Archive for the ‘ADHD’ category

Natural Remedies for ADHD are Safer than Ritalin

April 9, 2010

A new study reveals that healthy kids who take Ritalin have a whopping 500 percent greater risk of sudden death. These aren’t kids with pre-existing heart conditions. The results would have been worse if they were included.

Ritalin is not a safe treatment for kids with ADHD. It is a stimulant, it causes the heart to beat faster, and that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Ritalin acts exactly like amphetamines such as crystal meth and cocaine.

In spite of evidence that it could stunt their growth, and cause irreversible brain damage and that it is linked to serious cardiovascular events, the FDA remains silent.

Still, the FDA refuses to take action. No new warnings are planned and prescriptions for Ritalin continue to spiral upward.

Objections to the FDA’s sluggishness are even starting to appear in conservative medical journals like JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a recent editorial, they criticized the FDA by saying the FDA is “interpreting the results cautiously.”

Plus, JAMA notes that the FDA funded and approved the design of the study. Only when the results came out did they have a problem with the design of the study.

This is the big point for all of us: Doctors hand out Ritalin prescriptions every day but too often parents aren’t warned of the dangerous side effects.

ADHD is still the most commonly diagnosed disorder in children.

What’s more, studies show that the drugs don’t work. The same study that found Ritalin stunts kids’ growth also found that it has no beneficial effect on behavior over a three-year period.

So what do you do for children who have trouble concentrating, focusing, or calming down? Here are a few easy, safe, and natural ways to bring kids “to attention” without endangering their mental and physical health.

Ramp up the amount of omega-3 in their diet. Studies show that many children with ADHD don’t get enough omega-3. Cod liver oil and fish-oil capsules deliver the two kinds of omega-3’s the body needs.

You can also get them to eat more lean meats, eggs, and nuts, preferably free-range, grass-fed and organic. These are all great sources of omega-3.  1,000 mg of omega-3’s daily is recommended for children with ADHD.

Pine bark extract is another natural supplement that works. One European study using pycnogenol, an organic compound found in the bark of the French maritime pine tree, showed that after only one month, children’s behavior improved significantly on as little as 1 mg per day.

Finally, certain naturally occurring amino acids can treat ADHD.

One of them is 5-HTP. It’s a precursor to serotonin, one of the chemicals in the brain that relieves anxiety and depression (popular antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro all boost serotonin levels). 50 to 100 mg three times per day with meals is recommended.

Another is Tyrosine. It works like 5-HTP, increasing levels of various chemicals in the brain connected to mood and the ability to concentrate. The optimal dose is 5,000 mg per day for children and up to 10,000 mg per day for adults.

These are natural and safe alternatives, they aren’t harmful or addictive, and unlike all those ADHD drugs, they actually work. They are also easy to find and available at local & online health food stores.

L-Theanine – Natural Anxiety Reducer and Mood Enhancer

February 8, 2010

Stress and anxiety have become standard in our daily existence. Chronic stress and anxiety can lower your immune system, diminish your quality of life and even lead to depression. Mental health problems have grown to an epidemic level. Most people know at least one person who takes medication to relieve anxiety. But, along with the benefits of prescription drugs comes a long list of potentially unpleasant, even dangerous, side effects.

Xanax was once considered the best drug for anti-anxiety, but it’s side effects include fatigue, tiredness, coordination and memory problems, irritability, and increased appetite. Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan are also commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drugs, long term use of these medications called benzodiazepines, can lead to psychological and physical dependence, and like all medications, have the potential to damage the liver with extended use.

As more people search for safe, effective alternatives to prescription anti-anxiety drugs, herbs like Kava Kava, Chamomile and Valerian Root come to light. Although many herbs are effective to calm nerves, they’re not all without risk. Kava Kava with extended use and if combined with certain medications or alcohol can cause serious liver damage, and while herbal teas offer a safe and pleasant way to ease mild anxiety, they still contain active ingredients that may be contraindicated with certain medications.

Green tea offers numerous health benefits, it’s added to supplements, foods, and beverages. Green tea contains a rich source of polyphenols known as catechins, potent antioxidants that may help prevent cancer, retard atherosclerosis, improve mood, and inhibit the growth of bacteria and other pathogens.

