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Magnesium strengthens bones and teeth, promotes healthy muscles to relax and is involved in harmonizing the nervous system and energy production (ibid P.311). In some studies of children age 7 to 12, those who took magnesium supplements showed a significant decrease in hyperactivity, compared to control groups who took a placebo (43). Carbonated drinks such as cola and other processed foods contain phosphoric acid, which leaches magnesium from the body. It is best if avoided, so check the labels. The therapeutic range for magnesium is 400-800mg. Good food sources include most nuts and seeds, cooked beans, sprouted grains and beans, garlic, raisins, green peas, wheatgerm, potato skins and crabmeat.
One study that Doreen Virtue mentions in her book found that 95% of ADHD children were deficient in magnesium. It was also found that they were deficient in iron, copper and calcium. The researchers concluded that “It is necessary to supplement trace elements in children with hyperactivity” (ibid). Therefore a good quality multi-mineral is recommended on a daily basis. Neways produce an ionic multi-mineral mineral solution called Maximol Solutions. It also contains an amino acid complex, B vitamins, high-potency fruit juices, phytochemicals and fructooligosaccharides. Its fairly sweet tasting, so children can tolerate the taste. Neways have since developed Junior Maximol that includes omage 3 fish oils, lecithin (helps brain development) and the amazing sweetner Xylitol amongst other vital nutrients.
B vitamins are vital for proper brain function and development and have been used for children with ADD and ADHD. A great source of B vitamins are sprouts such as mung beans, aduki, alfalfa and lentil sprouts. They also contain enzymes that aid digestion and amino acid proteins.
B3 (niacin) is essential for energy production, brain function and has been used successfully in controlling schizophrenia. It helps balance blood sugar levels and aids in digestion. Therapeutic range is 25-50mg for children. It is found in mushrooms, tuna, asparagus, cabbage, tomatoes, mackerel, courgettes, squash and cauliflower.
B6 stimulates serotonin release in the brain. Children who are hyperactive have lower serotonin levels than those who are not. Low serotonin can result in lethargy, depression and cravings for food (ibid P.154). B6 increases seretonin levels in children to a balanced level. It has been reported that tests were carried out that compared serotonin levels with children on Ritalin to those taking B6. The children on B6 maintained the levels even after they stopped taking it, whereas the Ritalin children did not show any raised levels at all. The therapeutic dose for children is 25-125mg. Foods include watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, bananas, squash, broccoli, asparagus, kidney beans, lentils, onions, seeds and nuts.
B12 is essential if the child is vegetarian. One fifty microgram tablet per week is sufficient. It can also be found in fortified margarine, soya milks, eggs, cheese and Junior Maximol.
These are basic recommendations for children. For a more detailed and personal supplement/diet program, please contact the author or a nutritional advisor.