Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – ADD & ADHD: Can Nutritional Changes Help?

Nowadays people have different brain disorders that they perhaps don’t even know. Two kinds of disorders are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive (ADHD). Pediatrician, psychologist, and other doctors can suggest different treatments as a possible solution. This article will highlight one of it, namely, nutritional changes and if they can help to deal with ADD and ADHD.

An inability to concentrate, impulsiveness and restlessness are signs of ADD and ADHD. Overall, these diseases are hard to diagnose. First indicators usually come from parents or teachers. The causes of these conditions can be many including genetic specifics. NIHA doctors also believe that ADHD comes from “biochemical imbalance in brain”.1

According to the National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA)[1], as treatment can be used Ritalin, Concerta, and some other psychotropic drugs. They should have to have better control over various symptoms. Dietary and some changes in behavior are also suggested. This is the part of non-drug approach so-called “nutritional therapy”.1 It can involve various other methods like using supplements when there are some deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, etc., detoxification and other dietary changes. It is all combined with a unique personalized plan for each patient. The following approach is holistic approach as it combines traditional approach with an individual willingness to deal with problems that are multi-functional. Additionally, all this combined plan is part of the functional medicine.

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Nutritional changes as part of nutritional supplementation can increasingly help. There are scientifical and medical profs. Functional nutrition is an achievement of the modern medicine. NIHA has developed five pillars for a proper diet for a balanced intake of nutrients. This approach is proved to lower the risk of getting ADD & ADHD disease at any time of the life. To determine what exactly nutrients are lacking, NIHA suggests individual testing. 5 of their nutritional supplementation pillars include vitamins and minerals, Omega – 3 fatty acids and Omega – 6 fatty acids, antioxidants, probiotics and immune modulators.

Vitamins and minerals are proven to help in optimization of health and avoiding different diseases. They can be provided by quality nutritional products like vegetables and fruits but not only.

People also know the positive influence of Omega -3 fatty acids and Omega – 6 fatty acids that can help to optimize health and avoid diseases like chronic inflammation, food allergies, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Regarding ADD and ADHD, the previously named acids can help to enhance brain and cognitive function. It is important to maintain membranes with the necessary acids.

For the defense of reactive chemicals called free radicals, high importance has antioxidants. They are part of the defense of the body. Any healthy person can produce free radicals by himself. There also are antioxidants that are in the body to neutralize them. Increased toxins with decreased antioxidants result in over-production of free radicals and are one of the factors that lead to various further diseases. There are different groups of antioxidants; three major groups are endogenous antioxidants (Co Q10, Glutathione, Alpha Lipoic), photo-antioxidants (Flavinoids). They are found in green vegetables and green tea. Carotenoids (lycopene, etc.) can be mainly in tomatoes and B-carotene in carrots. The 3rd groups are vitamin antioxidants. They include Vitamins C and E.

Probiotics are products that contain beneficial bacteria in the intestine. Their main function to enable digestion and absorption of the intestine. At the same time, probiotics help to protect the body from various infections by potential pathogens. They are also responsible for conditioning and priming of the immune system to work properly. Probiotics can also help to avoid from allergy and intolerance as well as reduce symptoms. Detox period without any help can take a long time and at meanwhile there can be more chemicals and other undesirable substances staying in the body.

Immune modulators help to balance between removal of toxins and reaction. It starts with bowel health, which is the largest immune organ. Modulation allows the immune system to destroy pathogens and foreign cells as well as not reacting to commonly used foods, environmental organisms, and chemicals.

One of the things that are the most important for ADD and ADHD patients is the use of food with a lot of proteins. Related studies to this topic come from Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist Richard Wurtman Ph.D.[2] It doesn’t mean that a person needs loads of eggs, bacon, and other protein-rich food. A child needs around 24-30 protein a day and an adult – 45-70 grams. It is possible to get this kind of amount by simply eating an ounce of cheese, an ounce of meat, a cup of milk and some other products. It reflects that there aren’t so drastic family changes.

Other studies in the 1970s by Benjamin Feingold M.D., a pediatrician, and allergist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco gave[3] a light to the importance of forbidding artificial food colors, sweeteners, flavorings. These foods usually contained a lot of dyes to change the color of some product. It is a chemical substance that isn’t good for the illness. This diet has proof to be efficient for children who have ADHD. This diet plan has changed to avoid such symptoms as insomnia, hyperactivity, and others.

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Dietary changes with nutritious food as a part of functional medicine has proven immense changes in people living with ADD and ADHD. It doesn’t require much of the difference in the whole family food, but with a slight drawing towards healthier food, it is possible to avoid the illness or lower the symptoms. A person should avoid mental confusion, hyperactivity, irritability, anger and other mood swings  as much as possible despite the fact that children tend to be moodier. It is essential for parents and specialists to determine when it is out of the ordinary and make some changes starting on a diet to avoid switching to medicine right away.



[1] ADD/ADHD Therapies. Accessed from: http://www.nihadc.com/health-programs/add-adhd-nutritional-therapy.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[2] Alternative ADHD Treatment: Can Diet Ease Symptoms? Accessed from: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/859-2.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[3] The Heingold diet. Accessed: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/859-3.htmlrel=”nofollow”

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