Autism, ADHD, and ADD
There are many children who are afflicted with autism, ADHD, and ADD. It has been estimated that 25% to 50% of school age children are taking drugs for behavioral modification. Children today are behind the average rate of learning abilities and learning skills. It has been estimated that young adults entering the first year of college have a seventh grade reading skill. Children are not able to concentrate and focus as school age children of 25 to 50 years ago. Why do we have all these brain changing conditions affecting our children today? I believe the majority of these changes in children are based on the changes of our diets. Our diets several decades ago were high in fats, primarily saturated fats like cream, lard, butter, eggs, and animal fats such as meat. Because of the false and misleading information that fats were bad for us, Americans switched from fats to the other food group of carbohydrates and sugar.
For proper function, the brain needs fats and cholesterol. The brain only accounts for 2% of the body weight but uses 25% of the cholesterol manufactured by the body. When the body manufactures an ingredient on the basis of its need, I suspect that it’s a clue that we should not try to lower it or eliminate it. Today, adults and children have adopted the American diet which is now 70% refined carbohydrates and sugar. Grains such as wheat, rye, and barley in particular, but also all grains, are far from what they were at the beginning of the 20th century. Grain starches cannot be easily digested and are allowed to ferment in the intestinal tract giving off large quantities of lactic acid and other toxins that disturb normal brain function. Many neurological brain diseases such as MS, Parkinson’s, and ALS, as well as the brain disorders in children, are affected by the undigested starch of grains. These undigested grain starches feed the bad, harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract.
There is a tremendous emphasis today on supplementing with probiotics, the friendly flora or bacteria. But if we continue to eat foods that feed the bad bacteria, we’ll never know which bacteria is implanted more successfully. If we plant friendly bacteria without eliminating the growth of the harmful bacteria, it’s similar to putting out a fire with water on one end while someone is pouring gasoline on the other end of the fire. Probiotics are a good addition to the diet, but it makes more sense to change the diet by eliminating grains, carbohydrates and sugar to starve out the bad bacteria. In fact, if using a prebiotic and starving out the bad bacteria, I don’t believe a probiotic would be necessary. To really capture the health benefits of eliminating grains, read the book, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.