when the child began an additive free diet.
There has been a dramatic rise in the consumption of processed food. Processed and semi-processed food now account for two-thirds of the world’s total agricultural trade. It is the fasting growing sector of the U.S agriculture exports. This rise in processed foods has left a void in nutrients. The Western diet does not appear to include enough of the essential macronutrients (nutrients we need a lot of) that are necessary for optimal brain functions, particularly attention and concentration. Western diets contain more color dye, flavoring, and additives which have been linked to ADHD symptoms. An article in the Netherlands, published in the Lancet Medical Journal, did a study with children between the ages of 4 and 8 who had ADHD. The study put the children on a restrictive diet that eliminated processed foods. At the end of the study, 78 percent of children showed less symptoms associated with ADHD. When processed foods returned to a children’s diet, two-thirds of the children saw ADHD symptoms return.
The Feingold diet is a method to treat ADD by eliminating harmful additives such as
Diminishing Nutritional Value
In the past 50 years, the nutritional value of food has plummeted. The body requires nutrients in order to produce neurotransmitters, which are chemical substances the body uses to send itself messages. These messages control things such as mood, impulsiveness, and concentration. Without the proper vitamins and nutrients, the body cannot produce neurotransmitters and the body is unable to regulate ADD/ADHD behaviors.
The Decline of Food
The world’s population has continued to rise drastically, which has caused an increased demand on increasing the world’s food supply. Farmers have reacted to these demands extremely well by doubling, and in some cases, tripling their yield per acre production. They accomplished this through the use of synthetic-fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizers consist of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and allow farmers to instantly reuse the soil. The problem is the land never has time to rest and restore the nutrients it lost. The crops produced from the synthetic fertilizer cannot absorb the nutrients from the soil making the food nutrient deficient. To put this in perspective, it would take 25 apples today to equal the same amount of iron that one apple provided around 50 years ago.
Donald Davis compared the nutritional value of 43 common fruits and vegetables over a 50 to 70 year period. His research concluded that there has been a decline of 5 to 40 percent of vitamins, minerals, and protein in today’s food. Today, it is a widely believed that supplementation is necessary to make up the nutritional deficiencies from food without a largely organic diet. When the body suffers these nutritional deficiencies, many people cannot produce adequate amounts of neurotransmitters leaving the body without a way to minimize ADD/ADHD symptoms.
With the increase of people who have ADD, the market for treatments has skyrocketed. In 2007, Dr. Kenny Handelman, MD FRCPC, wrote a report entitled the State of ADD/ADHD Medication, which stated the following facts about ADHD:
Today, all of these numbers have increased dramatically and ADHD has become the world’s leading childhood disorder that is treated with medication. The most surprising thing about the rise in this industry is that studies suggest natural solutions can be just as effective without unintended side effects. The most commonly prescribed drug to treat ADD is Ritalin, a medication whose sales have increased over 10 fold over the past decade. The purpose of this section is not to bash Ritalin, but rather to inform people of the risks/benefits involved with taking Ritalin.
Ritalin Side Effects:
The two most common responses to patients taking Ritalin are nervousness and insomnia. There have also been reported reactions to Ritalin such as hypersensitivity (skin rash, itching, fever, joint pain, itchy, scaly skin, and thrombocytopenic purpura), anorexia, nausea, dizziness, palpitations, headache, dyskinesia, drowsiness, blood pressure and pulse changes, tachycardia, angina, cardiac arrhythmia, abdominal pain, and weight loss. These symptoms are most common when a patient takes dosages over 20mg. There are a few reports of Tourette’s syndrome, but these reports are rare. In addition to these side effects, there are reports of patients taking Ritalin having leukopenia (decreased white bloodcells), anemia, and hair loss, although no concrete connection has been established. The most common side effects for children are loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and weight loss. As there is no data regarding the effectiveness or safety for children under 6, it is strongly advised that they do not take Ritalin.
There have been no signs of withdrawal from taking Ritalin after long-term use; however, some patients gain a euphoric feeling after taking Ritalin, which means it is subject to abuse. It is not advisable to give Ritalin to someone who has had a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Long-term abuse of Ritalin can lead to a psychological dependency to the drug along with various degrees of abnormal behavior. For Ritalin abusers, withdrawal from Ritalin can lead to psychotic episodes, and and supervision may be necessary due to severe depression and other side effects from the abuse can be unmasked.
Vitamins and Nutrients That Can Fight ADHD
Hyperactive or ADHD children are almost always deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for proper brain energy and is the first mineral depleted during periods of stress. The nutrient helps to metabolize sugar and utilize carbohydrates to create energy. When adding magnesium to an ADHD diet, calming effects can occur immediately. Magnesium in cells activates enzymes necessary for the body to convert carbohydrates into energy. Magnesium is also used to produce serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that provides the feeling of calm and well-being. Low levels of serotonin are associated with irritability, moodiness, and depression. A study in 1988 published in the Alternative Medicine Review linked ADHD to low magnesium levels in their blood and noticed a remarkable increase in hyperactivity after six months of 200mg of magnesium a day. Magnesium cannot be stored in the body and must be taken daily.
