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019 - Other Vitamins & Attention Issues

posted Nov 12, 2015, 6:19 AM by Doug Muha

Counselor Notes 19

March 17, 2014

Other Vitamins & Attention Issues

 I have been working through the six supplements The ADHD and Autism Nutritional Supplement Handbook considered giving the biggest potential benefit with the fewest side effects.  So far we have done magnesium and zinc (Notes #14), Vitamin D (Notes #15), Omega 3 fatty acids (Notes #16), and pro-biotics (Notes #17).  With this issue, I want to address the final of those six supplements: multivitamins.

“… simple deficiencies in brain nutrition, caused by our unhealthy and often toxic food supply, can contribute to the onset of not only full blown autism, but also ADHD, allergies, and asthma.”  (Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Kenneth Bock, M.D. & Cameron Stauth, p. 13)

Most parents already know of the usefulness of supplementing a child’s diet with a multivitamin so I want to zero in on some vitamins that in particular need to be fully present: Vitamin B5, B6, & B12 and Vitamin C.

Counselor Notes #18 took note of a connection between inflammation and ADHD.  Please observe below where some of these vitamins counter histamine and thus reduce inflammation.     

"Histamine triggers the inflammatory response."  http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Histamine.aspx 

"Suspect histamine as contributing to your child's symptoms if behavioral symptoms are worse during allergy season."  The ADHD and Autism Nutritional Supplement Handbook by Dana Godbout Laake and Pamela Compart, p. 42

Vitamin B5

“Pantothenic acid (B5) is a water-soluble B vitamin antioxidant that is essential to all forms of life.  It is useful in reducing histamine.”  The ADHD and Autism Nutritional Supplement Handbook by Dana Godbout Laake and Pamela Compart, p. 36

Dietary sources of B5: cheese, trout, salmon, tuna, avocados, eggs, lean pork, beef, chicken, turkey, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, yogurt.  http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-pantothenic-acid-vitamin-B5.php

Also see:  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=87 

Side note: some people claim B5 helps with adolescent acne but nothing has been clinically proven yet.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/853.html

Vitamin B6

“Glutamate is a transmitter with excitatory effects in the brain.  Excitatory glutamate converts to the calming neurotransmitter, GABA.  Glutamate can increase in the brain if there is an inefficiency in the glutamate decarboxylase enzyme or deficiency in the vitamin B6, which is necessary for the enzyme to function.”  The ADHD and Autism Nutritional Supplement Handbook by Dana Godbout Laake and Pamela Compart, p. 47

Along with other B complex vitamins, B6 is known as an anti-stress vitamin because it is believed to enhance the activity of the immune system and improve the body's ability to get through stressful situations. If there is a B6 deficiency the symptoms could be:

  • muscle weakness
  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • depression
  • difficulty concentration
  • short term memory loss

“Vitamin B6 is required for normal brain development and is essential in the synthesis of brain chemicals including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. One study found that vitamin B6 was a little more effective than methylphenidate, which is a medication used to treat ADHD, in improving behavior in hyperactive children.”  http://www.progressivehealth.com/vitamin-b6-for-adhd-and-add.htm

Dietary sources of B6: fish, beef liver, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, poultry, non-citrus fruits.  http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/ 

Vitamin C

“Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble anti-oxidant, important in immunity, neurotransmitter function, and well known for antihistamine activity.  It prevents histamine release and increases the detoxification of histamine.  There is an inverse relationship between vitamin C and histamine.  Low vitamin-C serum levels result in high histamine levels.”  The ADHD and Autism Nutritional Supplement Handbook by Dana Godbout Laake and Pamela Compart, p. 36

“Vitamin C is necessary to the body’s manufacture of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, three of the neurotransmitters involved in AD/HD…. One of the most remarkable protections vitamin C affords is the chelation of reactive metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and aluminum.  Chelation “wraps up” the metal so it can be eliminated from the body.”  (p. 150)
        -  The ADD Nutrition Solution by Marcia Zimmerman

“Eat lots of vitamin C.  I say eat because  the vitamin C in pills is not as good as the vitamin C you get from eating fruits and other foods that contain vitamin C.  Vitamin C helps modulate the synapse action of dopamine, a key neurotransmitter needed in treating ADD.”   (Delivered From Distraction  by Edward Hallowell, M.D. and  John Ratey, M.D,  p. 210)

"The body is not able to make Vitamin C on its own, and it does not store Vitamin C.  It is therefor important to include plenty of Vitamin-C containing foods in your daily diet." http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm

Dietary sources of vitamin C:

All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C.

Fruits with the highest sources of vitamin C include:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries
  • Watermelon

Vegetables with the highest sources of vitamin C include:

  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Green and red peppers
  • Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  •  Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Winter squash

Some cereals and other foods and beverages are fortified with vitamin C. Fortified means a vitamin or mineral has been added to the food. Check the product labels to see how much vitamin C is in the product.

Cooking vitamin C-rich foods or storing them for a long period of time can reduce the vitamin C content. Microwaving and steaming vitamin C-rich foods may reduce cooking losses. The best food sources of vitamin C are uncooked or raw fruits and vegetables.   http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm

Foods containing vitamin C (see Dietary Sources of vitamin C) also enhance non-heme iron absorption when eaten at the same meal.  http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/iron.html

Taking multivitamins is in the news: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/20/health-myth-do-really-need-to-take-multivitamin/ 

Doug Muha Ed.S.
School Counselor
Waverly Elementary School

 

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