Showing posts with label Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Show all posts

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Music for Brain Power

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's compositions charact...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's compositions characterized music of the classical era. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music for Brain Power, Study Music, Concentration, Relaxation
Great for Baby's Brain, Mozart Effect, Stress Reduction, Enjoyment.

What is the "Mozart effect"? A set of research results indicate that listening to Mozart's music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as "spatial-temporal reasoning".
The "Mozart effect" is the popular idea that "listening to Mozart makes you smarter", or that early childhood exposure to classical music has a beneficial effect on mental development.

However, listening to music doesn't make us more intelligent, even though it can help temporarily to improve our ability to manipulate shapes mentally.
Moreover, other kinds of music you like or anything that makes you alert (e.g. a few star jumps or drinking coffee) should work just as well.

Mozart - Piano Concerto N. 21
Mozart - Symphony N. 40 Movt 1 ( 05:32 )
Mozart - Eine Kleine Nacht Movt 2 ( 13:03 )
Mozart - Marriage of Figaro "Overture" ( 18:05 )
Mozart - Violin Sonata K378 Rondeaux ( 22:32 )
Mozart - Horn Concerto Number 3 K447 Movt 2 ( 26:35 )
Mozart - Clarinet Concerto Movt 2 ( 30:54 )
Mozart - Magic Flute Opera "Overture" ( 37:51 )
Mozart - Piano Concerto Number 23 Movt 1 ( 44:59 )
Chopin - Preludio 4 Op. 28 ( 55:45 )
Chopin - Preludio N. 15 "Rain Drop" ( 57:48 )
Chopin - Preludio Op. 28 N. 7 ( 01:03:19 )
Chopin - Studio Op. 25 ( 01:04:09 )
Chopin - Notturno Op. 9 N. 1 ( 01:06:33 )
Chopin - Notturno Op. 15 N. 2 ( 01:11:47 )
Costantini - Sonetto in re b ( 01:15:06 )
Costantini - Berceuse ( 01:18:50 )
Costantini - Lindos ( 01:22:44 )
Enchanted Piano - Heaven ( 01:28:22 )

Our Notes:  With so much intense news posted on the site today, we figured this would help everyone relax a bit.
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Thursday, February 20, 2014


Fukushima I nuclear power plant before the 201...
Fukushima I nuclear power plant before the 2011 explosion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Information we are not being given is the fallout from Japan's nuclear meltdown.  Not to create a panic in any way, we simply do not have information as to how bad or how little it is affecting us if at all.  

What needs to be done is ask the logical questions, if there is a media blackout, and there really are serious concerns with all of this, then our national leaders at every level from politicians, corporate heads, bankers and the ultra rich would all be hiding out and not go out into any area of the public.  We are seeing these folks out everywhere.  So chances of this being a major concern are not very likely.

A ray of intelligence?  A different perspective on the entire issue.  We'll go with this one.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

Major brain structures implicated in autism.
Major brain structures implicated in autism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Dr. Mercola
When I was in medical school, more than 30 years ago, the incidence of autism was one in 100,000. Today, the incidence has climbed to 1 in 50, according to CDC statistics.1
This is a startling increase from 2008 data,2 which showed one in 88 children had the condition. Some experts believe that if you consider the full range of neurological disorders that could fall under the wider umbrella of "Autism Spectrum Disorder," the incidence may be as high as one in 10!
The video above features Dr. Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum. In it, she discusses the transformation that has occurred since autism first became recognized.
Originally, the study of autism was primarily confined to the fields of psychology, and then genetics. Today, much of the research has moved into neurology, and Dr. Grandin shares some of the more exciting discoveries, including the use of neuroimaging.
This echoes the comments of Dr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist specializing in the use of SPECT imaging, which can be of profound use when trying to diagnose a wide variety of neurological disorders, whom I previously interviewed.
For example, Dr. Amen's work shows that most cases of depression and anxiety are really symptoms of underlying brain dysfunction, commonly caused by toxic exposures, and/or a combination of poor lifestyle habits such as a poor diet and lack of exercise.
One of the major benefits of SPECT imaging is in fact the ability to identify damage caused by toxic exposures, which can be critical for proper treatment, whether you're dealing with depression, autism, ADHD, or any other neurological disorder. As I'll discuss below, toxicity may in fact be a significant factor in the development of autism.

