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An overgrowth of yeast in the body may be a contributing factor of learning disabilities, attention deficit, and hyperactivity in some children. Yeast overgrowth can occur when repeated doses of antibiotics are given to children. Antibiotics weaken the immune system by destroying the beneficial bacteria, allowing yeast to grow rapidly. Yeast feeds on sugar so an overgrowth can be suspected in a sugar-addicted child. William Crook, M.D. writes about this in his books The Yeast Connection, The Yeast Connection Handbook and his booklet Hyperactivity and the Attention Deficit Disorder. Getting the yeast under control may be a major step in recovery.
One of the most important factors in the solution of learning and behavior problems is optimal mineral intake and absorption. Many children are deficient in important minerals, which are essential for proper body and brain functioning. One or more mineral deficiencies are usually found in children classified as learning disabled, and mineral supplementation may be necessary. Be certain you are getting a high quality supplement since some contain sugar, food colorings or other fillers. Avoid supplements containing lactose if your child is milk-sensitive. Metallic minerals in tablet form are not absorbed very well. Chelated minerals in capsule form are more available to the body. There is much debate on the subject of colloidal minerals. Some say colloidal minerals are highly absorbable by the body and the most effective way to get minerals. However, there is a lack of research to document this claim. The authors of What's Food Got To Do With It? say they use Twinlab mineral formulas or the Now brand form of colloidal minerals with good results.
Organically grown vegetables are important to increase your child's mineral intake. Superfoods like barley green, chlorella, algae, spirulina and wheatgrass have maximum vitamin, mineral and amino acid concentrations.
Lecithin is a very powerful brain food. It boosts memory and concentration. Lecithin contains the B vitamin choline. Choline can boost the brains memory power for four or five hours after eating. Choline is found in egg yolks, lean beef, fish, and wheat. Phosphatidyl choline is the strongest form of lecithin. The powder can be stirred into food or juice.
Concentration and memory are specifically connected to levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Too many or too few neurotransmitters will cause over or under reactions, such as acting out, feeling depressed or hyperactivity. Amino acids are precursors to neurotransmitters. They are necessary in order for the brain to receive and send messages. If the diet contains inadequate amounts of the essential amino acids, physical symptoms will appear. Brain cells must be fed constantly with amino acids, vitamins, minerals, oxygen and fatty acids. Amino acids boost brainpower and mental clarity and enhance memory and concentration. They have been medically proven to calm hyperactivity. Nutritional yeast, barley grass, spirulina and algae are all high in amino acids.
It is important to supplement the diet with DHA from omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). See article on healthy fats for children.
Using centering and grounding techniques, homeopathy, eliminating processed foods, chemicals and allergens, and eating an organic whole foods diet can help children to function at their highest level of health. It is much more difficult to go this route than to accept a drug as a magic potion. It takes time, persistence and effort for both parent and child. It's not easy to change the diet of a child who is completely attached to unhealthy foods. Usually, the whole family needs to cooperate. However, there are huge payoffs in the behavior changes and the overall health and happiness of the child as well as the entire family.