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ADHD and ADD are not diseases, but a nutritional deficiency, according to the late Dr Lendon Howard Smith, a US paediatrician who has fought for children’s health and nutrition issues for three decades.
Below is a summary of an article by Dr Smith published in New Vegetarian and Natural Health, Spring 2005.
The only diagnostic criterion that we prescribing pediatricians and psychiatrists have is: "If the Ritalin works, the child needs it." This suggests that the child has a Ritalin deficiency.
As time went on in my practice, I realised that many of these children came from the same mould …
In an effort to make a more scientific diagnosis, I tested these children for nutrient deficiencies, and found that most were deficient in magnesium, especially, and calcium. Some also needed zinc, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and essential fatty acids. Supplementing the diets of these children, along with removing dairy products and sugary nothings, made a big difference to their ability to focus and sit still. Many of these children have low blood sugar from eating junk food. Diet changes were slow to accomplish the desired results, whereas Ritalin works in about 20 minutes.
Dr Willian Crook, Dr Doris Rapp and the late Dr Ben Feingold have solved most of these children’s problems with diet changes and the addition of supplements. It is well known that our topsoil is deficient, and that the foods that come from these soils are not giving most of our population what we all need for health, both mental and physical.
My first therapeutic trial was to stop all foods with sugar.
With suitable blood and hair tests I found that all the hyper kids were low in calcium and magnesium despite excessive consumption of dairy products. They were not absorbing the nutrients they needed to correct their ’neurological’ problem.
My results: 60 to 80 percent of these children were 70 to 100 percent better and did not need stimulant drugs when the whole family followed these diet and supplement rules:
  • Eat six to ten small meals daily.
  • Consume no refined suga.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish, soya products.
  • Take 1000 mg of calcium daily (no cows’ milk).
  • Take 500 mg of magnesium daily.
  • Ritalin might be used as a therapeutic test. If it works, this indicates that the child needs more of the chemical, norepinephrine, in his limbic system. Essential fatty acids, zinc, B6 and other nutrients may all be necessary to help the body produce its neurochemicals.
Parents need to be advocates for their children and work with the professionals in the school system and wherever a referral takes them. The better treatment for the child usually involves counselling, nutrition and finding an activity in which the child will succeed and be able to feel good about himself.
Lendon H. Smith, MD, began practising medicine more than 50 years ago and was among the first to caution against sugar, white flour and junk foods that are known to contribute to hyperactivity, obesity, allergies and many other illnesses in children and adults. Dr Smith has authored or co-authored 15 books, dating back to 1969. He appeared on television programs many times, and was awarded an Emmy for one program.

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