Autism—Thinking Across the Spectrum

I was fortunate to find a talk Dr. Grandin recently gave at Google, in which she discusses autism traits that are of profound use to society, noting that many IT professionals exhibit behaviors and thinking patterns that fall within the spectrum of autism.
This is in fact what makes the study of autism so challenging—the spectrum is so wide that on the one end you have leaders of multi-billion dollar Silicon Valley companies, and on the other, you have people who are unable to communicate or even dress themselves.
Dr. Grandin also focuses on how differences in brain structure result in different thinking and processing patterns—information that can be useful in any relationship. 

Autistic people's brains actually process information differently, as neuroimaging now show, and depending on where a person is on the autism spectrum, he or she may exhibit certain strengths and weaknesses. The same applies for non-autistic people as well, of course. For example:
  • Photo realistic visual thinkers are good at visualizing object, but poor at algebra
  • Pattern thinkers excel at music and math, but tend to have trouble reading
  • Those who excel at verbal language translation tend to be poor at drawing pictures
  • Auditory thinkers have fragmented visual perception
One of the keys to allow children with autism spectrum symptoms to thrive is to understand how they process information, and adjust their education and activities accordingly.

The Causes of Autism Spectrum Are Likely Manifold

From my perspective, having had the opportunity to speak with a number of pioneering physicians, I believe there's a conglomerate of potential factors that contribute to the rise in autism spectrum disorder, including but not limited to the following. The countless possible combinations of these and other factors could help explain why there's such a wide spectrum of autistic behavior:
  • Gut dysbiosis in combination with vaccine and their additives like mercury (thimerosal), aluminum, and others, which are known to damage your mitochondria—the powerhouses in your body's cells that produce energy
  • Microbial toxins, such as mold
  • Dietary factors (including genetically engineered foods, agricultural chemicals, food additives, and food processing techniques—all of which destroy gut flora that is critical for normal development and brain function, and contribute to nutritional deficiencies)
  • Vitamin D deficiency. The link between vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and the proportionate jump in autism has been highlighted by Dr. John Cannell. Vitamin D receptors appear in a wide variety of brain tissue early in the fetal development, and activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain.
  • I believe vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is a MAJOR contributing factor to autism, especially when you consider that vitamin D also helps in the detoxification of mercury. Without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, any subsequent toxic assaults—regardless of the source—will be further magnified
  • Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers, and Wi-Fi devices, which can trap heavy metals inside of nerve cells, accelerate heavy metal toxicity, and hinder natural detoxification processes

The Connection Between Autism and Gut Flora

While not discussed in Dr. Grandin's presentation, one factor I believe may be critically important is the link between a child's gut flora and the development of autism spectrum symptoms. Your gastrointestinal system is often referred to as your "second brain," containing some 100 million neurons—more than in either your spinal cord or your peripheral nervous system. 

And research by pioneers such as Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride shows there's a profound dynamic interaction between your gut, your brain, and your immune system.
She has developed what might be one of the most profoundly important treatment strategies for preventing and treating autism, as well as a wide range of other neurological, psychological, and autoimmune disorders—all of which are heavily influenced by your gut health.
Her findings show that children born with severely damaged gut flora are at a significantly increased risk of vaccine damage, which may help explain why some children develop symptoms of autism after receiving one or more childhood vaccinations while others do not. (Another group of children that may also over-react to vaccinations are siblings of children with autism, severe hyperactivity, obsessive compulsive disorder, mental conditions, and type 1 diabetes.)
Children use all of their sensory organs to collect information from their environment, which is then passed to the brain for processing. This is a fundamental part of learning. However, in children with Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS)—a term coined by Dr. Campbell-McBride—the toxicity flowing from their gut clogs their brain with toxicity, preventing it from performing its normal function and processing sensory information.
Keep in mind that this toxic burden is NOT necessarily limited to thimerosal (mercury-based preservative) or aluminum-based adjuvants found in some vaccines. The MMR vaccine for example does not contain thimerosal or aluminum. Instead, it appears the measles virus in the vaccine may contribute to chronic inflammation of the bowel, thereby unleashing a cascade of harmful effects on the brain.
Autism isn't the only potential outcome in this case. GAPS may manifest as a conglomerate of symptoms that can fit the diagnosis of either autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to name a few possibilities. Digestive issues, asthma, allergies, skin problems, and autoimmune disorders are also common outgrowths of GAPS, as it can present itself either psychologically or physiologically. It's critically important here to understand that the gut flora your child acquires during vaginal birth is dependent on your—the mother's—gut flora. So if your microflora is abnormal, your child's will be as well. Hence, addressing your gut health prior to, and during pregnancy, is essential.

