ADHD – Look at Diet!

April 18, 2011 Diet/Insulin 2 Comments

Over 5 million children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States, and close to 3 million of those children take medication for their symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But a new study reported in The Lancet last month found that with a restricted diet alone, many children experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. The study’s lead author, Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Center in the Netherlands, said in an interviewwith NPR, “The teachers thought it was so strange that the diet would change the behavior of the child as thoroughly as they saw it. It was a miracle, the teachers said.”

Dr. Pessler’s study is the first to conclusively say that diet is implicated in ADHD. In the NPR interview, Dr. Pessler did not mince words, “Food is the main cause of ADHD,” she said adding, “After the diet, they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums.” The study found that in 64 percent of children with ADHD, the symptoms were caused by food. “It’s a hypersensitivity reaction to food,” Pessler said.

This is good news for parents and children who would like to avoid many of the adverse side effects associated with common stimulant drugs, like Ritalin, used to treat ADHD — and bad news for the pharmaceutical industry. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that common side effects from the drugs are sleeplessness (for which a doctor might also prescribe sleeping pills), headaches, stomachaches, decreased appetite, and a long list of much more frightening (yet rarer) side effects, including feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless, and new or worsening depression. But Pessler’s study indicates that up to two-thirds — or 2 of the 3 million children currently medicated for ADHD — may not need medication at all. “With all children, we should start with diet research,” Pessler said.

Walking is the best exercise

Walking and Cardiovascular Health

A study reported in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports (2008; 18: 736-741)investigated the independent effect of walking on two markers of cardiovascular health. The researchers are M. Hamer and A. Steptoe, both from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK.

It has been suggested that walking may have unique positive effects on inflammation and hemostasis, both markers of cardiovascular health. Inflammation is a central factor in atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries; see http://www.cbass.com/Inflammation.htm . Hemostasis refers to blood thickness (flow/sluggishness) and is also an important factor in atherosclerosis. With both markers, less is better.

The aim of the Hamer-Steptoe study was to examine the impact of walking on inflammation and hemostasis, separate and apart from vigorous physical activity.

The researchers recruited 185 healthy volunteers, 107 men and 78 women, age 45 to 59. The participants were asked how many minutes they walk each week and how often they engage in vigorous activities, such as running, that makes them feel out of breath.  The researchers also took blood samples and analyzed them for markers of inflammation and hemostasis.

Walking 30 minutes or more a day was found to be significantly associated with lower inflammation and hemostatic markers. Vigorous activity was associated with lower levels of hemostatic markers, but not lower inflammatory markers.

Walking appeared to lowered both markers, with the positive effect on inflammation being unique. Walking lowered inflammation, but vigorous exercise did not. Both walking and vigorous exercise improve blood flow.

Assuming that the association is causal, the researcher estimated that “meaningful reductions in levels of hemostatic and inflammatory markers could be achieved by walking 30 min/day.”

They concluded that “regular walking is associated with lower levels of hemostatic and inflammatory markers, independent of vigorous physical activity.” In other words, walking does the job with or without vigorous exercise. We know, of course, that intervals and other forms of vigorous exercise have many other benefits; see Short, Hard Intervals Improve Insulin Action.

(Vigorous exercise increases inflammation, at least temporarily. As explained in my book Challenge Yourself, inflammation is part of the normal healing process. Walking, it would seem, helps to moderate the inflammation caused by vigorous exercise. The two forms of exercise apparently complement one another. They might even be termed a dynamic duo.)

Bottom line: Those who engage in vigorous exercise–especially those who train only once a week–would be well advised to walk or engage in some other form of moderate physical activities on most intervening days. I’m going to keep walking or staying active in other ways between workouts. I’m also going to make it a point to get up and move around periodically when working at my desk or the computer.

No wonder having a dog helps us – not only emotionally but all the walking!

So much of the conventional wisdom is now looking wrong.

Activity is the key not exercise as we know it. All the food advice is wrong too. Fat does not make you fat – Grains do.

I was in Toronto last week and broke my diet. I had 2 Pizzas – I just could not resist. I also had a beef pie at a dinner – I don’t want to be the guest who fusses.

The result – I felt like I was going to die and I put back 6 pounds in 5 days!

Back on track now – lost 2 pounds in 2 days – it’s the grains folks. If you have not been off them – you don’t know the difference and canot feel the change.

But of course all the money is in selling you grains

Sitting a lot is very very bad for us

 

Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.

That’s right—I said 54 percent!

Masters immediately called the lead researcher at Pennington, a professor named Peter Katzmarzyk. Turns out, this wasn’t the first study to link sitting and heart disease. Similar research actually dates back to 1953, when British researchers found that (sitting) bus drivers were twice as likely to die of heart attacks as (standing) trolley operators.

