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My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety.

Q. Dear Terry, “My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. We've tried medication, but would rather try a holistic approach. What herbal compounds do you recommend? I'm open to any and all suggestions, including dietary restrictions, etc. Thank you for your time!” — Shirley R., Huntington Beach, CA

A. Dear Shirley, I do have some natural options that I can share with you. However, I strongly recommend talking with your daughter’s doctor as this advice does not replace his/her oversight and medical care.

If you are not doing so already, I highly recommend taking a good look at your child’s diet. Dietary restrictions would include avoiding all sugar and foods made with sugar, refined flour, and carbohydrates.  That means soft drinks, sweetened and diet, crackers, candy, cookies, bread, pasta, cakes and ice cream.  While I understand this takes a huge effort on the part of both the child and family, it can make a real difference. Click on my healthy diet plan for more information. This is the diet I follow and I believe it will help your daughter immensely.

In addition to modifying your daughter’s diet, there are some natural ingredients that you may want to consider adding to her daily regimen. Nutrients like DMAE, L-tyrosine, taurine, phosphatidylserine, black currant, rhodiola, grape seed, and specific vitamins have been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of ADHD. For instance, vitamin B, L-tyrosine, and DMAE aid in the function of neurotransmitters, which are messengers in the brain. The herb rhodiola has long been used for its ability to increase focus, concentration and memory, especially during stressful times (such as final exam testing for students). Phosphatidylserine is a specific kind of phospholipid that is important for cell membranes in the brain, as well as helping to create neurotransmitters that are important for memory, attention and focus. Each of these ingredients influences a different pathway, which is why I like to recommend them in a combination formula.

Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to help increase focus and attention in children. However, it can be a challenge to get kids to take fish oil. I recommend you get your daughter an omega fatty acid product extracted from salmon—without the oil. I prefer to get my omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids, in a tablet form. This unique form utilizes a patented, gentle, cold water and enzyme process to extract naturally occurring marine phospholipids with the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). This process creates a supplement that is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. This is the way you’d get your omega-3s by eating fish – in the natural sn-2 position, not the sn-1 position into which they are twisted when extracted in fish oil. This means a big difference in stability and the ability to transport omega-3s to where they are needed most. Therefore, you only need one or two tablets a day instead of handfuls of fish oil capsules or spoonsful of fishy tasting oils. I would have your daughter take 1-2 tablets daily.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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