Fred Ottoboni, M.P.H., Ph.D., and Alice Ottoboni, Ph.D.
The national consensus is that the etiology of ADHD) is unknown; yet a cohesive body of evidence has accumulated in recent years suggesting that ADHD may well be a manifestation of nutritional deficiency. A growing body of evidence suggests that (ADHD) may be an unanticipated manifestation of the new American diet. Major and unprecedented dietary changes have occurred over the last century in the U.S. Per-capita use of sugar has doubled. Starch consumption from grain and potatoes has risen 40 percent. Egg use has dropped significantly. Use of saturated fats such as lard, beef fat, dairy fat, and coconut oil has decreased, while consumption of fats and oils derived from vegetable seeds such as soy, safflower, and canola have grown from essentially zero to about 66 pounds per person per year.
This nationwide changeover to vegetable fats has seriously unbalanced the essential fatty acid intake of the population. During the same period, ADHD, which was essentially unheard of 50 years ago, increased to the point that it is now diagnosed in 5 percent of school children and many adults. History shows that when diets change, nutritional diseases can appear. Beriberi ...Pellagra ...
Birth defects can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies. Cretinism, ... Spina bifida, ... ...Chronic use of highglycemic carbohydrates is a major cause of the hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes now prevalent. ...In short, the traditional fats and oils contained a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids of four to one or less, plus an ample amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
The new vegetable fats and oils, on the other hand, are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and, at the same time, contain an extremely high and unhealthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of approximately 20 to 1. Moreover, many of these vegetable products contain trans-fatty acids, which are known to interfere with the metabolism of the essential fatty acids. Products made from the vegetable fats and oils include salad and frying oils, vegetable shortening, and margarine. All are derived from corn, cottonseed, peanuts, soybeans, canola, safflower, or sunflower.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the federal agency responsible for research on the brain, mental illnesses, and mental health, ADHD affects approximately 2 million American children. 3 to 5 percent of the school-age population and is about four times more common in boys than in girls. Over the past several decades this condition has grown to become the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. New findings, published in February 2002, suggest that the prevalence of ADHD may be considerably higher than the numbers NIMH published. A University of North Carolina School of Medicine/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences study of 6,099 children in 17 North Carolina rural county elementary schools found that more than 15 percent of the boys and 5 percent of the girls had been diagnosed with ADHD, and that about two-thirds of those diagnosed were taking medication for it. About 9 percent of all fourth and fifth-grade children in the study were taking medication to treat ADHD...
Despite official preoccupation with treating ADHD with drugs, there is compelling scientific evidence that ADHD is a birth defect caused by deficiencies of maternal DHA during pregnancy and while nursing, and the virtual absence of DHA and AA in infant formula. AA is a long-chain omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in meat and eggs, whereas EPA and DHA are found primarily in the fat of cold-water fish.....
Studies with school-age children and young adults are also consistent with the proposition that ADHD results from nutritional deficiency. Stevens et al. reported that a group of 56 individuals with ADHD had significantly lower concentrations of both DHA and AA in red blood cell lipids than did a control group of 43 individuals. The authors noted that the children in the study group with the worst symptoms had the lowest plasma levels of DHA and AA and indicated that the precise reason for the lower fatty acid levels in some children with ADHD is not clear, although altered fatty acid metabolism was a possibility...
Studies designed to determine whether ADHD can be helped by dietary supplementation with DHA have shown mixed results. For example, Voigt et al., using a randomly assigned group of 63 children of ages 6-12 with ADHD, all receiving maintenance therapy with stimulant medication, reported that supplementation with 345 milligrams per day of DHA or a placebo for four months showed no benefit. On the other hand, Richardson and Puri, using a group of 41 ADHD children randomly assigned to supplementation or placebo for 12 weeks, reported a significant reduction in ADHD symptoms in the treated group. Sears has written that such contradictory results may be expected because some studies tend not to control dietary intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates (sugar and starch), and do not provide their study groups with sufficiently high doses of DHA and/or EPA. His reasoning is that the American diet is not only low in DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids, but also too high in sugar and starch. Dietary sugar and starch raise insulin levels that, in turn, disrupt brain chemistry by interfering with essential fatty acid metabolism.
In a study of ADHD children, Sears reported uniformly good results. Within weeks the children's ability to concentrate increased dramatically and their behavior at home and school improved. In this study Sears controlled dietary sugar and starches and used pharmaceutical grade fish oil to provide doses of 10-15 grams per day of DHA and EPA. EPA is the omega-3 metabolic precursor of DHA, and occurs in fish oil as well. The brain chemistry involved is complex and not completely understood, but high levels of omega-6 fatty acids coupled with deficiencies of both EPA and DHA, and/or high and unstable insulin levels have been found to stimulate the enzyme delta-5 desaturase. This results in increased production of inflammatory eicosanoids (messenger biochemicals present in every cell) that cause increased biosynthesis of corticosteroids, including cortisol, and reduced serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. High cortisol levels, among other negative effects, cause impaired short-term memory and feelings of stress. Serotonin and dopamine are important neurotransmitters. Low levels of both are common in ADHD patients. Low serotonin is associated with depression, impulsive behavior and violence, and low dopamine is associated with Parkinson's disease, violent behavior, and inability to concentrate or focus on a task. The latter references provide a good overview of what is known about the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on mental disorders.... http://www.jpands.org/vol8no2/ottoboni.pdf
The results with the watercure on ADD & ADHD have been fantastic by following the watercure. That means no junk food, soda etc. ...In my opinion, the best diet to follow is from Dr. Lorraine Day. See drday.com. She is also a great believer in Dr. B.'s work. The pH of every child should be checked as I'm certain it will be quite acid. As far as I'm concerned, this is a very simple problem.
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It forces more water out of the body than is contained in the caffeinated beverage. Caffeine also acts directly on the brain cells and forces them to use some of their critical energy reserves on trivial actions and whims. It lowers the threshold for triggering an action from cells that would otherwise remain quiet until a more serious engagement is deemed necessary. The effect of caffeine on the brain is energy depletion. Caffeine, if taken repeatedly, eventually exhausts the brain. When the brain needs energy reserves to cope with a crisis, it will be far less effective because it is energy-depleted and depressed. The energy-reserve-depleting effect of caffeine on the brain is one of the primary causes of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Caffeine has another detrimental effect on the brain that should be considered as the second main impact that pushes the brain in the direction of reaching an ADD status. The brain maintains its energy reserves to use for new confrontations, experiences, dangers, and exciting, fresh ideas. This is how it learns selectively and from new experiences. Caffeine not only depletes the stored energy pools in the brain, it also inhibits the enzyme system initiated by PD (phospho-diesterase). PD activity is a vital step in “memory making” by the brain cells. http://www.watercure2.org/
"I can envision exactly where I was in the house, and the feeling of relief
that this unpredictable child would actually swallow so many pills. I prayed
for the best but honestly didn’t expect it. It was the day that Christopher
would take his first serving of magnesium, zinc, b-6, c and e. It was the day
that changed our lives for the better. Incredibly,
we saw some improvement fairly quickly . After a month and a half the school
began to note the changes."