Discover The “Big Seven Neurotoxins That Attack A Child’s Brain Health.
One in ten American children have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD). Boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.¹ With a 42 percent increase in ADHD diagnoses over the past eight years, how much higher will these figures rise?² ADHD is taking our society by storm. But is the diagnosis correct? Do we truly need medication to fix our children’s focus and attention issues? Or is there something else going on? (Keep Reading To Learn Practical Ways You Can Combat focus and concentration problems for your children!)
ADHD: Neither a “Disease” nor “Disorder”
Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD, a renowned neurologist, submits that ADHD is neither a disease nor a disorder. In response to The BMJ , Dr. Baughman argues that in order to be diagnosed with a disease or disorder, a patient must exhibit a physical abnormality. (A physical abnormality is one that can be detected with the eye, touch, microscope, or chemical testing.) If there is no evidence of disease, then the patient may have a psychiatric or psychological health issue. For this reason, it is misleading to characterize ADHD as a disease or disorder.
“The public worldwide has been deceived and mislead for decades on this fundamental point that is well known to physicians,” writes Dr. Baughman. “No patient with ADHD or with any psychological or psychiatric entity has an actual disease. Physicians telling them they do knowingly deceive them [and] abrogate their right to informed consent, and drug normal individuals, that is, poison them. This is the standard of care in psychiatry today.”³
Why Is ADHD So Widely Prevalent Today?
There’s no denying that many children today have difficulty concentrating at home and at school. What causes restlessness and behavioral issues? Genetics? Screentime? Being stuck in a classroom instead of having the freedom to run and play? Maybe.
One of the biggest potential catalysts we see behind the dramatic increase in ADHD diagnoses could be changes to our food system and daily nutrition habits. In fact, there are seven common neurotoxins, in particular, that are damaging to brain health (in kids and adults).
The Big Seven Neurotoxins That Destroy Brain Health
These are a few of the worst offenders when it comes to neurotoxic ingredients commonly found in foods throughout restaurants and supermarkets in the United States…
#1 Artificial Sweeteners
Specifically, always avoid aspartame, sucralose (the lesser of two evils compared to aspartame), and saccharin (Sweet’N Low®).
A recent study analyzed health data from 3,000 adults who completed diet surveys.¹ Alarmingly, individuals who had at least one diet drink per day were three times more likely to develop dementia and suffered three times as many strokes as those who drank regular (non-diet) soft drinks.
#2 High Fructose Corn Syrup
According to a study done at UCLA, “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.”² Researchers observed rats struggle to complete a maze after a diet of high fructose corn syrup, an ingredient present in many foods in the standard American diet. (In fact, the average American consumes more than 40 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per year, according to the USDA.) The good news is, the same study also found that omega-3s can mitigate and even reverse brain damage done by high fructose corn syrup.
#3 Trans Fats & Hydrogenated Oil
Trans fats and hydrogenated oils such as margarine and shortening can destroy cell structure and cause inflammation in the brain. A study completed at University of California, San Diego, found that men under the age of 45 who ate a diet rich in trans fats had worsened moods, decreased memory, and more aggressive behavior.³ Note: many peanut butters contain trans fats, but amounts are below the required reporting limit, so you won’t see it on the label.
#4 Artificial Flavorings
Artificial flavorings can cause and exacerbate behavioral issues, especially among hyperactive, ADHD and autistic kids. Some artificial flavors, such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, have been shown to have toxic effects on bone marrow cells.¹
#5 Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
This neurotoxic chemical causes all kinds of neurological problems. Dr. Russell Blaylock calls it an “excitotoxin,” a type of chemical that over stimulates neuron receptors, causing them to fire so rapidly they become exhausted.
Sensitivity to MSG appears to vary from person to person. Some researchers believe that high doses of MSG allow trace amounts of glutamic acid to pass through the blood-brain barrier, where they interact with neurons and cause brain swelling and injury. Some² people report that MSG causes symptoms such as headache, asthma, muscle tightness, tingling, numbness and weakness.
#6 Artificial Colors
Artificial colors such as Red #40, Blue #1, Yellow #5, etc., can cause behavioral issues, especially among hyperactive, ADHD and autistic kids. More than 15 million pounds of these harmful dyes are pumped into our food supply each year in the U.S. Those bright red foods you see in the grocery store come from a petroleum-based substance. It’s no wonder they’re making us sick!
