Hyperactivity (or, more properly: attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity: ADHD) is at epidemic proportions in today’s children. Quite simply, it is marked by an inability to pay attention to a single task for an appropriate length of time. Moreover, the attention will stray and so will the child, as they fidget, or move to the location of the next focus for their attention.
The consequence is an inability to learn, so the child falls behind at school. Frequently, teachers and counselors will insist upon an appointment with a psychologist or physician for a formal diagnosis and, usually a prescription for Ritalin.
It is viewed in orthodox terms as a developmental problem which the child will grow out of (aided by pharmaceutical prescriptions). Rarely, the condition extends into adulthood, although, of course, the ramifications of poor performance at school will haunt most sufferers. It is regarded as a residual disorder. Another residual problem is frequently reported with abuse of prescription drugs.
The other view (alternative, if you will) is that the children are experiencing an allergic, or sensitivity, reaction to food additives.
Some studies have reported the presence of high levels of lead in blood tests.
Some studies point to the fluorescent lighting, claiming improvement through the use of full spectrum systems with radiation shields.
In some views, the problems begin during infancy with recurrent ear infections, which may be traced to the abuse of antibiotics, or even reaction to vaccination etc.
Another study has also found an abnormal glucose tolerance in hyperactive children.
Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disorder of amino acid metabolism which has the effect of slowing transfer from the left to the right hemisphere of the brain. PKU children show signs of negative task orientation similar to children with ADHD but lack their "negative social behaviour".
Recent research has also found altered fatty acid metabolism. The present study found that 53 subjects with ADHD had significantly lower concentrations of key fatty acids in the plasma polar lipids.
Signs & Symptoms
Diagnosis is usually made after age 3, preferably when the child is in elementary school (6 - 11). By definition, there will be behavioral traits, like lack of attention and hyperactivity, or impulsive behavior. This will be compounded by difficulties at school, with siblings, parents, teachers, friends etc. The population is mostly boys (10:1).
Structure & Function:
Nutrients for Brain Support &
B-complex 100 mg Chromium* Vitamin B6 50-100 mg Brewer's Yeast*
* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
The abuse of Ritalin is so controvertial that there is an organization: “Parents Against Ritalin” which promotes nutritional and herbal approaches to the problem.
The hypothesis of food additives was originally made by Dr. Benjamin Feingold, who presented his case to the American Medical Association in 1973 and also in a best-selling paperback: “Why Your Child is Hyperactive.”
Opposition to this view has been presented by Conners: “Food Additives and Hyperactive Children”.
Obviously, one extreme is to eliminate sugar and food additives from the diet. The opposite view is to rely upon pharmaceuticals to control behavior during childhood.
In between these two extremes, it would seem prudent to try to eliminate certain food groups, then check any sensitivity by their reintroduction.
Research is available to support every contention. Some may be tainted by the funding of interested parties. Even when a study reaches the conclusion that: neither dietary sucrose nor aspartame affects children's behavior or cognitive function; parents can still conduct their own experiment of one.
If heavy metal poison is suspected, detoxification is indicated.
Low fatty acids indicate the need for supplementation.
A poor diet must be countered by nutritional supplements, typically, a multi-mineral, vitamin preparation (although care must be taken not to select a brand with sugar and dyes which have a negative effect! Both children’s vitamins and cereals have been described as: “technicolor”. ).
The conclusion of recent research seems to be: if parents have linked symptoms of hyperactivity to poor diet, doctors should give weight to these accounts and consider a 'few foods' elimination diet. Studies have found these “anecdotal” reports from parents and others to be reproducible using double-blind methodology and objective assessments.
Description Remedy Averse to colored light Artemisia vulgaris Disinterested Baryta carbonica Obstinate, willful Cina artemisia Worms Chenopodium anthelminticum
Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).
This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.
Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.
Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.
Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.
Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.
If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.
Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.
Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.
Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.
