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Biomedical and Nutrition Therapy Resources
Notes from Conference on Nutrition Therapy for ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders: by Elizabeth Strickland, MS,RD,LD www.ASDpuzzle.com
Healthy eating and nutrition is essential to normal brain function!
Neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) are traveling to the next brain cell sending the message triggering the next behavior or motor output.
Amino acids make up the NTs and come from protein, which comes from foods we eat.
Co-factors also needed (vitamins and minerals).
Myelin sheath also fed by essential fatty acids.
30-50% of calories eaten are used in the brain alone...
There are no quick cures. Nutrition helps to maximize brain function, so that therapy can be maximized!
Nutrition Interventions may include from a trained biomedical doctor or clinical nutritionist:
1. Basic Daily Supplements: every day they need multivitamin and minerals these are ESSENTIAL
2. Essential Fatty Acids: Omega 3 and ALA, DHA therapy
3. Special Diets- GAPS most common
Statistics in America: only 1% of children's diet met all dietary requirements set by the US government standards.
If a child is obese, they can still be and usually are malnourished!
Children with autism, learning difficulties, poor coordination, delays, and ADHD all have nutritional deficiencies linked to these disorders or highly sensitive gut issues.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: extensive studies have been done on these and they are ESSENTIAL!
Neurodevelopmental Disorders and EFA's: numerous studies indicate that Omega-3 fatty acids are deficient in ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia (poor muscle coordination and speech). Abnormalities in fatty acid metabolism may account for many features common in these conditions.
Functions of EFA (Omega-3):
- Brain development of the fetus, infant, and young child through life
- Maintenance of normal brain function
- Vital for brain cell signaling
- Prominent structural fatty acid in the gray matter of the brain and retinal tissue
- Very important for visual processing (DHA often deficient in reading disabilities)
PROBIOTICS: these are very beneficial, research is very supportive of PROBIOTICS. The gut must be healthy for a child to be healthy. The gut is the first brain telling the cortical brain what neuro-transmitters to release.
Essential fatty acids: decrease inflammation in the GI track and the whole body!
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