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Jeremy E. Kaslow, MD, FACP, FACAAI Physician and Surgeon Board Certified Internal Medicine
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a news story reported by the Europe Intelligence Wire, scientists say they have
discovered that food supplements can dramatically improve the condition of
children suffering from developmental disorders. Now supplements are to be
given to children to try to tackle a range of disorders, including dyspraxia (poor fine motor skills like penmanship),
hyper-activity and autism.
a meeting at TrevelyanCollege, at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, unpublished
evidence was presented that food supplements dramatically improve the behavior
and concentration of children with developmental difficulties. Conditions
including dyspraxia, or "clumsy child
syndrome," can cause devastating problems for youngsters as they grow,
damaging their education and often resulting in social exclusion.
now believe that a significant proportion of the approximately 5% of the
population who suffer from developmental disorders are missing vital elements
in their diet. It is believed the general switch from breastfeeding and away
from fresh food, fish, fruit and vegetable to more processed foods containing
preservatives is making the trend worse. While about 80% of children in the
affected group will respond to a program of therapy, 20% do not appear to benefit.
papers were presented at the conference organized by the Dyspraxia
Foundation of Great Britain,
experts believe that they may be able to treat this group by giving them fatty
acids containing omega-3 and omega-6 oils. Dr Madeleine Portwood,
who chairs the educational committee of the Dyspraxia
Foundation and is a senior educational psychologist at Durham, studied more than 600 children and
adults with developmental problems. She found 18% had feeding difficulties or
food intolerance. Delegates at the meeting heard that a small group of children
in Oxford had
made dramatic improvements within three months of being given food supplements
containing omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
Dr Portwood plans to test the food supplement theory on CountyDurham
children referred to her by school visitors, community nurses and
parents." It does look as if it is going to be dietary supplements that
will make a difference to these children," she said.
duplicates the experience we have had in our office. The supplementation of
fatty acids, however, needs to be individualized as an imbalance between
omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids could be made worse by giving the wrong oil.
The result is a worsening of behavior typically within a few days - weeks of
supplementation. With regards to the 20% that appear to "not respond"
are probably those with either food allergies, heavy
metals, another type of nutritional imbalance, or an immune-problem such as a
vaccine-related event. These are the children that warrant more in depth
laboratory evaluationů Dr. K