How to Identify GAPS

The good news is that it's possible to identify GAPS within the first weeks of your baby's life, which can help you make better informed decisions about vaccinations, and about how to proceed to set your child on the path to a healthy life. This is done by analyzing your child's stool to determine the state of her gut flora, followed by a urine test to check for metabolites, which can give you a picture of the state of your child's immune system.
If your child turns out to have abnormal gut flora, Dr. Campbell-McBride strongly advises against vaccinating with the standard vaccination protocol until or unless the metabolic characteristics of GAPS have been reversed, in order to prevent vaccine damage. The non-invasive tests described in her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, are now available in most laboratories around the world, and typically run around $80-100 each in the US. This is peanuts compared to the incredible expense of treating an autistic child once the damage is done.

Strategies to Restore Health to Children with GAPS and Autism

There is a growing wealth of evidence demonstrating that the nutritional cause of many diseases is related to an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, a problem easily rectified by eating a diet consisting of high-quality, minimally processed, and preferably organic, foods.
There's also plenty of evidence showing the harm being done by the over-prescribing of antibiotics as they are indiscriminate killers, eradicating all the beneficial bacteria in your gut along with the bad ones. Agricultural chemicals like glyphosate, and processed foods in general also decimate healthy microbes, and are best avoided—especially if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Dr. Campbell has developed a very effective treatment for GAPS children, called the GAPS Nutritional Protocol. It is described in great detail in her book, which is designed to be a self-help book. In summary, the protocol consists of three elements:
  • Diet—the GAPS diet consists of easily-digestible foods that are dense in nutrition, including fermented foods. In general, avoiding processed foods and foods high in sugar/fructose is an essential component of a gut-healthy diet, as sugar feeds harmful bacteria and throws your microflora off kilter. It also promotes insulin resistance, and ultimately type 2 diabetes, so it's easy to see how the dietary component can contribute to all of the problems discussed here: type 2 diabetes, imbalanced gut flora, and brain/learning/developmental disorders.
  • Food supplements - including probiotics and vitamins D and A in the form of cod liver oil, although sun exposure is also an important part for GAPS patients, for proper vitamin D production.
  • Detoxification—The GAPS nutritional protocol will naturally clear out most toxins. Dr. Campbell does not use any kind of drugs or chemicals to remove toxins as it can be too drastic for some, and can produce damaging side effects. Instead she recommends juicing as a gentle but effective way of removing toxic build-up, as well as baths with Epsom salt, sea salt, seaweed powder, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda.

The Importance of Vitamin D and Cholesterol During Pregnancy

I also want to mention the importance of vitamin D and cholesterol during pregnancy, to help protect your child from autism. The most crucial role for both vitamin D and cholesterol in the embryo is in the development of the brain and central nervous system. Not only is cholesterol a core building block of the brain, but vitamin D also plays a critical although not well-understood role in brain development. Deficiency in either cholesterol and/or vitamin D may affect your child's autism risk.
For example, one previous study3 measuring cholesterol levels in children with autism found a striking correlation between low cholesterol and symptoms of either autism or Asperger's syndrome. And, according to Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council, several research findings suggest that low vitamin D levels during pregnancy, and during infancy, may raise the risk of autistic symptoms.4
Vitamin D is manufactured in your body from cholesterolagain showing the interconnected importance of maintaining optimal levels of both—especially during pregnancyThis happens in your skin as a result of sun exposure. Keep in mind that if you're wearing a sunscreen, then you're pretty much guaranteeing that you won't generate any vitamin D.

