. True ADD or ADHD will not improve with simple dietary changes, getting more sleep at night, etc.
Needless to say, I'm not saying it doesn't exist. I'm sure years and years ago, people thought that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder was just an excuse but, isn't this a little to easily diagnosed? How much of this is real and how much is parents/doctors finding excuses as to why they can't raise their kids?
Thanks! I've got that rascal bookmarked somewhere, but since I've got pages of these links, It's not easy to find one or two when you're posting in a thread. My experience with gas chromatography is limited to detecting potent sulfur compounds in paper mill effluent, and the detection/quantification ability was highly sensitive to column length and temperature. I am here to testify that hydrogen sulfide is a baby-player, as is methyl sulfide. Tiny exposures to dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl disulfide (and others) could earn you a single corner table at the cafeteria, come lunchtime.
Outcome-based comparison of Ritalin versus food-supplement treated children with AD/HD. Harding KL, Judah RD, Gant C. Altern Med Rev. 2003 Aug; 8(3): 319-30.
" Twenty children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) were treated with either Ritalin (10 children) or dietary supplements (10 children) . . . Subjects in both groups showed significant gains . . . . . .Numerous studies suggest that biochemical heterogeneous etiologies for AD/HD cluster around at least eight risk factors: food and additive allergies, heavy metal toxicity and other environmental toxins, low-protein/high-carbohydrate diets, mineral imbalances, essential fatty acid and phospholipid deficiencies, amino acid deficiencies, thyroid disorders, and B-vitamin deficiencies. . . . These findings support the effectiveness of food supplement treatment in improving attention and self-control in children with AD/HD and suggest food supplement treatment of AD/HD may be of equal efficacy to Ritalin treatment. "
Here's a site with links to studies on Nutrition and ADD showing detrimental and beneficial effects of diet as related to the disorder.
This one specifically compared Ritalin to Food Supplements with regard to benefits. Both treatments faired well.
My son and I were interviewed by a psychologist, and we took a computer based test that has some kind of a repetitive test. At this stage of my life, I'm borderline, i.e. I've managed to compensate for the most part. My son on the other hand is ADD (borderline ADHD). He takes Concerta, and that makes all the difference. Without Concerta, he has a hard time functioning 'normally'.How did they test you for ADD or ADHD? With me, they just went by the complaints from my teacher about my behavior. No tests involved, IIRC.
There were only 10 kids per treatment group in that study. That's not a large enough sample size to have any power to detect differences. They probably fared equally well because they had no statistical power to detect differences even if they existed.
That journal is rather light on scientists (lots of doctors of naturopathic medicine, some MDs...MDs are not trained to evaluate research studies...and a couple PhDs) in their editorial review board, which suggests to me they are not a particularly reputable journal.
Studies have shown that daily supplements of vital nutrients often effectively reduce patients' symptoms. Supplements that contain amino acids also reduce symptoms, because they are converted to neurotransmitters that alleviate depression and other mental disorders. Based on emerging scientific evidence, this form of nutritional supplement treatment may be appropriate for controlling major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), addiction, and autism.
Broader in what way? It's not even a study, but a review article, and doesn't address ADD or ADHD at all. Did you read the article? It's not supporting your claim at all, but rather suggesting some nutrient supplements can help alleviate symptoms, but do not eliminate the disorder.Here's a broader study from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Double-blind, placebo controlled studies, randomized, placebo controlled studies, and open-label clinical studies have all shown that approximately 2 g of EPA taken daily in addition to one's existing medication effectively decreases symptoms in schizophrenic patients [59,60,65].
Two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies were recently performed that compared the affects of a 900 mg daily dose of St. John's wort extract to 20 mg daily doses of Paroxetine (Paxil) or Fluoxetine; which are both SSRIs used to treat OCD. In comparison to patients taking Paxil, those who took the St. John's wort supplement showed a 57% decrease in OCD symptoms and were 47% less likely to exhibit side effects .
Tracking down reference 9, it is NOT a randomized, controlled trial, it is an EDITORIAL!Randomized, controlled trials that involve folate and B12 suggest that patients treated with 0.8 mg of folic acid/day or 0.4 mg of vitamin B12/day will exhibit decreased depression symptoms .