Biota (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
One herbalist uses the following formulas:
A combination of:
Flavored with cinnamon, anise and a touch of cloves.
This is prepared as a glycerite extract (approx. 1:3-1:5 concentration). 20 drops 2-3 daily.
He alternates this with Hawthorn berry syrup, 1 tsp 2 x daily.
He also notes that In Germany, Chamomile tea and small doses of valerian root are utilized.
Klich, R. and Gladbach, B. (1975) Childhood behavior disorders and their treatment. Medizinische Welt. 26(25):1251.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Cardamom Essence Chamomile Essence Lavender Essence Patchouli Essence
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
Belfiore, PJ et al: The effects of antecedent color on reading for students with learning disabilities and co-occurring attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. J Learn Disabil 1996 Jul;29(4):432-8.
Boris-M. & Mandel-FS. : Foods and additives are common causes of the attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children. Ann-Allergy. 1994 May; 72(5): 462-8.
Breakey J: The role of diet and behaviour in childhood. J Paediatr Child Health, 1997 Jun, 33:3, 190-4.
Brito GN: A neurobiological model for Tourette syndrome centered on the nucleus accumbens. Med Hypotheses, 1997 Aug, 49:2, 133-42.
Carter-CM. et al: Effects of a few foods diet in attention deficit disorder. Arch-Dis-Child. 1993 Nov; 69(5): 564-8.
Castellanos FX: Toward a pathophysiology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clin Pediatr (Phila), 1997 Jul, 36:7, 381-93.
Chapieski ML & Evankovich KD: Behavioral effects of prematurity. Semin Perinatol, 1997 Jun, 21:3, 221-39.
Coffey BJ & Park KS: Behavioral and emotional aspects of Tourette syndrome. Neurol Clin, 1997 May, 15:2, 277-89.
Colgan, M. & Colgan, L.: Do nutrient supplements and dietary changes affect learning and emotional reactions of children with learning difficulties? A controlled series of 16 cases. Nutr. Health, 1984, 3: 69 - 77.
Crook-WG. : Sugar and children's behavior [letter; comment]. N-Engl-J-Med. 1994 Jun 30; 330(26): 1901-2; discussion 1903.
David, O. et al: Lead and hyperactivity. Behavioral response to chelation: a pilot study. Am. J. Psychiatry, 1976, 133: 1,155 - 1,188.
Egger, J. et al: Controlled trial of oligoantigenic treatment in the hyperkinetic syndrome. Lancet, 1985, I: 540 - 545.
Eppright TD et al., Results of blood lead screening in children referred for behavioral disorders. Mo Med, 1997 Jun, 94:6, 295-7.
Feingold, B.: Why Your Child is Hyperactive. 1974.
Feingold, B.: The Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children. Random House, NY, 1979.
Garc?a-S?nchez C et al., Right hemisphere dysfunction in subjects with attention-deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity. J Child Neurol, 1997 Feb, 12:2, 107-15.
Gaub M & Carlson CL: Gender differences in ADHD: a meta-analysis and critical review. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 1997 Aug, 36:8, 1036-45.
Gill M et al., Confirmation of association between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a dopamine transporter polymorphism. Mol Psychiatry, 1997 Jul, 2:4, 311-3.
Gourovitch-ML. et al: Interhemispheric transfer in children with early-treated phenylketonuria. J-Clin-Exp-Neuropsychol. 1994 Jun; 16(3): 393-404.
Goyette, C. et al: Effects of artificial colors on hyperkinetic children: a double-blind challenge study. Psychopharmacol. Bull. 1978, 14: 39 - 40.
Harley, J. et al: Hyperkinesis and food additives: testing the Feingold hypothesis. Pediatrics, 1978, 61: 811 - 817.
Hauser P et al., Thyroid hormones correlate with symptoms of hyperactivity but not inattention in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 1997 Feb, 22:2, 107-14.