Here’s the most surprising part: “We see it in people who smoke and people who don’t,” Katzmarzyk told Masters. “We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. If you sit most of the day, your risk of leaving this world clutching your chest—whether you’re a man or women—as much as doubles.

This raised a rather obvious question: Why? Truth is, the researchers aren’t sure. But Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., one of Katzmarkzyk’s colleagues, suspects it has to do with an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which breaks down fat in the bloodstream and turns it into energy. Hamilton found that standing rats have ten times more of the stuff coursing through their bodies than laying rats. It doesn’t matter how fit the rats are; when they leave their feet, their LPL levels plummet. Hamilton believes the same happens in humans.

Run all you want but if you sit for the rest of the day….. Here is what can happen to you

Please read the rest of this article – it may save your life!

I am off to set up my standing desk. “Australian researchers found that workers who log more than 6 hours of seat time a day are up to 68 percent more likely to be overweight. A standup desk may be the answer. Make sure the screen is at arm’s length, and the top at eye level. Position the keyboard so your elbows are bent 90 degrees.”

Yes more exercise is good but this is more important.

But we have always sat you say. Think about this for a minute. 500 years ago only Kings sat in a chair. Even today billions still squat or sit on a bench. stool or log. Comfy chairs are a 20th century item.

 

How much sleep do you need?

Americans sleep

Most Americans as you can see sleep less than 8 hours a night – many a lot less. How about you?

Are you OK if you do sleep less than 8 hours a night? The quick answer is no you are not. Here is the research:-

Every two hours during the day, the researchers tested the subjects’ ability to sustain attention with what’s known as the psychomotor vigilance task, or P.V.T., considered a gold standard of sleepiness measures. During the P.V.T., the men and women sat in front of computer screens for 10-minute periods, pressing the space bar as soon as they saw a flash of numbers at random intervals. Even a half-second response delay suggests a lapse into sleepiness, known as a microsleep.

The P.V.T. is tedious but simple if you’ve been sleeping well. It measures the sustained attention that is vital for pilots, truck drivers, astronauts. Attention is also key for focusing during long meetings; for reading a paragraph just once, instead of five times; for driving a car. It takes the equivalent of only a two-second lapse for a driver to veer into oncoming traffic.

Not surprisingly, those who had eight hours of sleep hardly had any attention lapses and no cognitive declines over the 14 days of the study. What was interesting was that those in the four- and six-hour groups had P.V.T. results that declined steadily with almost each passing day. Though the four-hour subjects performed far worse, the six-hour group also consistently fell off-task. By the sixth day, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at the computer. And at the end of the study, they were lapsing fives times as much as they did the first day.

The six-hour subjects fared no better — steadily declining over the two weeks — on a test of working memory in which they had to remember numbers and symbols and substitute one for the other. The same was true for an addition-subtraction task that measures speed and accuracy. All told, by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.

So what can you do? Well first of all – know that you have a problem. Secondly here are some tips for a better night’s sleep.

In May I will be launching my project on how we can all take back control of our health. Sleep is of course a major part of this. For sleep is more than rest. It heals us and also is an active part of our cognitive and learning process. How often have you had a problem that you could not solve and yet woke up one morning with it solved?

Sleep is part of the 3 part continuum of of ideal settings for a healthy life.

  1. Diet – eat what we are evolved to eat
  2. Social – live in social settings and have the kinds of relationships that we are evolved to do best in
  3. Natural Environment – live as we are designed to be – this includes align with our circadian nature (this is where the right kind of sleep is key) and also be Active (exercise is not enoughy – we have to design our lives to moce around a lot – why I have a standing desk now)

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Comments

  • Caroline Cooper: Hi Rob, Nice to see you're writing again. I have been thi...
  • Patrick Meadows: People, can and have lived solely on meat. Eskimos go months...
  • ike: Maybe you veggies need to eat meat so your brains can develo...
  • robpatrob: Of course - but we are talking much more recently here about...
  • Rob: "I come from Northern European stock. My genes are the most ...
  • Gemma: Don't forget regular exercise! Prevention is better than cur...
  • Daniel: Nothing can live on just meat. Carnivores such as cats and s...
  • robert: Your retarded, so why is it most vegans need pills as vitami...
  • Dario McNut: It is true that erectile dysfunction can be associated with ...
  • robpatrob: Google Richard Wrangham - His book is on Amazon - much more ...
  • A Question: Thanks for this video! Half of the urban women who had a raw...
  • robpatrob: Great questions - thanks. Just as 300 years ago a few misfi...
  • Garfield: I really like the parallels too...I live like this also. Twe...
  • nj: Rob, check out the chart here for a broader perspective on a...
  • robpatrob: Not what was said...

What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

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