Helpful Strategies for Autistic Children

There's tremendous hope for children with autism and I have made it one of my goals to provide parents with as many safe and effective cutting-edge solutions as possible. Based on my own experience and insight from many autism experts, here are my recommendations:
  1. Optimize vitamin D levels through proper sun exposure. If that is not possible, then use a safe tanning bed or as a last resort oral vitamin D. It is VITAL to make sure a pregnant mother's vitamin D level is above 50 ng/ml during her entire pregnancy. This is clearly the easiest and most profoundly important recommendation to implement.
  2. Eliminate processed foods, sugar (particularly fructose) and grains from your child's diet: Sugar is in fact toxic to your body, capable of causing profound harm to your health. This includes ALL forms of sugar, whether it's regular table sugar or corn-based sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, or agave, and whether it's found in juice, soda, French fries, or grain products (such as pasta, bagels, cereal, pretzels, etc).
  3. Avoid pasteurized milk. This is absolutely imperative when you're treating autism. This includes ALL milk products, including ice cream, yogurt, and even whey. Even natural flavorings in food must be avoided unless the processor can guarantee, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that caseinate is not included.
  4. Lower microbial burden: Any type of chronic infection, whether caused by Lyme disease or any other microbe, such as mold, can spread through your system and make you chronically ill. One of the major problems is that the biotoxins produced by the infection compete for the same detoxification pathways as do other toxins, like mercury and pesticides, and so on.
  5. Make your child's body less of an optimal habitat for microbial overgrowth through dietary changes (less starch and sugar at minimum) and lowering overall stress. Also, consider testing for mold (in your home) and Lyme (in their body) but only after "provocation treatment."
  6. Lower your toxic burden: Avoid exposure to as many environmental toxins as you can, such as pesticides, herbicides, and sources of mercury, aluminum and fluoride. Also, do whatever you can to establish a mold, dust, and smell-free environment for your whole family, followed by a comprehensive detoxification program. Please remember hidden toxins like fluoride and carefully evaluate all cleaning products in your home.
  7. Reduce EMF exposure: Exposure to electromagnetic fields from cell phones, electrical wiring, and Wi-Fi may significantly add to the problem because when toxic microbes in your body are exposed to electromagnetic fields, they respond as if they're being attacked, and start producing even more biotoxins in an attempt to prolong their survival.
  8. Use an effective intervention to address any emotional stresses as soon as possible – avoid having destructive thoughts and letting emotions fester. Potent energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique are excellent for this purpose.
  9. Carefully review the vaccination issue, including the conventional vaccination schedule. Know that in most US states you have the right to opt out of vaccines. Remember, an imbalance in gut flora can leave your child a sitting duck for vaccine complications. If you decide to vaccinate, it is crucial that you first confirm that your child has good gut flora and will not be at an increased risk of adverse effects from a vaccine.
There's no doubt that the avalanche of autism must be curbed, and we cannot afford to wait for a magic bullet. While science is making some progress in the diagnosing and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, I believe they're failing to take into account some of the most basic and foundational factors, such as gut health and cholesterol- and vitamin D deficiency.
Prevention is surely preferable to treatment, which is why I'm so passionate about sharing this information so that you can take action BEFORE your child becomes symptomatic. If you're pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or know someone who is, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Campbell's book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome. You can also find more information on Dr. Campbell's website:, and on her blog at
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

What’s Causing the Rise in ADHD?