Javorsky, J: An examination of youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and language learning disabilities: a clinical study. J Learn Disabil 1996 May;29(3):247-58.
Johnson TM: Evaluating the hyperactive child in your office: is it ADHD? [see comments]. Am Fam Physician, 1997 Jul, 56:1, 155-60, 168-70.
Kalverboer-AF. et al: Social behaviour and task orientation in early-treated PKU. Acta-Paediatr-Suppl. 1994 Dec; 407: 104-5.
Kanarek-RB.: Does sucrose or aspartame cause hyperactivity in children? Nutr-Rev. 1994 May; 52(5): 173-5.
Kerschner, J. & Hawke, W.: Megavitamins and learning disorders: a controlled, double-blind experiment. J. Nutr. 1979, 109: 819 - 826.
Langseth, L. & Dowd, J.: Glucose tolerance and hyperkinesis. J. Learn. Disab. 1979, 12: 42 - 50.
Lipinski JF: Dopamine agonist treatment of Tourette disorder in children: results of an open-label trial of pergolide. Mov Disord, 1997 May, 12:3, 402-7.
Lipton, M. and Mayo, J. : Diet and hyperkinesis - an update. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 1983, 83: 132 - 134.
Marlowe, M. et al: Hair mineral content as a predictor of learning disabilities. J. Learn. Disab. 1977, 17: 418 - 421.
Mayron, L. et al: Light, radiation and academic behavior. Academic Therapy, 1974, 10: 33 - 47.
Mattes, J. : The Feingold diet: a current reappraisal. J. Learn. Disab. 1983, 16: 319 - 323.
Milberger S et al., Further evidence of an association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and cigarette smoking. Findings from a high-risk sample of siblings. Am J Addict, 1997 Summer, 6:3, 205-17.
Miller LS et al., Teacher ratings of hyperactivity, inattention, and conduct problems in preschoolers. J Abnorm Child Psychol, 1997 Apr, 25:2, 113-9.
Murray, M.T. & Pizzorno, J.E.: An Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Prima Pbng, Rocklin, CA.
Peled O et al., Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity--changes in hypothalamic function in hyperactive children: a new model. Med Hypotheses, 1997 Mar, 48:3, 267-75.
Prinz, R. et al: Dietary correlates of hyperactive behavior in children. J. Consult. Clin. Psych. 1980, 48: 760 - 769.
Rapp, D.: Food allergy treatment for hyperkinesis. J. Learn. Disab. 1979, 12: 42 - 50.
Reichman, J. & Healey, W. : Learning disabilities and conductive hearing loss involving otitis media. J. Learn. Disab. 1983, 16: 272 - 278.
Richter LM et al., Cognitive and behavioural effects of a school breakfast. S Afr Med J, 1997 Jan, 87:1 Suppl, 93-100.
Rimland, B.: The Feingold diet: an assessment of the reviews by Mattes, by Kavale and Forness and others. J. Learn. Dis. 1983, 16: 331 - 333.
Rimland, B. & Larsen, G. : Hair mineral analysis and behavior: an analsis of 51 studies. J. Learn. Disab. 1983, 16: 279 - 285.
Ring-A. et al: [Nutrition and its influence on attention deficit disorder in children]. Harefuah. 1995 Apr 16; 128(8): 505-9.
Rippere, V. : Food additives and hyperactive children: a critique of Conners. Br. J. Clin. Psych. 1983, 22: 19 - 32.
Rizzo TA et al., Early malnutrition and child neurobehavioral development: insights from the study of children of diabetic mothers. Child Dev, 1997 Feb, 68:1, 26-38.
Rowe, K. et al: Artificial food colourings and hyperkinesis. Aust. Paediatr. 1979, 15: 202.
Rowe, K.: Food additives. Aust. Paediatr. 1984, 20: 171 - 174.
