Nutritional Interventions for ADD/ADHD

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and/or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) afflicts many adults and children. Difficulty in concentrating, being easily distracted and impaired visual coordination are signs of the ADD individual. Teachers and pediatricians regularly mis-diagnose ADD and ADHD often resulting in improper behavioral and medical interventions.

Standard interventions generally result in the reliance of stimulant drugs like Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Cylert for people with ADD/ADHD. Because of these medical interventions we now are experiencing an epidemic of the use of these drugs in our schools. Researchers are now investigating the possible use of nutritional based interventions that could help improve the behavior of ADD/ADHD people and to identify any other dietary factors that might also be involved in ADD/ADHD.

I am no medical or clinical doctor nor do I purport to be clinical psychologist. However, ADHD I feel has been grossly misdiagnosed in health science and definitely the drugs that they prescribed for the most part do more harm than good to many young people both emotionally and physically. As a research scientist by education from my research investigations and experimentation of nutritional needs for optimum physiological health it appears that much of what is contributed to observed symptoms of ADHD/ADD could likely be the result of nutritional deficiencies in the brain. Just like the human body needs food so does our brain. I could talk on this subject for days but lets cut to the chase. Many researcher investigators now believe that observed symptoms of ADHD/ADD could likely be the result of nutritional deficiencies in the brain.

Results from some ADHD/ADD research studies have found that 51.5% of the participants appeared to need the mineral calcium, a finding consistent with the National Institute of Health (NIH) findings, which found that 50% of Americans were deficient in calcium. Herbs that contain gamma-amino butyric (GABA) acid, gamma linolenic acid (GLA), and vitamin B-6 all showed positive behavioral effects on ADD/ADHD. Other studies show that the combination of flaxseed oils and B-vitamins was effective for ADD/ADHD behavior. Flaxseeds contain omega 3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which has been confirmed in independent studies to be in low concentration levels in plasma of ADD/ADHD children.

From these investigations a growing number of research investigators now believe that the observed behavior of ADD/ADHD could likely be the result of nutritional deficiencies in the brain.

The human brain functions by electrical impulse exchange. This occurs by way of biological substances known as synapses (synapses are network of neurons). Synapses don’t touch each other but are separated by a thin wall of a protective permeable fluid barrier, which consists of 80% organic fatty acids and 20% protein.. Thus, human beings think when electrical impulses are transferred between synapses via this protective membrane barrier. This is how the human brain processes information such as sight, sound, smell, etc. Without the proper functioning of the synapses our ability to process information and keep reality in balance is much challenged. This membrane fluid consists mostly of fatty acid substances called, “gamma linolenic acid” more commonly called GLA, and the “eicosanoids”, complex acids that are the signal molecules in the membrane fluids.

GLA is formed in the body but must be made from “linoleic acid”, or LA an essential fatty acid, which can only be obtained by eating certain foods like fish, walnuts, shellfish, and oils like corn oil, vegetable oils, and canola oils. You can get LA from other foods but the ones mentioned herein have the highest concentration of the fatty acid, GLA. In some ADD/ADHD cases results indicated that poor eating habits contributed to the learning and behavioral deficiencies observed in some school-aged children. Yet, in many other observations school-aged children who had balanced nutritional diets still exhibited learning deficiencies and behavioral problems. Published scientific studies strongly suggest that in school-aged kids who have good nutritional diets but still exhibit ADD/ADHD characteristics lacked significant levels of the enzyme, “Delta-6-Desaturase”, or D6D. Without this enzyme the human body cannot convert LA to GLA to produce the critical needed eicosanoids. It is these substances (GLA and eicosanoids) that coat and protect the synapses and act as a medium for signal transfer. When the level of these fatty acids is low in the synapse fluid the ability to transfer and process information correctly becomes impaired. Furthermore, without the presence of these organic fluids to protect the synapse ends over a period of time a form of biological corrosion probably is occurring at the synapse/membrane/synapse interface likely due to catalyze oxidation reactions. Try to imagine a car battery that has cables attached that are corroded. It will be very difficult to start the car until the cables connected to the battery have been cleaned of the corrosive material. This is most likely the reason why a person diagnosed with ADD/ADHD demonstrates difficulty in learning and exhibits out of control behavior. In short, the brain is in a constant misfiring state.

Since many young children today for numerous undetermined reasons apparently are exhibiting ADD/ADHD behavior suggesting possible difficulty in producing GLA from LA another alternative for this children to get sufficient GLA would be for them to consume GLA. The highest concentration of GLA can be found in the seeds from the borage flower. You can only be sure you are getting standardize Borage oil from a health food store. Do not go to large retail-chain stores for your GLA. Do purchase the soft gel capsules because they are small and easy to swallow. If swallowing is a problem you can always puncture the capsule and squeeze the oil into drink or mix with food. I think they are 240 mg per cap so start off with 2 in the morning and 2 at night. After a couple of weeks try to get up to 2000mg per day. Borage oil has no known reported toxic effects on the body. But Borage oil only will not be enough to achieve effective intervention in ADD/ADHD behavior. Most oils consumed need to be protected in the body by possible antagonistic biological reactions so a multi-vitamin supplement that contains the following: all B vitamins at least 25mg level, selenium, inositol, zinc, boron, high levels of calcium, and magnesium, choline, vitamin A and vitamin E. Also, include 150mg of the antioxidant Ubiquinol and 600mg of Alpha Lipoic acid. If you experience some stomach issues with ALA then use the sodium salt, Sodium Lipoate. These are all essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants need for proper electrical charge movement and energy transfer throughout the human body. For proper absorption most supplements must be taken with food. Be sure to eat a well balanced diet and consume all of the vitamins supplements 30 minutes after you finished eating with the exception of ALA. For best absorption ALA should be taken at least 30 to 45 minutes before food intake, and particularly before foods that are rich in protein.

I suggest that you be patient. Do not expect drastic change over night or even in a couple of weeks. The organic oils, minerals, and antioxidants will have to accumulate to effect biological levels in the body and this process may take anywhere from 2 to four months before you notice a change in behavior and learning tendencies.

Source by Muslim Shahid