English: Percent of Youth 4-17 ever diagnosed ...
English: Percent of Youth 4-17 ever diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: National Survey of Children's Health, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Dr. Mercola
According to a 2010 US government survey,1 1 in 10 American children now has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—a 22 percent increase from 2003.
ADHD makes it hard for children to pay attention and control impulsive behavior, and an increasing number of older children, including high school students, are now being labeled as having ADHD. Adult ADHD is also becoming more prevalent.
As reported by the Las Vegas Guardian Express,2 nearly 11 percent of American kids are labeled with the disorder. More than twice as many boys are diagnosed with ADHD than girls—one in five, compared to one in 11. The featured article speculates about the cause behind these rising numbers.
Some experts feel the increase could be due to increased awareness and better diagnosis, but I think you’ll find it interesting that this trend also coincides with increased prevalence of the pervasive weed killer, glyphosate, in the American food supply.
There’s also plenty of room for overdiagnosis. In fact, an ADHD diagnosis is often made on the subjective observations of teachers or guardians, based on signs that nearly every child will display at some point. Aggravating factors, such as diet or home environment, are oftentimes overlooked entirely.
The featured article actually points out some interesting correlations between ADHD diagnoses and changes to the American educational system that might help explain how, if not why, so many children are misdiagnosed or flat out falsely diagnosed.

What Is ADHD?

But before we get into potential causes for the uptick in prevalence, let’s review how ADHD is qualified in the first place. The disorder involves a cluster of symptoms that includes inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors.
Often, children with ADHD struggle in school and have difficulty managing interpersonal relationships. They also tend to suffer from low self-esteem. The similar term attention deficit disorder (ADD) has largely been replaced with ADHD, as it describes two of the most common symptoms of the condition, inattention, and hyperactive-impulsive behavior.
Diagnosing ADHD really comes down to a matter of opinion, as there is no physical test, like a brain scan, that can pinpoint the condition. This could change, however. According to a recent study, a newer MRI method called magnetic field correlation imaging that can detect low iron levels in the brains of children with ADHD could potentially help parents and patients make better informed decisions about treatment. As reported by
Psychostimulant drugs used to treat ADHD affect levels of the brain chemical dopamine. Because iron is required to process dopamine, using MRI to assess iron levels in the brain may provide a noninvasive, indirect measure of the chemical, explained study author Vitria Adisetiyo... If these findings are confirmed in larger studies, this technique might help improve ADHD diagnosis and treatment...
The [magnetic field correlation imaging] scans revealed that the 12 ADHD patients who'd never been treated with psychostimulant drugs such as Ritalin had lower brain iron levels than those who'd received the drugs and those in the control group. The lower iron levels in the ADHD patients who'd never taken stimulant drugs appeared to normalize after they took the medicines.”
At present, diagnosis is dependent on subjective evaluation, and, for better or worse, teachers can play a significant role in this evaluation. Most children with ADHD will display a combination of inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior, along with the following symptoms:4
Frequent fidgeting or squirmingDifficulty playing quietlyAlways seems on the go
RestlessnessExcessive talking and interrupting othersDifficulty waiting his or her turn
Frequent daydreamingFrequently has problems organizing tasks or activitiesDifficulty following through on instructions and apparently not listening

Many of these “symptoms” could describe virtually any child, or most children, on any given day. Hence, those who display these symptoms at school but not at home or with friends are not considered to have ADHD. Ditto for children who display symptoms at home but not at school.

Only children who struggle with inattention and hyperactive or impulsive behaviors around the clock are deemed to have ADHD—or at least they should be. According to a 2010 study,5 an estimated 20 percent of children are misdiagnosed with ADHD.
According to some, the disorder may not even be a “real” disorder at all. Psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, hailed as the “scientific father of ADHD,” actually went on record saying that ADHD is “a prime example of a fictitious disease.” He made this stunning confession in a 2012 interview with the German paper Der Spiegel, just seven months prior to his death6 at the age of 87.