Rowe-KS & Rowe-KJ. : Synthetic food coloring and behavior: a dose response effect in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, repeated-measures study. J-Pediatr. 1994 Nov; 125(5 Pt 1): 691-8.
Roy-Byrne P et al., Adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: assessment guidelines based on clinical presentation to a specialty clinic. Compr Psychiatry, 1997 May-Jun, 38:3, 133-40.
Sanders, L. et al: Refined carbohydrate as a contributing factor in reactive hypoglycemia. Southern Med. J. 1982, 75: 1,972 - 1975.
Schauss, A. : Nutrition and behavior: complex interdisciplinary research. Nutr. Health, 1984, 3: 9 - 37.
Schmidt MH et al., Does oligoantigenic diet influence hyperactive / conduct-disordered children--a controlled trial. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 1997 Jun, 6:2, 88-95.
Sever Y et al., Iron treatment in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A preliminary report. Neuropsychobiology, 1997, 35:4, 178-80.
Shaywitz, BA et al: Defining and classifying learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Child Neurol 1995 Jan;10 Suppl 1:S50-7.
Silver-LB.: Controversial therapies. J-Child-Neurol. 1995 Jan; 10 Suppl 1: S96-100.
Sonuga-Barke-EJ. & Balding-J. : British parents' beliefs about the causes of three forms of childhood psychological disturbance. J-Abnorm-Child-Psychol. 1993 Aug; 21(4): 367-76.
Stanford, LD & Hynd, GW: Congruence of behavioral symptomatology in children with ADD/H, ADD/WO, and learning disabilities. Disabil 1994 Apr;27(4):243-53.
Stevens-LJ. et al: Essential fatty acid metabolism in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am-J-Clin-Nutr. 1995 Oct; 62(4): 761-8.
Tan G & Schneider SC: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Pharmacotherapy and beyond. Postgrad Med, 1997 May, 101:5, 201-4, 213-4, 216 passim.
Taylor MA: Evaluation and management of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [see comments]. Am Fam Physician, 1997 Feb 15, 55:3, 887-94, 897, 901 passim.
Tershakovec-AM. et al: Obesity, school performance and behaviour of black, urban elementary school children. Int-J-Obes-Relat-Metab-Disord. 1994 May; 18(5): 323-7.
Uhlig T et al., Topographic mapping of brain electrical activity in children with food-induced attention deficit hyperkinetic disorder. Eur J Pediatr, 1997 Jul, 156:7, 557-61.
Valentine J et al., Thyroid function in a population of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. J Paediatr Child Health, 1997 Apr, 33:2, 117-20.
Weiss, B. et al: Behavioral responses to artificial food colors. Science, 1980, 207: 1,487 - 1,489.
Weiss, B. : Food additives and environmental chemicals as sources of childhood behavior disorder. J. Am. Acad. Child Psychiatry, 1982, 21: 144 - 152.
Wilens TE et al., Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with early onset substance use disorders. J Nerv Ment Dis, 1997 Aug, 185:8, 475-82.
Wolraich-ML. et al: Effects of diets high in sucrose or aspartame on the behavior and cognitive performance of children [see comments]. N-Engl-J-Med. 1994 Feb 3; 330(5): 301-7.
Ziemann U et al., Decreased motor inhibition in Tourette's disorder: evidence from transcranial magnetic stimulation. Am J Psychiatry, 1997 Sep, 154:9, 1277-84.
- Product Categories
- Detox & Immunity
- Digestive Health
- Joint Health
- Weight Loss
- Popular Products
- CellRenew Collagen Hyaluronic Acid
- Foundation Blue-Green Algae
- Dream Health System
- Liver Cleanse
- Reference Materials
- Product Testimonials
- Health Journal Archive
- Health Briefs
- Health Basics
- Frequent Product Q&A's
- Med-Scope (health database)
- Health Conditions
- Natural Solutions
- Alternative Therapies
- Toxicity Sources
- Foods Advice
- Anatomy & Fitness