Can Mineral Deficiencies Lead to Behavioral Problems in Children?

A while ago I received this story from David in England, who wrote:

I am following your work with great interest as I am trying to get more information about the subject of ADD / ADHD for a friend of mine who was put in charge of such a child at school. She was given no training for this work nor was she given any backup. She was relieved to find that she was not the only one with this problem!

Although the child has finally been moved to another specialized school, it is likely that she will meet the problem again and so I am forwarding any relevant information to her that I can find.

Best regards, and carry on the good work,

David


Attached was a story from the Sunday Times of London, dated July, 1997. The headline read, "Zinc Diet Reduces Violence in Youths" written by Steve Connor,a Science Correspondent. Mr. Connor had some interesting information to report on a possible link between certain mineral levels and antisocial behavior in children and teenagers. He wroth, "Scientists have discovered a link between violent behaviour and a chemical imbalance in the body that can be treated by diet. It raises the possibility of treating antisocial individuals with special nutrition." For more information on nutrition and behavior visit the ADHD LIbrary.

The story reported that a study on 135 males between the ages of 3 years old and 20 years old, each with a history of violence, has found that such individuals are much more likely to have high levels of copper and low levels of zinc compared with non-violent people. "Scientists believe such minerals influence behaviour because the body uses them to make chemical transmitters in the brain." The article refered to the work of Dr. William Walsh of the Health Research Institute in Naperville, Illinois.

Then the article went on to report, "preliminary experiments have shown that altering the diet of violent males can improve their behavior... It usually takes two to three months to overcome the copper-zinc imbalance. Copper and zinc tend to be concentrated in the hippocampus of the brain and the hippocampus is known to be associated with stress control."

Another study by Dr. Neil Ward, a senior lecturer in analytical chemistry at Surrey University, looked at Zinc deficiencies in juvenile offenders. "We think that it is a direct result of exposure to heavy metal toxins such as cadmium and lead which prevent the absorption of zinc. The people we studied had a poor diet with excessive amounts of sugar and alcohol, which is also known to reduce zinc absorption," Ward said.

A question to consider: How would your children ever be exposed to high levels of heavy metals like cadmiun or lead?

The most common way would be if you smoke in the house. Smoke from cigarettes has high levels of cadmium. I have tested several children in my practice for heavy metals exposure, and each one from the home of a parent that smokes had high levels of cadmium. High lead exposure is uncommon in the western United States, but is more common in older neighborhoods of the mid-west and the eastern United States where homes were often painted with lead based paints in the recent past.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

In The News:

Live: Nurtured Heart Parenting Course  COLlive - Chabad News
Conscious Parenting  Citizen Times
Parenting During A Pandemic  Georgia State University News
Parenting Pandemic Style  PsychCentral.com
Parenting lessons from cats  The New Indian Express

Child Abuse - Survey & Comments

Beyond cases reported to authorities, little knowledge exists on the... Read More

Five Easy Steps to Picking the Perfect Baby Name

One of the few decisions you'll make during pregnancy that... Read More

Public Schools Can Waste 12 Years of Your Child?s Life

For over fifty years, public-school officials and politicians have tried... Read More

Potty Training Battle of the Wills

Some children practically potty train themselves, while others struggle and... Read More

Road Trip with Kids

Boredom, limited space and overflowing energy are a source of... Read More

Math Facts - Try Some Fun Ways to Learn Them

Memorizing math facts is a necessary part of elementary school.... Read More

Three Sure-Fire Ways to Teach Your Child About Safety

Levels of SafetyBy teaching our children there are different levels... Read More

Saying No To Our Children

Saying no to our children is not always easy or... Read More

Refresher Course on Diapering for Dads

It's among the top criticism wives have of their husbands:... Read More

Help! My Kids Dont Listen to Me

Does this sound familiar? Have your kids not listened to... Read More

Time To Connect With Your Teen

While on a recent trip to the grocery store, I... Read More

Discipline Without Damage

If your parenting methods include abuse of any kind; physical,... Read More

What is Incest?

Incest is sexual activity, ranging from fondling to intercourse, between... Read More

Spanking Children

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Results of the Spanking Poll on Rexanne.com: Voters - 233Percentage... Read More

Parental Involvement in Learning

Whether children attend public or private schools, they benefit when... Read More

Working Moms: Too Busy for Your Children?

17 Quick Ways to Strengthen the Bonds of LoveOn Mother's... Read More

Single Parents: Give Yourselves Credit

Single parents are not often thought of as good parents.I... Read More

Build Character with this Delicious Triple A Recipe!

Vinegar or honey, what do kids really want? "Toys, candy,... Read More

Power Foods for a Powerful School Lunch

There isn't a school day that goes by that I... Read More

Top 10 Things To Never Believe From Your Teenager

1) It's not my (pot, beer, cigarettes, etc.), I'm just... Read More

Super Nanny - A Users Guide to Watching Super Nanny

There are many things to like about the television show... Read More

Watch Your Language! - How Parents Can Help Kids Help Themselves

'I felt great until I walked into the classroom -... Read More

Poker Parenting: 4 Ways Poker Skills Produce Parenting Thrills

Even as a busy parent, I'm sure you've seen a... Read More

Is There Any Real Use For A Fun Quiz?

Q. I don't like my children spending so much time... Read More

What You Can Learn About Life From Your Children

You can learn a lot from children.The best part of... Read More