A report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest concludes that “the nine artificial dyes approved in the United States likely are carcinogenic, cause hypersensitivity reactions and behavioral problems, or are inadequately tested.”³
#7 Preservatives (Especially BHT and BHA)
Preservatives keep food from spoiling. But they aren’t nearly as good for you as they are for food manufacturers. Two butylated compounds in particular are common in processed foods: BHT and BHA.
BHT is used to stabilize fats; it’s also found in a lot of nutritional products, such as multivitamins. The chemical is even used in dry cleaning clothes. Not so appetizing, right? In a 2016 report¹ by the National Toxicology Program, Department of Health and Human Services, BHA was described as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals.” That’s right. The U.S. government believes this popular food ingredient to be cancerous.
Improving Your Child’s Focus & Concentration Ability Naturally.
Fortunately it is relatively easy to avoid these Big Seven Toxins when you choose a diet that prioritizes whole foods and avoids processed foods. By eliminating or at least minimizing processed and fast foods, you can be confident that you’re eliminating many of these Big Seven Toxins from your family’s diet.
Omega-3s (EPA & DHA)
You may be able to naturally improve your child’s ability to focus and concentrate through prioritizing omega-3 intake. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids. The body doesn’t produce them, so you have to get them through food or supplements. Without these building blocks, the brain suffers: fewer synapses (bridges between neurons), the outer membrane of neurons degenerates, and mood-stabilizing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine drop.
The link between omega-3s and ADHD is so profound that it is the most studied nutrient in conjunction with the prevention, reduction and treatment of ADHD.
- Two analytical studies show children with ADHD have lower blood levels of omega-3s. According to one analysis, those with ADHD had omega-3 levels 38 percent lower than their counterparts.
- A study of almost 200 school children showed diets low in omega-3s were associated with a 31 percent higher risk of developing ADHD.
- Lower omega-3 levels in children with ADHD are associated with impaired emotion processing. This can manifest in behaviors such as defiance, mood swings, hostility, learning difficulties and the ability to understand and appropriately respond to emotions.
- Children with ADHD and low omega-3 levels have disorderly brain waves.
- The ability to properly metabolize fatty acids such as omega-3s has a genetic component. Sixty to 70 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD and low omega-3s have a variation in the gene needed to metabolize the fats. This same genetic piece is tied to a shortfall of behavioral hormones in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Probiotics, Mood, Behavior & The Brain-Gut Connection
Omega-3s are certainly not alone in their influence of mood and behavior. Did you know that as much as 60 percent of the body’s immune system is found in the digestive system?² Or that the microbial cells in your body actually outnumber the human cells in your body by 10:1?³
The gut not only plays a crucial role in digestive health and immune support. Gut health also shares a relationship with mood and behavior. Studies in Germany and Italy have demonstrated a connection between probiotics and the central nervous system, including improvement in memory tests (both spatial and non-spatial). These studies have also suggested improved gut health may alleviate the symptoms of some psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).¹
Your Child Doesn’t Have to Struggle.
Food can be poison or medicine. By avoiding neurotoxins and encouraging a diet rich in omega-3s (with DHA) and probiotics, many families have seen their child’s ability to focus restored or improved.
For more information about how brain-nourishing nutrition may improve your child’s focus and behavior issues, please visit bipri.com/consult , where you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation (phone, video chat or in-person).
If your child struggles with concentration and behavior, be sure to check out the BIPRI Kids Attention & Focus Bundle, featuring Kids Probiotic Chewables, Kids Chewable EPA/DHA Plus, and BIPRI’s proprietary multivitamin/multimineral nootropic Children’s Optimal Brain and Body Performance. Learn more at bipri.com/KidsFocus .
For more information, call 888-549-5519 or visit BIPRI.com,and make your plans to see BiPri on site at Teach Them Diligently events this season.
For more details on the quotes and statistics cited in this article, check out the following footnotes:
*I was limited to 1,2,and 3 in superscript, so I kept rotating those through. However, I linked each superscript number above to the appropriate article or resource. Please be aware, though, that the notes go 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3,etc.