How the American School System May Be Promoting ADHD Diagnoses

At least part of the rise in prevalence could be attributed to inappropriate diagnosis. As reported in the featured article, there’s an interesting correlation between the rise in ADHD diagnoses and the implementation of the US Elementary and Secondary Education Act known as “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB). The program was implemented nationwide in 2002.
The NCLB standardized teaching methods across the US which, contrary to what the name implies, does leave a lot of kids “behind,” in the sense that brighter children frequently end up bored and discouraged from lack of academic challenge. And bored, discouraged children will oftentimes “act out.”
“Now with the implementation of CORE standards, who some describe as NCLB on steroids, there is a chance the ADHD numbers may climb even more,” the article predicts.7
But there’s more to this story...
“Another study, published by the Child Mind Institute, states there might be another incentive behind the rise, and that is the financial benefit to schools. Many schools, especially those where the tax base is much poorer... rely heavily on federal funding to operate.
Long before NCLB was enacted, many of these districts had already enacted ‘consequential accountability statutes,’” which penalized a school when children failed; however, often scores for children diagnosed with ADHD are not counted... thereby helping to ensure the passing test scores of the class as a whole.
Geographically speaking, children in the South are diagnosed far more often with ADHD than children living in Western states by a rate of nearly 63 percent. North Carolina, one of the first states to implement consequential accountability statutes, stands at a ADHD diagnosis rate of over 16 percent; California, one of the last states to implement these policies, ranks at only 6.2 percent. The difference is staggering.”

Raising a Generation of Drug Users

About two-thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD are on some form of prescription medication, and oftentimes the side effects are far worse than the condition itself. These drugs actually rival illegal street drugs in terms of their dangerous risks to health, which include:
Permanent brain damageCardio toxicity and liver damageCancer
Changes in personality, depression, and/orhallucinationsHeart attack and strokeSudden death and suicide

Sadly, tens of thousands of American kids are now prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs before the age of five—some even before reaching 12 months of age, hard as that is to imagine. Children in the Medicaid system are at greatest risk for overdiagnosis. Data shows they’re prescribed antipsychotic medications four times more often compared to those with private insurance.8
The price we pay as a society for drugging our children out of objectionable behavior patterns is steep. In children, the long-term effects of drugs are typically largely unknown, while in the short term, we’ve seen shocking increases in violent and aggressive acts committed by teens taking one or more psychotropic drugs.
These children are also likely to experience health problems as they mature into adulthood. Just look at what happens to street junkies through time, and then consider that Ritalin has a more potent effect on your brain than cocaine... Being raised firmly within the drug paradigm from an early age may also make them more likely to opt for drug treatment for other ailments rather than exploring other options.

What Causes Behavioral Difficulties?

Behavioral problems clearly do exist, and do appear to be more prevalent than in decades past, with or without the ADHD label. The question on everyone’s mind is what’s causing it? The cause of ADHD remains elusive, although there are many contending culprits, including poor nutrition and environmental toxins ranging from food- and vaccine additives to agricultural chemicals.
For example, a 2006 study9 found that a mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy could increase the risk for ADHD. The study also suggested that exposure to lead and/or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can cause ADHD symptoms. Pesticide exposure has also been linked with ADHD.
Unfortunately, few are focusing on basic nutrition, which I believe is a key factor. We know that the food choices of most children and adults today are incredibly poor, and how can you possibly expect a child to have normal behavior if he is fed refined grains,sugars, and processed foods loaded with chemicals and largely devoid of natural nutrients?

Five Dietary Factors to Address if Your Child Has ADHD

Five dietary factors of particular concern are the following. If your child struggles with behavioral difficulties, whether he or she has been diagnosed with ADHD or not, I strongly recommend addressing all of these factors:
  • Too much sugar. High sugar content and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which can lead to falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, in turn, causes your brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, and panic attacks.
  • Besides that, sugar promotes chronic inflammation in your body, and many studies have demonstrated the connection between a high-sugar diet and worsened mental health.
  • Gluten sensitivity. The evidence10, 11 suggesting that gluten sensitivity may be at the root of a number of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including ADHD, is quite compelling. According to a 2011 study,12 celiac disease is “markedly overrepresented among patients presenting with ADHD,” and a gluten-free diet has been shown to significantly improve behavior in kids. The study went so far as to suggest celiac disease should be added to the ADHD symptom checklist.
  • Too few beneficial bacteria. As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders. Reducing gut inflammation is imperative when addressing mental health issues,13 so optimizing your child’s gut flora is a critical step. To learn more, please see my previous article, “Are Probiotics the New Prozac?
  • Animal-sourced omega-3 deficiency. Research has shown that kids low in omega-3 fats are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, struggle with learning disorders, and display behavioral problems. Omega-3 deficiencies have also been tied to dyslexia, violence, and depression. A clinical study published in 2007 examined the effects of krill oil on adults diagnosed with ADHD.14 In that study, patients improved their ability to concentrate by an average of over 60 percent after taking a daily 500mg dose of krill oil for six months. They also reported a 50 percent improvement in planning skills, and close to 49 percent improvement in social skills.
  • Food additives and GMO ingredients. A number of food additives are thought to worsen ADHD, and many have subsequently been banned in Europe. Potential culprits to avoid include Blue #1 and #2 food coloring; Green #3; Orange B; Red #3 and #40; Yellow #5 and #6; and sodium benzoate, a preservative.
  • Recent research also shows that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, used in large quantities on genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops, limits your body’s ability to detoxify foreign chemical compounds. As a result, the damaging effects of those chemicals and environmental toxins are magnified, and may result in a wide variety of diseases, including brain disorders that can affect behavior.

