ADHD and Autistic Children Deficient in Magnesium and B6
Nutritional deficiencies Effect ADHD and Autism
This article was originally published in Yahoo Voices. When the Yahoo Writer's Forum was shut down in 2014, we were given the rights back to publish our articles elsewhere. So this article is being republished today 9-19-16 .
Children In General are Deficient in Vitamins and Minerals:
IN 2002 research was published by the American Journal of Epidemiology. They studied the diets of over 2500 children between the ages of 11 to 19. That Russian research found that 86% of the boys and 88% of the girls were deficient in magnesium. These were not sick or Autistic children but average children. There have been other research studies that also back up the problem of children being nutritionally deficient.
Autistic Children Have Deficiencies: Several research studies using hair analysis have shown most autistic children are low in zinc, copper, magnesium, and B6. Autistic children, according to some research, often show a severe imbalance in glutathione, an antioxidant, as well. Glutathione is used by the body to help it detoxify and excrete heavy metals.
Factors Leading To Deficiencies: Many children are picky eaters and will not eat sufficient nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and salads. The typical American diet is full of sugar, processed foods, junk foods, and empty calories. The foods grown today are also often lacking in vitamins and minerals as well. I might add obesity and diabetes in children is a national crisis. A fat child is not a healthy child and obesity does not tell the story of a child who is eating properly. It should not be too hard to realize that many children are nutritionally deficient.
Many American Children Go Hungry: It's not just children in third world countries that go without food.
It is a fact that thousands of children go without breakfast and at times dinner because of economic conditions in the US. The applications for food stamps and free meals at churches has soared. These are middle class families who for the first time have lost jobs and cannot find new ones. They are losing their homes as well. Many children subsist on macaroni and cheese out of a box and peanut butter. This is the reality of these economic times. The school lunch program is a savior for many families. It may be the only real nutritious meal that these children eat for the day. There are many areas in Florida, Louisiana, and Fresno, Ca just to name three where the standard of living is not even on the charts, it's so low., The fact that thousands of children are deficient is not open for discussion for it's a hard, cold economic fact.
Mercury Toxicity: Heavy metal toxicity including mercury displaces the essential minerals of magnesium, selenium, zinc and copper. It disrupts many of the systems in the body including enzymes which are needed in thousands of bodily functions. Mercury is all around us. It is a fact that 25 % of the air pollution in Los Angeles comes from China and contains mercury from their coal burning manufacturing plants. This is not including the Mercury in vaccines and in our soil that the food we eat is grown in. Mercury and other toxic pollutants are being found in fish, wildlife, water supplies, and in the forest soils. Almost anyone these days, may have more Mercury in their system than is healthy.
Tylenol: A study from the University of California showed that the combination of Tylenol and the MMR vaccine increases the chance of children under 5 developing Autism. Tylenol is believed to deplete glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant used by the liver to eliminate heavy metals and toxins from the body. Tylenol and other drugs like it are known to deplete glutathione.
Magnesium Deficiency and Its Importance to Autism and Health:
Magnesium is involved in brain membrane integrity and function; used by enzymatic systems in the production of DNA; used to repair and maintain healthy DNA.
Magnesium is needed to produce bone; manufacture protein and fatty acids; is involved with producing new cells; activating B vitamins; used in clotting blood; used to manufacture ATP, which is part of your energy system; used to maintain healthy insulin function. Insulin malfunction leads to childhood diabetes.
Magnesium is important to lung function overall, lung capacity, and airway flow. This would impact children who have allergies and asthma.
Magnesium is needed for the heart, heart muscles and all muscles.
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms in Children: restlessness; fidgeting; rocking; teeth grinding; hiccups; sensitivity to noise; poor concentration and attention span; irritable; aggressive and disruptive behavior; easily stressed behaviors; bedwetting,
Benefits of Magnesium Supplements: In several studies, including one done in Russia in 2006, doctors used a combination of 200 mg magnesium with added B6 on ADHD children aged 6 to 12 years old. After 30 days of treatment, the children improved showing reduced hyper excitability, behavior problems, anxiety, physical and verbal aggression, and increased attention ability.
There have been over 18 studies showing that the combination of B6 and magnesium helps about 50 percent of the children in these studies.
Possible Reasons Why Some Children Don't Respond To Magnesium and B6
The Russian study in 2006 used 200 mg of supplemented magnesium with B6. Many of the other studies used only 50 mg of supplemental magnesium with B6. Some of the studies just used Magnesium supplementation by itself. Magnesium needs B6 to work effectively. The children who improved in these 18 different studies showed improvement in all behavior problem areas: attention problems, behavior problems, speech/eye contact, reduced seizures, and normalization of brain waves and urine lab tests.
Why Research Studies Fail Involving Herbs, Vitamins, and Minerals
The supplement was given in such a low dose that it had no effect. Research is still arguing on the dosage strength needed to secure an effect.
The wrong form of the supplement was given. Tablets are often not digested easily by older people and those with compromised digestion function. Liquids or powders are more quickly absorbed through the digestive tract Certain forms of iron and calcium, for example, are more difficult to digest. Calcium carbonate is basically chalk. Calcium citrate is more easily digested. Oyster shell calcium takes a lot of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to break it down.
Will all the concrete causes be ever really known?
I think with all the research that there is more than one problem in the answer to solving the ADHD and Autism puzzle. I do think that nutritional deficiencies are a big part of that puzzle. Children are given multiple shots at a time which is an assult on the immune system. In the past, children were subjected to many less shots at one time. The chemicals and additives in all our foods, even organic foods, is destructive to growing bodies and minds. Drugs are given to women during pregnancy that were never given before. I don't think that is a good trend. In most cases they have no idea about the long term effects on the developing fetus. It is like the destruction of the bees, with so much destruction coming from so many directions, it is hard to pin point the culprits. So as a parent, do the best you can do to feed your children as organically as possible, to at least rule out the nutritional problems found in ADHD and Autism.
Published by Kate Freer, Master Herbalist, Medical Researcher, and Freelance writer.
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