A deficiency in Zinc affects the body’s ability to regulate the function of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine plays an important role in the feelings of pleasure and reward. In Iran, Dr. Akhondzadeh did a study where he monitored the results of children who have ADHD by offering them 55mgs of zinc sulphate. Dr. Akhondzadeh’s team published their findings in the BMC Psychiatry journal and concluded the, "efficacy of zinc sulphate to increase the rate of improvement in children, seems to support the role of zinc deficiency in the pathogenesis of ADHD.” In 2005, a study in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology regarding the effects of zinc and ADHD concluded that “improving zinc nutritional status might improve the response to stimulants or might even have a beneficial effect independent of stimulants”.
GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is found throughout the central nervous system. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps send messages and has a calming effect on nerves. Research shows a large number of children with ADHD experience anxiety, which may cause the brain to be become bombarded with excited messages. GABA blocks these messages so the brain does not become overwhelmed. In 2006, Mashito Miyazakia published an article in the journal of Brain and Development that states a GABA enhancing drug called valproate significantly reduced hyperactivity and impulsivity in three boys with ADHD. Another study conducted in Kyorin Unversity Medical School administered 100mg of a form of GABA called pharmaGABA to 60 participants. Participants who took GABA prior to taking the test scored 20% higher than those who did not.
Tyrosine helps the body cope physiologically with stress by building the body’s natural stores of adrenaline. Stress reduces the body’s stores of Tyrosine and without it the body cannot manufacture various neurotransmitters. Tyrosine is vital in creating dopamine and norepinephrine which helps to regulate a person’s moods. Tyrosine also allows for the smooth transition from thought to discipline behavior which many people with ADHD suffer from. Children given tyrosine supplements demonstrate a remarkable improvement in mental performance and mood stability. A study published in 1988 in the American Journal of Psychiatry depicted a study involving 12 adults with ADHD. Tyrosine dosages ranging from 30 mg to 150mg per kg body weight were administered daily. There was significant improvements in ADD symptoms initially noted by researchers; however, sometimes symptoms returned after six to ten weeks.
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA). In a clinical study of nearly 100 boys, those with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids had more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels. Another study from the University of South Australia gave omega-3 to 103 children aged 7 to 12 diagnosed with ADHD. Using the Conners Parent Rating Scale, after 30 weeks the children scores improved by one standard deviation, which is similar to the short-term effect of taking Ritalin; however, with Ritalin there is no evidence that the effects last beyond a 4 week period, whereas the effects from the omegas appear long lasting.
Try a Healthy Alternative
We have found that Biometics product provide balanced nutrition so the body gets everything it needs to regulate itself and reduce ADD/ADHD symptoms. These products are not designed for ADD/ADHD but the wide array of vitamins in addition to the micellization these vitamins and nutrients make a huge difference in focus, concentration and brain function. Cal-Mag helps with a faster, deeper sleep and both Calcium and Magnesium have been proven affect
When you factor in the declining nutritional value in food, the rise in processed food, and the risks of Ritalin, we strongly encourage exploring a natural solution. In addition to changing your diet to one less dependent on additives and processed foods, there is a strong need for supplements. In 2011, there was a report on the nation’s nutrient gap which revealed that 90 percent of Americans are nutrient deficient. We have found that Biometics product provide balanced nutrition so the body gets everything it needs to regulate itself and reduce ADD/ADHD symptoms. These products are not designed for ADD/ADHD but the wide array of vitamins and nutrients Biometics products offer has led to amazing results in focus, concentration and brain function. Biometics products are unique becuase of the Biocellular Micellization process which is the process of breaking nutrients down to their smallest form to allow for greater absorption. The Physician’s Desk reference published a study stating a body absorbs approximately 98 percent of the vitamins and minerals in liquid form compared to 3 to 20 percent of vitamins and nutrients in pill form.
The Biocellular Micellization process converts fat soluble nutrients into water soluble nutrients. This allows the body to skip the emulsification process, which the body must do to absorb fat soluble nutrients, making liquid vitamins enter the body 3 to 5 times faster than pills. To manage the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, Liquid Energy advises trying the Deluxe Nutritional Energy Program. It is important to take a wide range of nutrients in order to provide balanced body chemistry. In addition to these programs, Liquid Energy also recommends taking Biomega 3 to receive the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids. . For a comprehensive program, try the Fast Start program with Bio Nite liquid melatonin for a deep restful sleep and Bio Alert for focus and mental clarity. For more information regarding ADHD, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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