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=17353937A recent metaanalysis looked at the results of 25 randomized controlled trials of folate supplements in people who were not selected because of low folate levels. The conclusion was that daily dosages of 0.8 mg folic acid or more, in addition to dietary intake, are typically required to achieve the maximal reduction in plasma homocysteine concentrations (about 25%).17 Vitamin B12 (0.4 mg/day) produced a further 7% reduction.
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/82/4/806Background: Dietary supplementation with B vitamins that lower blood homocysteine concentrations is expected to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, but there has been uncertainty about the optimum regimen to use for this purpose.
Broader in what way? It's not even a study, but a review article, and doesn't address ADD or ADHD at all. Did you read the article? It's not supporting your claim at all, but rather suggesting some nutrient supplements can help alleviate symptoms, but do not eliminate the disorder.
For example, they say:
Regarding the above statement, reference 59 is another review article. Reference 60 is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, but only enrolled 40 patients (20 per group). Again, this is a very weak design for a clinical trial.
And, conveniently, the ONLY OTHER clinical trial testing the same thing with a larger enrollment was left out of the references...the one that says there's NO effect:
Reference 65 is an open-label clinical trial with only 12 patients enrolled! That's about as good as worthless. And, it wasn't even measuring schizophrenia symptoms, but merely serotonin binding to platelets.
There are also some glaring errors in this paper.
As an example, they state:
Except, when you look up the reference they cited, once you sort out that their citation in the reference list is for the erratum, not the original study and backtrack to the original study, you find out that the cited paper did NOT study OCD, but depression, and didn't find that St. John's wort was better than Paxil, but that it was equally effective (this is really no surprise...St. John's wort has been known for some time to have real pharmacological efficacy for depression with the only major concern regarding herbal supplements containing it being 1) that patients are self-medicating rather than getting a proper diagnosis before taking a pharmacological agent, and 2) that doses are not consistent in herbal supplements and not regulated to ensure consistency. The percent decrease in symptoms was from baseline, not relative to Paxil, so the above cited article grossly misleads the reader to think there is a greater effect than actually described (this is why it's important to read critically and not take one single author's word...dig up the articles they are citing and see if you come to the same conclusions or if they are being accurately cited).
More importantly, regarding the argument you're trying to make, that's not addressing a nutrient deficiency, but using an herbal supplement to provide a pharmacologically active compound.
and the erratum
In fact, each of their major conclusions is riddled with errors.
Tracking down reference 9, it is NOT a randomized, controlled trial, it is an EDITORIAL!
And what was reference 9 ACTUALLY commenting about? This:
Not a dang thing about depression there, they're talking about homocysteine levels.
And why were the homocysteine levels being compared in the meta-analysis (note that you have to dig back three levels of references from the one cited to even get to a randomized clinical trial...one is an editorial, the next a meta-analysis, and finally one will get to the actual clinical trials).
Wow, the more I check their references, the more shockingly incorrect I find each and every statement I follow up! If this is indicative of the usual articles within this journal, it cannot be very reputable.
The potential role of fatty acids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
A. J. Richardsonb, a, f1 and B. K. Purib
a University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, UK
b MRI Unit, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK
Received 22 May 2000; accepted 14 June 2000. ; Available online 12 March 2002.
As currently defined, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) encompasses a broad constellation of behavioural and learning problems and its definition and diagnosis remain controversial. The aetiology of ADHD is acknowledged to be both complex and multifactorial. The proposal considered here is that at least some features of ADHD may reflect an underlying abnormality of fatty acid metabolism. Clinical and biochemical evidence is discussed which suggests that a functional deficiency of certain long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids could contribute to many of the features associated with this condition. The implications in terms of fatty acid treatment proposals are also discussed; such a form of treatment is relatively safe compared to existing pharmacological interventions, although further studies are still needed in order to evaluate its potential efficacy in the management of ADHD symptoms.
1. Dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder (DCD) shows substantial overlap with other developmental and psychiatric conditions both within individuals and within families – notably dyslexia, ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders, but also mood disorders and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. This indicates some common predisposing factors at the biological level. The proposal considered here is that these could involve aspects of fatty acid metabolism.
