Feeding Your Child's Brain --- Surprising Research helps students
by Janice Morris, Director
I recently attended one of the most eye-opening seminars of my educational career. A local organization of parents, whose children have struggled with behavioral and learning challenges, "A Few Steps Ahead" sponsored this wonderful event.
The entertaining and yet well-informed speaker was Mrs. Diane Croft, from the Colorado Springs area. She holds both a BA and an MA in Special Education as well as a certification in Nutritional Therapy.
In addition to well-developed material on the re-patterning of damaged or "broken" synapses in the brain, Mrs. Croft shared some tools to establish the mid-line for cross- dominant children.
The most fascinating part came as Mrs. Croft shared her expertise regarding the nutritional causes of serotonin depletion in the brain. Based on Dr. Michael Gershon's book The Second Brain, what was new to me was that 95% of serotonin (a feel-good neuro-transmitter) is created in the "gut" or intestinal tract. It is formed in the same area where the "good" bacteria are intended to balance the yeast production in our systems. She stated that when various factors allow the overgrowth of yeast in the system, a damaging depletion of serotonin and magnesium is created. This can result in angry, depressed or obsessive responses and can also affect the ability of a child to transition from one activity to another. Because of its affect on the connection between brain hemispheres, this serotonin depletion can severely affect learning and attention.
Some of the most common factors that allow this damaging overproduction of yeast in the gut are:
- high gluten (carbohydrate and sugar) content in the diet
- frequent use of antibiotics in childhood (killing the good bacteria that keeps yeast under control
- Mother's use of antibiotics during pregnancy
- Use of steroids (frequently used indiscriminately for breathing disorders.)
- Certain childhood vaccines (see Dr. Jacqueline McCandless' book, Children with Starving Brains.)
Many wonderful success stories of parents who had successfully used nutritional changes to bring healing to struggling children inspired all who were there.
For more information on this and other non-drug help for your struggling (and often gifted children) please contact Liz or Warren Shimada at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can give you information about regular support group meetings in the Saratoga/Los Gatos area.
Last Modified: 2009.11.26T21:37:48
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