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Kids on drugs. Archive in brain chemistry

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Kids on drugs. Archive in brain chemistry

Posted by Walt Stoll on February 24, 2003 at 13:17:39:


This relationship has been known for nearly 50 years but since there was no money in utilizing it, more and more kids are being drugged in schools--sometimes forced by school policies.



From: leaflady
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 07:43:52 -0800

To see this story with its related links on the The Observer site, go to
Eating tomatoes 'turns kids into criminals'
Pioneering clinic will bring new hope to disruptive youngsters, reports Jean
Jean West
Saturday February 22 2003
The Guardian

Tomatoes don't agree with John. He is sick within an hour of eating them and
becomes sweaty and panicky. But worse than this, they also make him
irritable and aggressive and liable to commit violent crimes.
Jason has a similar reaction to bread. He has always loved doorsteps
smothered in butter for breakfast. But it gives him diarrhoea and a weird
kind of depressed 'hangover'. This makes him crave the heroin that once put
his life on the skids.
It may sound implausible, but a controversial theory is gathering momentum:
that one explanation for crime may be found on our dinner plates. The
premise is that the brain needs the right fuel to function properly -
otherwise it will misbehave.
This week, the first clinic in Britain to tackle juvenile delinquency by
studying what children eat, then treating them with nutritional medicine and
psychotherapy, will open its doors. Its consultant will be Peter Bennett, a
former officer with West Yorkshire police.
The Cactus Clinic, at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, sprang from the
work of the late Professor Steve Baldwin, who died in the Selby rail
disaster, and Janice Hill, who runs the Overload Network, an Edinburgh-based
charity for children with behavioural disorders.
Disturbed by a lack of alternatives to the throw-away-the-key approach to
delinquency and the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs for children,
they forged ahead with their maverick idea. The nutritional approach was
based on a wealth of global research into the effects of vitamins, minerals
and other compounds such as amino acids on brain chemistry.
Last year a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggested that
reoffending by juvenile delinquents could be slashed by a quarter if they
improved their diets. Some 230 inmates at the young offenders' institution
in Aylesbury, Bucks, were assessed over 18 months by researchers from Oxford
University. Half were given pills containing vitamins, minerals and
essential fatty acids, and the other half placebo capsules in a
double-blind, randomised trial.
The first group committed 25 per cent fewer offences than the second. The
greatest reduction was for serious offences, including violence, where there
was a fall of nearly 40 per cent. There was no decline in reoffending for
those taking dummy compounds.
But despite evidence that alternative treatments may work, society,
mainstream medicine and the prison authorities remain unimpressed. 'It's a
crazy notion that we can accept that 10 pints of beer - which, after all, is
derived from wheat - can affect behaviour, but not other foodstuffs,' said
She said nutritional intervention was not a quick fix that promised a speedy
improvement in mood, like the new generation of anti-depressants. It took
weeks to build up a malnourished brain and programmes had to be tailor-made.
In many cases, it is difficult to pinpoint the offending food type. John,
who became more aggressive after eating tomatoes, lacked an enzyme that
detoxifies a compound found in tomatoes, consisting of salicylates. It is
believed these caused a chemical reaction in his brain, which then affected
his behaviour.
'The children we see have psychological problems linked to physical
problems, often caused by nutritional deficiencies. Children should have
access to basic tests that can quickly establish nutritional status rather
than having their knuckles perpetually rapped,' said Hill.
Hill came across Peter Bennett when she saw a QED documentary about his work
with young criminals in Yorkshire. They were assessed for nutritional
shortfalls and food allergies and put on individual programmes to address
their problems. Bennett was astonished by the changes he witnessed.
He stumbled upon the work of a number of nutritionists during a study
sabbatical at Oxford University. Disappointed that the force did not take
his findings more seriously, he quit his job and trained as a nutritionist.
He continues to get remarkable results from his patients. 'One child has
just been accepted back into mainstream school, which is significant
because, once you are excluded, you are usually excluded for good,' he said.
Other possible explanations for violent outbursts that Bennett has
investigated include blood sugar imbalances, often attributed to
over-reliance on refined sugar. He has studied the effect of fluctuating
blood sugar on women who have used the defence of PMT in murder trials. He
says that, a few days before menstruation, the release of female hormones
can wreak havoc with blood sugar.
'If women then eat something like a bar of chocolate or drink an alcoholic
drink, it will boost them up very rapidly, but then they go crash because
the blood sugar rush is quickly used up. This can provoke rage and violent
The problem is not confined to pre-menstrual women - teenagers of both sexes
weaned on junk food diets whose hormones are just kicking in are prime
candidates for hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). Swapping simple sugars for
more complex carbohydrates, such as bread, rice and pasta that don't spark
the same glucose rush, offers a solution.
Hill, whose charity offers support to children with ADHD (attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder) insists that many of their restless, agitated
symptoms can be traced back to the foods they have eaten, and not just
sugars and additives.
Her own daughter, Debbie, now 17, has suffered from ADHD since childhood and
was both disruptive and aggressive. Hill swiftly identified the foods that
knocked her off balance, which included apples and strawberries, and
introduced a raft of supplements including high doses of vitamin C, B6 and
zinc and essential fatty acids into her diet. She calmed down significantly.
Eat your way out of trouble
Zinc, found mainly in shellfish and green leafy vegetables, has a calming
effect on the central nervous system. Deficiencies are common after the
consumption of food and drinks containing tartrazine, a colouring known to
disturb behaviour in some youngsters.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are well-known mood regulators and are
especially calming for women with PMT. Their ability to balance hormones
makes them particularly useful for teenagers.
B6 (pyridoxine) is important for normal brain function and is found in
broccoli, lentils, bananas and nuts. Deficiency symptoms include hyper-
irritability, depression, fatigue and learning difficulties.
Calcium and magnesium are natural tranquillisers. They help to relieve
anxiety and nervousness, tantrums and depression and have been used to
combat aggression. They are found in dairy foods, fish and green leafy
B5 (pantothenic acid) is known as the anti-stress vitamin and is involved in
the production of neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate mood. It is
found in eggs, kidneys, mushrooms and pork.
· The Cactus Clinic can be contacted on 0131 555 4967.
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Re: Kids on drugs. Archive in brain chemistry

