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BT Toronto – Natural strategies for focus and attention

via CityLine

TV & Episodes

Bryce discusses natural strategies for focus and attention, ADHD.

Incidence: approximately 5% experience inattention or have diagnosed Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Definition:

ADHD is characterized by attention difficulties and hyperactivity among children, who may have behavioural issues and poor grades in school. BUT attention deficits are not isolated to young people. Research is beginning to show that many adults and many of the general population have at least a few characteristics common to the diagnosis of ADHD.  Forgetfulness, difficulty meeting responsibilities and remaining organized might be clues that you have it.

Cause:

It might surprise you to learn that inflammation – a medical buzz term these days – is commonly found in individuals with attention and hyperactivity issues. Chronic inflammation affects moods by altering brain and hormone chemistry. The root causes of inflammation such as infections, allergies or hypersensitivities should be investigated as part of the healthcare practitioner’s standard evaluation.

Diet:

Food sensitivities are a common cause of attention disorders and hyperactivity in children.

We all want our children to eat more fruits and veggies, but resent research has found that each tenfold increase in urinary pesticide concentration in children was associated with a 55 to 72 percent increase in the odds of expressing ADHD. The solution? Go organic!

Many children with ADHD feel worse and exhibit more behavioral symptoms when they are exposed to chemical food additives like artificial colors and flavors.

Lifestyle:

Sleep is crucial to optimal mental function, and unfortunately children with ADHD often experience difficulty sleeping along with frequent sleep interruption.

As many as 175 studies support the use of behavioral techniques, both at home and at school, for reducing ADHD symptoms. These strategies are generally based on providing structure and predictability, clear expectations, and reward systems that reinforce positive behaviors while discouraging negative ones.

Supplementation:

1) L-THEANINE
A natural approach to these and other common problems related to ADHD may come from supplementation with an amino acid called L-Theanine. The effects of L-theanine on sleep quality in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has demonstrated to induce better sleep quality overall.

Studies suggest L-Theanine can help reduce ADHD hyperactivity by promoting a sense of calmness and focused relaxation by enhancing the release of dopamine and by increasing brain alpha waves – the brain waves associated with a focused relaxation.

2) DHA

If you want your child to reach his or her maximum intellectual and focus potential, the research is clear that plentiful intake of the omega-3 fat DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is essential.  Most kids get hardly any of this healthful fat, found primarily in seafood, in their diets, and may be missing out on this simple opportunity to boost brain performance. Most recently, two new studies have confirmed that boosting your child’s intake of DHA as an infant and into the school-age years may be a simple way to generate measurable improvements in their brain function.

3)  VINPOCETINE

Vinpocetine is a chemical substance synthesized from vincamine, a natural constituent found in the leaves of Vinca minor (lesser periwinkle) is safe for adults and which seems to help cognitive function, memory, and attention.

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