Green tea also has another naturally occurring compound that is just as benificial, the amino acid L-theanine.

L-theanine‘s Benefits Include, but are not limited to:

  • Produces a calming effect
  • Protects and restores the brain
  • Stimulates the immune system, and even makes cancer chemotherapy more effective with fewer side effects.
  • Induces deep states of relaxation without sedation
  • Relieves some PMS and menopausal symptoms
  • Increases mental clarity, focus, attention span and improves learning
  • Relieves nicotine addiction
  • Prevents jitters caused by caffeine
  • Promotes sleep

 

L-theanine has several advantages over prescription medications and herbs that contain side effects. It helps calm you without causing drowsiness. It keeps you mentally alert without feeling jittery, and although research to date has been limited, L-theanine has few if any side effects.

L-theanine stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. L-theanine is involved in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA influences the levels of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, producing the key relaxation effect.”

Most green teas sold in America contain less than 10mg of L-theanine per serving, the recommended dose is between 50-200mg per day. Most people don’t drink enough green tea to feel the beneficial effects of L-theanine and would benefit from L-Theanine supplementation. Although the maximum safe dosage hasn’t been determined, as with every supplement, start with the lowest amount reccomended and gradually increase as needed. In doses of more than 400mg, some people do experience sedation effects.

Even though there are little known side effects to L-theanine, it may be due to the fact that only a few clinical studies have been conducted. Talk to your doctor before trying L-theanine If you have kidney or liver disease, other chronic or serious health conditions, allergies, allergies to food, dyes or preservatives, and as with all supplements, be sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding before taking L-theanine.

Click Here for More information on L-Theanine.

Piracetam & it’s Effects on the Brain

January 18, 2010

Piracetam (2-oxo-1-pyrrolidineacetamide) is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid). Interestingly it is chemically related to the amino acid Pyroglutamic Acid (Pyrrolidine Carboxylic acid), which occurs in cerebrospinal fluid and plays an important role in cognitive functioning.

Piracetam positively supports healthy cognitive & cardiovascular functioning by a multifaceted means of action.

Supports Overall Brain Health
Increases Blood Flow to the Brain
Boosts Memory & Concentration
Reduces Hyperactive Behavior

Piracetams’ effects on the brain:

  • Piracetam increases Glucose Utilization, Blood & Oxygen Flow to the brain.  This helps boost mental energy & cerebral circulation and enhances brain metabolism.

  • Piracetam increases Cerebral Phospholipids & Cellular Membrane Fluidity by interacting with the polar head moieties of the phospholipid bilayer. This helps support healthy neuron communication & structure.

  • Piracetam supports the health of Cognitive Receptors in the brain. By amplifys the density of the Muscarinic Cholinergic (Frontal Cortex, Striatum, & Hippocampus), NMDA (NMethylDAspartate) [Hippocampus], & AMPA (Alphaamino3hydroxy5Methyl4isoxazolePropionic Acid) 

  • Piracetam supports healthy Cerebral Cortex Receptors and strengthens neurotransmitter receptors involved in memory and neuroprotection. 

  • Piracetam stimulates the Corpus Callosum, an area of the brain that controls communication between the left and right hemispheres (Increases communication between both hemispheres) Thease are Involved in speech and the creative thinking process.

  • Piracetam stimulates the Locus Coeruleus, (specialized neurons) Involved in information processing, attention, cortical/behavioral arousal, learning and memory.

  • Piracetam also, Inhibits Platelet Aggregation (By increasing RedWhite blood cells & Platelet deformability, inhibiting thromboxane A2 synthetase or antagonism of thromboxane A2, reducing von Willebrand’s factor & fibrinogen levels) which supports Healthy Blood Flow to the Brain.

  • Piracetam secreases EEG complexity (Increases cooperatively of brain functional processing) which positively effects NeuroElectrical Functioning.

  • Piracetam has a significant antioxidant effect on the brain and memory.

Piracetam has been approved & used since 1970’s worldwide (Europe, Asia, and South American) for various health conditions. It is recommended by many healthcare professionals and health organizations as a Nootropic.