Posted by Sonja on February 25, 2003 at 05:33:31:

In Reply to: Kids on drugs. Archive in brain chemistry posted by Walt Stoll on February 24, 2003 at 13:17:39:

Finally! This has been my suspicion for a long time, too.

Recently, I have learned of a Norwegian nutritionist who claims that processed food and sugar are related to blind violence. (Incidentally, he is also engaged in the battle against the CODEX, and has co-operated with dr. Roth from Germany.) His name is Dag Viljen Poleszynski.

It is not the lack of information that is the problem today, but the lack of will to act upon the information. I have recently send the article about 'the miracle in Wisconsin' to all the major media in Norway, asking if it is not about the time that schools consider seriously what children are eating. Reaction? Nothing. Total apathy. - On the other hand, a guy called Fedon Lindbergh has become a millionaire selling a low-carbohydrate bread and a cake-mix. The low-carbohydrate diet he is advertising is definitely nothing new, but obviously it has to 1) be advertised in the magasines and explained in an extremely simplified way and 2) be connected to a range of products; if it can be bought, people will apply it.

Well. At least something is going on. That's better than total darkness.

All the best,

Excellent article

Posted by Martha on February 25, 2003 at 07:30:37:

In Reply to: Kids on drugs. Archive in brain chemistry posted by Walt Stoll on February 24, 2003 at 13:17:39:

This is a fascinating article worthy of printing out and showing to others.

I think the biggest problem is that parents feed their children horrible diets. Some don't know better and others don't care. It's a shame and ultimately, creates more problems for everyone down the road.

Thanks for posting it.


Re: Kids on drugs. Archive in brain chemistry (Archive.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on February 26, 2003 at 06:30:02:

In Reply to: Re: Kids on drugs. Archive in brain chemistry posted by Sonja on February 25, 2003 at 05:33:31:

Thanks, Sonja.

It really is the public's apathy, and their willingness to be lead around by their noses, that helps produce so much misery in our culture.



Follow Ups:

Re: Excellent article

Posted by Walt Stoll on February 26, 2003 at 06:34:09:

In Reply to: Excellent article posted by Martha on February 25, 2003 at 07:30:37:

Thanks, Martha, for caring.



Follow Ups:

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