The Hidden Health Hazards of Glyphosate and GMOs

Glyphosate-contaminated food has recently been implicated in the dramatic rise of both ADHD and autism, the latter of which is clearly more extreme in terms of behavioral difficulties. Still, both problems appear to be rooted to some degree in abnormal gut flora, and this is where glyphosate begins its path of destruction. How severe the effect might be in any given person will likely depend on a wide variety of individual factors, including the mother’s gut health during and at the time of giving birth.
Former US Navy staff scientist Dr. Nancy Swanson has meticulously collected statistics on glyphosate usage and various diseases and conditions, including autism. A more perfect match-up between the rise in glyphosate usage and incidence of autism, shown below, is hard to imagine. To access her published articles and reports, please visit Sustainable Pulse,15 a European Website dedicated to exposing the hazards of genetically engineered foods.
According to Dr. Swanson:16
“Prevalence and incidence data show correlations between diseases of the organs and the increase in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the food supply, along with the increase in glyphosate-based herbicide applications. More and more studies have revealed carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting effects of Roundup at lower doses than those authorized for residues found in Genetically Modified Organisms... The endocrine disrupting properties also lead to neurological disorders (learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Those most susceptible are children and the elderly.”

How to Optimize Your Child’s Gut Flora

The two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet are nutritional deficiencies and systemic toxicity, and your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm. Effectively addressing this problem requires a two-pronged approach. First you need to avoid the primary sources of glyphosate, which more or less makes it imperative to avoid processed foods. Secondly, you need to address the damage already done. To reseed your child’s gut with the healthy bacteria (probiotics) necessary for optimal physical, mental, and emotional health, I recommend the following strategies:
  • Avoid processed, refined foods as they promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungus in the gut. Most processed foods are also high in sugar and fructose, grains (gluten), artificial additives, and genetically engineered ingredients (which tend to be more heavily contaminated with glyphosate)—all the top items that tend to aggravate ADHD symptoms. Also replace sweetened beverages (whether diet and regular), including fruit juices and pasteurized milk, with pure non-fluoridated water.
  • Eat traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods: Fermented foods are one of the best routes to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions. Some of the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods are also excellent chelators of heavy metals and pesticides, which will also have a beneficial health effect by reducing your toxic load. Fermented vegetables are perhaps among the most palatable fermented foods. Many kids will also get used to fermented dairy products like kefir.
  • Use a high-quality probiotic supplement. If you cannot get your child to eat fermented foods on a regular basis, a high-quality probiotic supplement may be highly beneficial in correcting abnormal gut flora that contribute to brain dysfunction.

Additional Strategies to Relieve ADHD Symptoms

Besides addressing your child’s nutrition, as described in the two sections above, I also recommend implementing the following strategies:
  • Clear your house of dangerous pesticides and other commercial chemicals.
  • Avoid commercial washing detergents and cleaning products used on clothes, and replace them with naturally derived cleaning products free of added perfumes, softeners, etc.
  • Spend more time in nature. Researchers have found that exposing ADHD children to nature is an affordable, healthy way of controlling symptoms.
  • Investigate sensory therapy and emotional wellness tools. Instead of looking for a quick fix, encourage ADHD sufferers to talk, and find out what emotions are causing issues. You may also want to consider energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to improve emotional coping and healing.
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