ADHD is a challenging condition for all concerned; the sufferers, families, teachers and classmates/coworkers. Now a Danish study has tracked almost two million people over a period of thirty two years. They expected to find an increased risk of premature death with ADHD, but the degree of increased risk was surprising.
Dr Soren Daalsgard MD, PhD and his team from the National Center for Register Based Research at Aarhus University compared the premature death rates of the thirty two thousand and sixty one diagnosed ADHD members to the remaining control group with no ADHD diagnosis. After adjusting for a broad range of factors including employment status and family history of psychiatric disorders, the death rate was more than twice that of the control group; with women and girls experiencing the highest increased risk.
Fortunately, although the percentage increase was high, the absolute numbers of premature deaths were not catastrophic. However, premature death is simply the most drastic of a broad range of challenges faced by those with ADHD.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that eleven percent of children age four to seventeen suffer ADHD or ADD with steadily rising rates of incidence. Humans’ basic genetic makeup does not change quickly, so the increase in incidence must be related to environmental factors and their effects on the epigenetic system. The indications are that these factors are occurring both before and after birth.
It was once believed that genes were a blueprint which controlled how humans formed and developed. We now know that’s far form the entire picture. Genes are much more like dimmer switches. How gene activity or expression is turned up, down or off is greatly influenced by an enormous number of factors. Genes to a certain extent cause predispositions, but our environment in all its aspects determines whether and to what degree these susceptibilities show themselves as physical, mental or emotional challenges; including the occurrence and severity of ADHD.
This ongoing increase in the number of cases of ADD/ADHD mirrors that seen in autism, asthma, anxiety, depression, IBS and a number of other conditions. Again, since genetics simply don’t change that quickly, there must be significant environmental factors at play and modifying these factors should have measurable effects for good or for ill.
A recent study indicates negative epigenetic effects very clearly. Pregnant women exposed to higher levels of PAHs such as are produced in diesel exhaust had five time the risk of a child showing ADHD symptoms at age nine. At the other end of the spectrum are studies showing measurable and substantial benefits from something as simple as spending thirty minutes in natural green spaces such as parks or forests or exercising before classes start.
The good news is that although negative factors can harm epigenetic responses, positive factors and influences can substantially help.
A funded (no cost) non-drug sophisticated Nutrient/enzyme/pre-probiotic Protocol has been made available to children and adults with ADHD or ADD. In return for completing simple symptom charts and doing a brief toll free phone call weekly, participants receive all nutrients, live plant enzymes and pre/probiotics for at least four weeks at no cost or further obligation. With permission, weekly data and notes are sent to participant’s healthcare professionals; creating a team approach to ensure optimal outcomes and care.
Data from an open label ADD/ADHD initial study indicated how profound the effects of improving nutrient status could be. EvinceNaturals provided a sophisticated nutrient formula known as Equilib; made up of amino acids, amino acid chelated minerals, plant nutrients and vitamins in highly bio available forms and appropriate dosing and ratios.
Of the initial forty eight children, forty two showed substantial symptom reductions, two showed no benefit and four did worse and discontinued. Of those who were using psychotherapeutic medications, seventeen were able under the guidance of their physicians to reduce or eliminate their medications.
With costs covered by EvinceNaturals, The next phase of this program is now funded for children and adults with ADD or ADHD. As the knowledge base in the research community continues to grow, so too has the Equilib Protocol evolved. Nearly half the population has one or two copies of a common genetic mutation which makes it difficult to transform folic acid into the methyl folate the body requires, the current Equilib Nutrient/enzyme Protocol now uses methyl folate to compensate for that. vitamin B12 too is affected by the same genes and has been changed from the common cyanocobalamin found in most multivitamins to methylcobalamin. In addition, based in part on results from the autism open label study, DigestPlus Live Plant digestive enzymes and Healthy Bowel Support – a powerful very broad spectrum pre and probiotic – have been added.
Earlier data on the effects tracked in those with autism spectrum were presented as a poster by Professor Hendren and his team from the MIND Institute at the IMFAR Conference in Montreal in 2006. Interestingly, both the ADD/ADHD and autism spectrum participants frequently experienced significant digestive and sleep issues prior to starting the program. Participants or their caregivers reported that in most cases, these normalized in concert with the ADD or autism symptom reductions.
The Equilib Protocol in not a drug. It does not cure or treat diseases. Therefor the only hypothesis that fits the reported effects is as follows: When the body drops below a critical level of any of the building blocks needed to properly create the hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes etc. which control all bodily functions, things start to go wrong. If the body cannot access enough of any of these building blocks, by definition it must supply less of, or altered self-regulatory compounds. The body is skilled at excreting nutrients it doesn’t require and does this with every meal. It cannot however make something from nothing.
As an open label program, those who participate will receive a minimum four week supply of Equilib and DigestPlus enzymes along with Healthy Bowel Support a very broad spectrum probiotic which includes twenty five organic plant based prebiotics to help the beneficial bacteria become established. All participants will receive the active ingredients, i.e. no placebos will be supplied.
EvinceNaturals takes a team approach to caring for participants and encourages them to give permission for their ongoing information to be sent to their existing healthcare team. If currently taking psychotherapeutic medications, this is required so that physicians may comfortably manage medication dosing levels according to symptom responses. All participants will fill in a five item symptom chart with ratings from zero for not at all to three for very much. These are called in toll free each week which only takes a minute.
Yours in good mental health.
David E P Gilbert
The above statements are not intended as medical advice and have not been approved by the FDA. As always, consult with your trusted healthcare providers and/or pharmacist before starting any new program
Søren Dalsgaard, Søren Dinesen Østergaard, James F Leckman, Preben Bo Mortensen, Marianne Giørtz Pedersen
Published online: February 25, 2015
Perera FP, Chang H-w, Tang D, Roen EL, Herbstman J, et al. (2014) Early-Life Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and ADHD Behavior Problems. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111670. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111670
AF Taylor, FE Kuo, WC Sullivan – Environment and Behavior, 2001 – eab.sagepub.com
J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2009 Jul;50(7):780-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.02033.x. Epub 2009 Jan 12.