In the discussion and treatment of kids with ADHD, brain health never seems to come into play.
We talk about behaviors and medications and diagnosing these kids, but never about the critical aspect–improving the health of your child’s brain.
I am certainly willing to entertain the idea that things happen in the womb (specifically, epigenetic changes that modify the way DNA is expressed) due to stress, vitamin D deficiency, poor quality diets and toxic exposures. I also believe that these changes are later ignited, if you will, by a secondary event such as vaccination or poor nutritional status.
Regardless of the cause or causes that we may all argue over, I’m pretty sure no one would argue that a brain-healthy lifestyle would be a bad approach.
So what does a “brain health lifestyle” look like for a young child? It can include:
- An unprocessed diet from of artificial food colorings and flavors (the Feingold diet).
- Low or no stress (which starts with the parents).
- Exercise (both physical and brain based).
- Consistent intake of health fats found in wild caught fish, avocados, nuts and seeds.
- Good night’s sleep.
- Supplementation to include a multivitamin, vitamin D and fish oils.
Beyond that, there are additional supplements that may play a role in improving the brain health of your child.
This particular study looked at the ability of phosphatidylserine, a compound found in foods like soy, to improve ADHD symptoms in children, aged 4-14 years of age. Phosphatidylserine is known to help stabilize the membrane of our brains cells, making them more effective at getting messages in and out when these messages are supposed to be moving in and outside.
Here’s what they found improvements in:
- ADHD, Attention disorder and hyperactivity disorder.
- Short-term auditory memory.
- Inattention (differentiation and reverse differentiation).
- Inattention and impulsivity
That’s a pretty impressive list for a single supplement, but keep in mind that this would merely be one tool in the list noted above of a brain-healthy lifestyle. It is NOT a replacement for those other aspects.
If you have used phosphatidylserine with your child, did it seem to help?