Friday, April 22, 2011

Nutrigenetic specialist, Dr Hein Badenhorst looks at nutrition, supplementation and your child's brain.

Dr Badenhorst and The ADD Lab have been collaborating for a while now. Our ADD and Nutrition workshops have been a runaway success. And I'm glad to say that more and more parents are beginning to understand the consequences of feeding their children bad food. So Dr Badenhorst was the obvious pick for our April piece. Enjoy! - Mitzi

Never in history has the very old saying of Hippocrates – “Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food” – been truer than in the year 2011, where the over prescription of psychotropic drugs is a worldwide phenomenon.
Probably one of the most significant conclusions from research finished in 2010 is that nutrition and lifestyle factors can actually override some genetic disorders. What does this mean for kids and parents influenced by ADD and ADHD?
The message basically boils down to the fact that by purely optimizing lifestyle factors like hydration, nutrition, sleep, exercise and stress reduction and eliminating negative environmental factors like pollutants, food additives and colourants, and correcting deficiencies via supplementation, we can ‘treat’ some disorders like ADD/ADHD, by overriding or “switching off’ the genetic factors responsible for having these conditions.
This is wonderful news for parents struggling with conflicting emotions regarding different treatment options, especially the conventional ‘drug route’. Please do not misunderstand my point. The conventional pharmaceutical way of treatment is still and will still in future be necessary for selected individuals needing and qualifying for the use of these drugs. But the simple corretion of certain lifestyle aspects will offer options to millions of kids worldwide unnecessarily using these drugs, that previously had no other treatment options.
The departure point of this journey is first of all a full clinical evaluation. Following a proper evaluation the first line of treatment should be correcting all factors found in the evaluation. In the vast majority of cases numerous lifestyle factors are found that first need to be corrected before drug treatment is considered.
A very basic overview of these factors includes:
·         Correcting acid – base imbalances by optimizing the bodies pH level
·         Optimizing the hydration status with good quality healthy water
·         Optimizing blood sugar and insulin levels by correcting the intake of the right sugars and complex carbohydrates
·         Reducing inflammation – body and brain – with an anti inflammatory diet consisting of alkaline foods and the correct oils
·         Optimizing the Omega 3 – Omega 6 ratio by adding the right oils and fats and eliminating the bad fats consumed
·         Eliminating allergens – both food and environmental
·         Eliminating food colorants, preservatives and food flavorants
·         Detoxify the body especially if  heavy metal poisoning is biochemically diagnosed
·         Correct protein intake making sure all potential amino acids deficiencies are corrected
·         Optimizing colon health with the correct hydration, fibre and always give an appropriate probiotic at least twice daily on an empty stomach
·         Negative stress should be reduced with appropriate therapy not forgetting regular exercise and relaxation
·         Underlying psychological and relationship issues identified should be professionally addressed before drug therapy is considered
Basic supplementation should at least include the following:
·         Well balanced organic multi-vitamin
·         Additional B-vitamins - providing additional folic acid(especially important when homocysteine levels are raised)
·         Lecithin preferably combined with additional Vit E (“ Lecithin is practically a wonder drug as far as cognitive impairment is concerned” Dr D.S. Khalsa – Brain Longevity)
·         Omega – 3 Complex to provide optimal levels of EPA and DHA
·         Additional Calcium, Magnesium and Vit D3 – especially when indicated by low blood levels.
·         Additional antioxidants – specially when fruit and vegetable intake is low and oxidative stress is detected in the urine sampling
A few essential facts to consider when opting for supplementation are the following:
·         Always use organic whole plant concentrates and avoid synthetic supplements
·         Make sure the product has a NAPPI code and is at least recognized by the regulatory bodies
·         Ensure that the Omega – 3 oils being used is certified to be free of any heavy metal, pesticides, herbicides and organophosphates as these substances tend to concentrate in oils
By applying these very basic principles, having a proper assessment and using these health guideless,  including the correct nutrition and dietary supplementation, most of these neurodevelopmental issues and disorders can be corrected without the use of potentially dangerous drug therapy.
We are indeed what we eat! - Dr Hein Badenhorst
Contact The ADD Lab:
(011) 888 9334

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