2. Certain HUFA of the omega-3 and omega-6 series are essential for normal brain development.........
Ninety children with symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiencies have been recruited for this study. Children were chosen on the basis of parents and teachers completing the Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DAD) Rating Scales (27), a health questionnaire, and a three day diet record. Additionally, a control group of 20 children with no essential fatty acid deficiency and no behavioral problems were recruited. Four months was chosen as a sufficient time period of supplementations to see improvement in fatty acid status based on previous studies in both animals and humans. (17, 18)
A supplement containing the specific essential fatty acid derivatives that are depleted in the 90 children is being used in a double-blind intervention study with a 3-group parallel (noncrossover) design. The supplement being used in the study is Efalex Focus, a patented dietary supplement which combines tuna oil, evening primrose oil, vitamin E and thyme oil and produced by Efamol Ltd.
The 90 subjects have been randomly assigned to three groups:
Group A: To receive a high does of the supplement
Group B: To receive a low dose of the supplement
Group C: To receive placebo capsules
I don't have time (or more accurately, don't feel up to spending the time) right now to look further at your last set of references.
I will just point out that I did comment previously in the thread that things like malnutrition can impair attention and learning. Thus, it is entirely possible that some people will have their ADD-like symptoms disappear if they supplement their diet with missing nutrients. I would argue, however, that those people did not actually have ADD, but were misdiagnosed with ADD when what they really had wrong was a nutrient deficiency.
I also don't see anything inherently wrong with the possibility that some medications may work better with supplementation of some nutrients, especially if they for some reason are depleting a particular nutrient (consider how some high blood pressure medications lower potassium and people taking those medications do best with a potassium supplement). It's just not clear to me that appropriate studies have been done to demonstrate it (those small studies just aren't adequate...it really doesn't mean the hypothesis is right or wrong at this stage, simply that those studies aren't able to test it and will likely do more to muddy the picture with a lot of conflicting results before someone does a large enough study to have the power to really determine if there is really any benefit).
What? You expect parents to ensure their kids get proper nutrition?! Seriously, I would suggest that be among the very first considerations if a kid is having difficulty with attention or school performance...but it doesn't mean that's what's going on for every kid with that problem.So, although it may be more tedious for the average American parent to, everyday, put together a concoction of bananas, yogurt and all that...for their affected child, instead of simply popping a pill into their kid's mouth
This is my hope anyway. And its not hard to imagine, as you said, how what appear to be well fed children running around (all chubby and so on) are actually starving when it comes to certain essential fatty acids etc...
Indeed, it is possible to be overweight, even morbidly obese, yet malnourished. It sounds bizarre, but often people who are very overweight get that way because of bad dietary choices, and that can include a diet that provides plenty of calories, but is still deficient in important nutrients.
Beer is full of important nutrients (at least proper beer )
How does Concerta differ from Ritalin?My son and I were interviewed by a psychologist, and we took a computer based test that has some kind of a repetitive test. At this stage of my life, I'm borderline, i.e. I've managed to compensate for the most part. My son on the other hand is ADD (borderline ADHD). He takes Concerta, and that makes all the difference. Without Concerta, he has a hard time functioning 'normally'.
CONCERTA and Ritalin are just brand names, and both use methylphenidateHow does Concerta differ from Ritalin?
By Sally Squires
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 16, 2007; Page A03
A large study has found that children of women who ate little fish during pregnancy had lower IQs and more behavioral and social problems than youngsters whose mothers ate plenty of seafood, a finding that challenges the U.S. government's standard advice to limit seafood while pregnant....
"Higher maternal fish consumption results in children showing better neurological function than children whose mothers ate low amounts of or no fish during pregnancy," Gary Myers, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in an editorial accompanying the study. "These results highlight the importance of including fish in the maternal diet during pregnancy and lend support to the popular opinion that fish is brain food.......
The findings are also expected to help determine whether the benefits of eating seafood for some segments of the population outweigh the risks of ingesting methyl mercury and other contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). "I think that the U.S. warnings are not meant to discourage fish consumption," said Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. He urged increased consumption of seafood during pregnancy, but excluded fish that have particularly high mercury levels: shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish."