The ADD & ADHD Diet
Rachel Bell &
Dr. Howard Peiper
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The A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. Diet!: A Comprehensive Look at Contributing Factors and Natural Treatments for Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity

Rachel Bell & Dr. Howard Peiper
Safe Goods/New Century
84 pages
April 2001
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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This book is an updated version of Rachel Bell, Dr. Howard Peiper, and Nina Anderson's booklet, A.D.D. The Natural Approach. In the Preface the authors present a constellation of behavioral, cognitive, social, and muscular symptoms attributed to A.D.D./A.D.H.D. In the Foreword, Dr. Doris Rapp estimates that 8 to 22 million children will have been placed on activity-modifying drugs like Ritalin by 2000, yet 20 to 40% will not be helped by these drugs. She believes drugs similar to cocaine should be the last choice in treating  A.D.D./A.D.H.D., especially when they have a long list of side effects. The first choice should be to detect and eliminate "the cause" of the illness among multiple causes from favorite foods, diet, additives, metals, toxins, dust, mold, pollen, chemicals, noise, sources of electromagnetic (and other forms of) energy, misalignments of the skull, vertebra of the spine, and so on. The authors' strongly assert that you can do something about these conditions, if willing to open your mind, search, and find out what works best for you or a specific child.

Nine of the ten chapters of The A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. Diet! focus on diet, nutrition, and the foods we eat. Some foods (e.g., milk, wheat, corn, rice, peas, peanuts, cane sugar, chicken, chocolate, beef, pork, tomato, potato, cheese) can stimulate allergic, A.D.D./A.D.H.D.-like effects that can be detected. How? One way is to follow a 'single food and elimination diet.' First, take one probable offending food. Eat that one food for one day, then wait 5-7 days before eating it again. Designate the 5th, 6th, or 7th day as the test day. On the test day, eat nothing for 3 to 5 hours, then only the one food tested. If more than one food is tested, wait 3-5 hours between foods. Test only one food per meal. Finally, write in a journal any and all reactions to each test food. Diet recommendations include eating more protein, fat, and vegetables for A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. and learning to combine foods at mealtimes that digest at the same rate (e.g., don't mix proteins and starches; eat fruits by themselves). In Chapter Six the authors provide a few tasty, healthy recipes.

The second half of the book is devoted to describing the importance of nutrients and different ways to detoxify the body with herbal, colon, cellular cleansings and fasts. More attention is given to nutritional supplements, trace minerals (e.g., crystalloid, ionic, chelated, colloidal), essential fatty acids, enzymes, and oils (like unprocessed, cold-pressed, virgin oil). Specific nutrients especially recommended for A.D.D./A.D.H.D. symptoms include amino acids, bee pollen, cat's claw, garlic, lecithin, nutritional yeast, proanthocyanidins (found in dark-colored grape seeds and pine bark), zinc, flower essences, and Peruvian herbs. Also, the authors list some non-dietary approaches for the treatment of A.D.D./A.D.H.D. -- hair mineral or tissue analyses; atlas subluxations; craniosacral, aroma, flower, homeopathic, herbal treatments; tachyonized energy, kinesiological, and brainwave synchronization approaches. A resources directory of suppliers and providers along with a bibliography of references conclude the work.

The authors have presented a wide array of brief, interesting leads to consider, but apparently no updated, scientific studies or specific research findings to support the evidence or address issues of strength, selectivity, contraindications, toxicity, cross-drug/counseling usage, and applicability. Hopefully, the book identifies new ways to ameliorate symptoms of A.D.D./ A.D.H.D. without doing harm to the individual in need. A framework for evaluating relevant studies, purported updates, and competing claims would have been helpful. The reader must exercise due diligence and caution in assessing the risks and all evidence supporting, and not supporting, the authors' (and referenced authorities') methods, claims, and conclusions.

© 2002 by David L. Johnson, Ph.D., for Curled Up With a Good Book

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