Nutrition as an Attention Deficit Disorder

Back to Health Articles


by Jeannine Virtue

The quality of food we eat (or lack thereof) has a
profound affect on Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD.
For many people, nutrition alone can effectively work as
an ADHD alternative treatment.~

A growing body of research points to nutritional
deficiencies - especially with essential fatty acids and
amino acids - as a contributing factor of Attention
Deficit Disorder and learning deficiencies.

Put down the Ritalin bottle for one minute to consider
these Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD nutrition research

_ A George Washington University School of Medicine study
found that hyperactive children who ate a meal high in
protein did equally well, and sometimes better, in school
than non-hyperactive kids.

_ An Oxford University (England) study evaluated the
effects of fatty acid supplementation in average
intelligence children with significant reading and writing
disabilities. The ADHD symptoms in children receiving
essential fatty acids significantly improved over the
children in the control group receiving a placebo.

_ Researchers first tied Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD
with lower essential fatty acid in 1981. Studies examining
essential fatty acid blood levels in children with
behavioral problems in 1983 confirmed this Attention
Deficit Disorder nutrition connection.

_ Researchers further documented the essential fatty acid
deficiency tie to Attention Deficit Disorder in a 1987
study. Then, a 1995 study comparing essential fatty acid
levels in ADHD boys against a control group of boys
without ADHD found significantly lower levels of Omega-3
fatty acids.

_ In 1996 Purdue University researchers have found that
boys with low blood levels of Omega-3 fatty acids have a
greater frequency of Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD.

Attention Deficit Disorder is the most common behavioral
disorder in children. Not all Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD children are nutritionally deficient in essential
fatty acids, statistics and studies show that a
significant number of ADHD children are.

Physicians predominately use stimulant drugs such as
Ritalin for Attention Deficit Disorder but studies show
that Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD children whose
treatment program includes only stimulant medication
remain at a high risk for vandalism, petty crime,
frequency of alcoholic intoxication, and possession of
marijuana. Additionally, ADHD medications can cause
potentially harmful side effects and does not treat the
cause the Attention Deficit Disorder.

With Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD, nutrition and food
is one the first aspect of treatment to consider, as an
ADHD alternative treatment or used in conjunction with
traditional ADHD stimulant drug treatment.

Fatty acids are used to make brain and nerve tissue in the
body and are crucial for proper growth, mental function,
the immune system and brain development. The body cannot
produce the two fatty acids families, Omega-3 and Omega-6,
on its own and therefore must receive these key Attention
Deficit Disorder ADHD nutrition ingredients through diet
and supplementation.

Although the typical Western diet is high in the Omega-6
family of fatty acids (found in corn, sunflower, canola
and safflower oil, margarine, vegetable oil and
shortening), most Americans young and old are highly
deficient in Omega-3.

Learning specialists now believe many childhood behavior
and learning problems are associated with Omega-3
deficiencies. This deficiency has a greater impact on
males because their requirements for essential fatty acids
are, in general, much higher.

ADHD adults and parents of ADHD children should include
food high in Omega-3 fatty acids daily. That said, many
children simply will not eat the Omega-3 rich salmon,
mackerel and sardines.

Enter flax seed and flax oil - "food of the gods" when it
comes to Omega-3 fatty acids.

Flax seed and flax oil are the richest plant source of
Omega-3 fatty acids and offers Attention Deficit Disorder
nutrition vital to support healthy childhood behavioral
and IQ development. One to two tablespoons of flax oil
should be part of a every Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD
nutrition food action plan.

In addition to the positive affects on brain functioning,
flax oil also works to prevent heart disease and certain
types of cancer. Flax oil helps soften skin, balance
energy, burn fat, stimulate the metabolism, strengthen the
immune system, manage diabetes, help prevent autoimmune
disease and inflammatory disorders. Flax oil also helps
alleviate PMS and some menopause symptoms.

Here are some easy ways to add flax oil into the daily

_ Mix 1 tablespoon of flax oil in flavored yogurt.

_ 1 tablespoon of flax oil in fruit smoothies is virtually

_ Mix 1 tablespoon of flax oil with one tablespoon maple
syrup or honey as a sweetener instead of granulated sugar.

_ Use 1-2 tablespoons of flax oil when making tuna salad
or egg salad while proportionably decreasing the amount of
Miracle Whip or mayonnaise used.

_ Flax Butter: Melt one stick organic butter and mix with
4 ounces flax oil when cooled to room temperature.
Refrigerate until the flax butter solidifies and use in
place of margarine.

_ Omega-3 "Ice Cream": Mix 2 cups yogurt with 1 tablespoon
flax oil and fresh or frozen fruit. Serve when frozen.

Most studies conducted on the affects of essential fatty
acids found that at least 10 weeks of supplementation is
needed to adequately raised fatty acid levels in brain
cells. Follow a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids for at
least 10 weeks, and preferably 12 weeks, before judging
the effectiveness of nutrition on Attention Deficit
Disorder and ADHD symptoms.

Important points about flax oil:

_ Flax oil is highly perishable and should be kept
refrigerated at all time.

_ Heat destroys the health-giving flax oil properties. Use
flax oil only with cold foods, preferably cold proteins.

_ When buying flax oil, use only high quality, cold-
pressed flax oil. The date pressed and a freshness date of
four months or less from the pressed date should be on the
label. If not, don't buy it!

_ Do not use flax seed oil beyond its expiration date
since the oil will turn rancid.

Essential fatty acids are not the only element needed when
addressing Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD nutrition.
Amino acids, from which protein is made, are an integral
element since amino acids and essential fatty acids are
both needed to work in the body. Therefore, adding quality
protein is a key in Attention Deficit Disorder nutrition.

Attention Deficit and hyperactive people can greatly
reduce the level of unfocused or misdirected energy simply
by starting the day with a protein based breakfast. A
solid protein breakfast can increase concentration, reduce
restlessness and increase mental and physical calm.

Instead of starting the day with sugared cereals, pancakes
covered in syrup, sweet rolls, doughnuts or danishes, try
these brain-boosting breakfast ideas;

_ Scrambled eggs, toast and fruit.

_ Whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

_ Fruit and yogurt smoothie with flax oil.

_ Protein shake.

_ Bacon and eggs with toast and milk.

_ Egg and sausage patty on English muffin.

_ Yogurt mixed with a tablespoon of flax oil.

Bio: Jeannine Virtue is a freelance journalist and mother
of an Attention Deficit son. To find more information
about Attention Deficit Disorder and natural alternatives,
go to the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center at


This article courtesy of You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.


NEW! Splenda® Exposed
Detox Program eBook Thumbnail

Read about SweetPoison
Buy SweetPoison

Dr. Janet Starr Hull's Newsletter:


Aspartame Dangers Revealed | Disclaimer | Link to us | Contact read tab | Site Map | Search
© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved