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Supplementation in ADD/ADHD Children & Adults

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“While it has shown stabilization in a subset of ADD/ADHD patients, medication may not always be necessary,” says Andrea McCreery, president of Life Sources, Inc. in Fair Oaks, California. “In the current medical culture of ‘prescribe first, ask questions later,’ it is becoming more difficult to discern the difference between a child with vibrant ambitions or passions who fidgets or has trouble paying attention in class, and a true ADD/ADHD case.” Undoubtedly, there are times when uses of such medications are deemed appropriate, and when necessary, use of these drugs should be encouraged. However, as the latest genetic and molecular research steadily uncovers the intricate secrets of Mother Nature, more people are beginning to discover that with supplementation and nutritional intervention they can achieve desired results in a child or adult ADD/ADHD patient.

Common symptoms of ADD/ADHD may include:

  • failing to give close attention to details or making careless mistakes
  • short attention span and difficulty focusing attention on immediate tasks
  • appearing not to listen when spoken to directly
  • failing to follow instructions carefully and completely
  • losing or forgetting important things, information and concepts
  • extreme restlessness or fidgeting
  • excessive talking, giving answers before hearing the whole question, or making irrationally impulsive decisions

At the Life Sources Clinic, children and adults who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD receive nurturing, specialized and individualized attention—and on many occasions this attention has led to some amazing results.

Life Sources’ president Andrea McCreery, Ph.D., is an expert in the field of vital hematology, the microscopic, real-time observation of living blood cells. Dr. McCreery has a long list of private and contract clients, and once handled the vital hematology cases for the former Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City. With the modern technology of high-resolution optics and threedimensional video imaging, and by utilizing a unique approach known as “Targeted Nutritional Intervention,” Dr. McCreery is able to study and evaluate the shape, structure and overall condition of the many types of cells contained in one drop of living blood, and the plasma can be carefully analyzed for clots, fibrin formation, parasites, fungus and bacteria. Vital hematology serves as a vehicle to observe previously unseen risk factors, often before disorders are diagnosed through standard laboratory blood tests. Since every human body is different, each nutritional protocol Dr. McCreery recommends to her clients through her ongoing research in vital hematology analysis is specific to the individual’s nutritional needs.

Theories regarding the cause of ADD/ADHD are both wide-reaching and contentious. “The bottom line is that there have been some studies which suggest a genetic predisposition, but beyond that, there have been few definitive studies of possible triggers that would start the disease process in motion, such as environmental or microbiological agents. However, a mounting body of evidence is pointing to a correlation between systemic bacterial infections, specifically mycoplasmas, a cell wall-deficient (CWD) species, and problems in childhood cognitive, behavioral and neurophysiologic development,” says Dr. McCreery. Various species of mycoplasmas have been implicated in everything from childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia to neurological demyelination and limb paralysis, and now their effects are being studied in ADD/ADHD children at the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Huntington Beach, California. “Dr. Garth Nicolson at the IMM began a study over four years ago on the role mycoplasmas play in ADD/ADHD patients and while results of their study won’t be known for a few more years, I believe mainstream medicine will be paying close attention,” says Dr. McCreery. But for those patients seeking options now, there is evidence that ADD/ADHD patients can better cope with their symptoms by using two very powerful nutritional supplements: oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) and silver hydrosol. Both are used as core supplements in Life Sources’ ADD/ADHD protocols.

Two of the most essential items in Life Sources’ core of foundational supplements are the OPC-165™ product, a highly specialized class of bioflavonoid that belongs to a group known as “superantioxidants,” and Sovereign Silver™, a true silver hydrosol. As the name suggests, super-antioxidants are the next generation of weapon in the war against the biochemical process of oxidation, which has been implicated in everything from premature wrinkles to DNA damage, and from chronic illness to heart disease. But of these super-antioxidant complexes, one compound in particular stands far and above the rest: the oligomeric proanthocyanidin, or OPC, a highly refined natural chemical derived from the seeds of grapes. Because of its structure, one OPC molecule can neutralize several free radicals at once, while each molecule of vitamins C and E can handle only one at a time. Quantitatively, one OPC molecule is approximately 20 times more powerful than vitamin C, and a whopping 50 times more potent than vitamin E.

Silver is one of the most ubiquitous and well-understood antimicrobial agents in health care today, with volumes of scientific literature supporting its use in patients with chronic illness. In addition, silver is being utilized as an infection-control agent in hospital catheters, bone pastes and wound dressings for burn victims. In fact, silver has been shown to also have antifungal properties. However, Dr. McCreery recommends only one brand of colloidal silver. “Not all colloidal silver products are created equal, and Sovereign Silver, made by Natural Immunogenics, is really the one true silver hydrosol on the market today. There are plenty of colloidal silver products out there, but I implore people to research a product’s claims and the science behind it before they put it into their bodies. I’ve seen what low-quality colloidal silver products can do to blood and because of this, I recommend Sovereign Silver exclusively because of its safety, dispersion and manufacturing standards. It’s an integral part of my ADD/ADHD clients’ protocols.” Sovereign Silver features the smallest average particle size ever measured by electron microphotography in a silver hydrosol solution, a stunning 0.8 nanometers, or 8 angstroms. And when it comes to silver, smaller is better. Due to their extremely small particle size, the silver particles are highly charged, have a high surface area and thus are far more available and capable of penetrating into tissue than low-quality colloidal silver products.

Dr. McCreery has observed a synergistic effect between the OPC-165™ and Sovereign Silver products when used together. “From a purely subjective standpoint, my ADD/ADHD clients are reporting positive results that occur much more quickly when using OPC- 165 and Sovereign Silver together than when using other types of nutritional supplements,” she says. “Each has its own diverse functions, but for reasons that aren’t fully understood, their interactions strongly complement each other. My clients feel it and their blood usually shows it. In fact, the antioxidant action of OPC-165™ can often be observed in a matter of minutes as opposed to days or weeks.”

Scientific studies have validated the effectiveness of OPCs in everything from protecting heart tissue against dangerous inflammation during reperfusion (the action involved when blood flow returns to the tissue following a heart attack), to being a cancer chemopreventive, to its use in a post-surgical application to shorten recovery time by reducing edema.

Use of OPCs for ADD/ADHD has not yet been widely studied, but a preliminary study by Marion Sigurdson, Ph.D., a psychologist in Tulsa, Oklahoma who specializes in ADD cases, has found startling benefits in ADD/ADHD patients taking OPCs. Dr. Sigurdson found that the OPC complex worked nearly equally as well as the commonly prescribed amphetamine-derived medications, including Ritalin® and Adderall®, on 30 children and adults diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

The subjects were given a battery of computerized and behavioral tests to derive a score for attention, concentration and cognition when they were off their usual medications, taking their usual medications, or taking OPCs alone. When they were off their medications, their ADD scores deteriorated (symptoms worsened). On medication, their symptoms improved as expected. But when the subjects took daily doses of the OPC mixture, their behavioral, concentration and cognition scores were nearly identical to those as when they were taking their usual amphetamine drugs. As a side benefit, the subjects reported normalized heart rate (tachycardia was common during medication usage), disappearance of tendonitis, decreased acne, improved sleep and overall mood and sense of well-being.

Many patients and researchers are astounded over how such a unique combination of super-antioxidants has such a profound influence upon the brain.

According to some very recent studies, there we may be getting closer to understanding the mechanisms of action of OPCs. One fascinating possibility of how OPCs might affect brain cells, as shown by studies on cell cultures, is by regulating enzymes that help control two crucial neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals that carry messages among brain cells which are involved in “excitatory” responses. Another recent finding is that OPC compounds may help in delivering nutrients such as zinc, manganese, selenium and copper to the brain, which is helpful in cases of diagnosed ADHD. Additionally, the OPC molecule’s remarkable radical-scavenging effect (RSE) may assist in the repair and creation of brain cells by exerting a protective effect against the damage of free radicals in brain lipid peroxidation.

“Research continues and yet no one really knows much about ADD/ADHD, its causes or its long-term prognosis,” says McCreery. “With our vital hematology approach, we are able to witness excessive free-radical damage or microbiological activity that suggests other mechanisms may be at work. Regardless of the cause, our OPC-165™ product, in combination with Sovereign Silver, has shown to benefit a large portion of our ADD/ADHD clients.”

Following are case histories of actual Life Sources clients who were recommended individualized protocols utilizing OPC-165™ and Sovereign Silver as the core supplements.

Case History #1 – Jeanne

Jeanne, a college professor, visited the Life Sources clinic in October 2003 complaining that her teaching was becoming more demanding even though her schedule hadn’t changed in ten years. Extreme fatigue and lapses of memory had become obstacles for Jeanne, not only in her profession, but also in her personal life. And at age 48, she had begun to blame it on “old age.” “I saw four doctors in three months, one of which told me my symptoms were completely normal for menopausal women of my age. This was really amusing to both of us after I told the doctor I’d had a complete hysterectomy 12 years ago,” Jeanne says. “Finally, the last doctor I saw told me I had ADHD and I needed medication immediately.” Like many patients, Jeanne expressed disbelief over a diagnosis of ADHD and pressure to be medicated. “I’ve seen what these medications can do to suck the life out of people—I’ve had kids in my classes who sat there like zombies because they were ‘Ritalin kids.’ When I asked my doctor how medication could affect me, both positively and negatively, he just said ‘Don’t worry about it—start with a low dose and see where things go.’ I told him I had a life and a career and I wasn’t willing to take that chance.”

Jeanne’s blood cells showed severe and pervasive free-radical damage, “complete decimation, hardly a normal red blood cell anywhere in the visual field,” recalls Dr. McCreery.

Jeanne received some common-sense advice from Dr. McCreery: “I told her to not be afraid to live her life, to go on and not look for daily improvement—it takes the human body a long time to become this ill, and often at least an equal amount of time is necessary for it to naturally repair itself.”

On the 30-day follow-up appointment, Jeanne described dramatic improvement in stamina, memory and cognition. “Even to the untrained eye looking at the video monitor of my blood, it was obvious my cells were getting better. To be honest, I didn’t put a lot of hope in nutritional therapy, but I was shocked, just absolutely amazed.” Dr. McCreery explains it this way: “We’re not trying to cure diseases here; we’re recommending scientifically proven nutritional supplements and letting the body do the rest. These patients need to know that there is no magic bullet and that this is a long-term commitment to change their diets, habits and lifestyles. Improvement on the cellular level always and without exception equates to improvement in a client’s quality of life.”

Case History #2 – Lucas

A mother contacted Life Sources in February 2004 regarding her son, Lucas. In a highly emotional conversation, Lucas’s mother voiced her concerns about the possible side effects of ADD medications and detailed his transformation from a normal, healthy boy into an underachieving, sugar-craving, hyperactive, emotionally volatile and chronically ill child. Most disconcertingly for his mother, however, were the two independent diagnoses of ADD. In the words of Dr. McCreery: “On the first visit, Lucas presented with severe pallor and dark circles under his eyes. Most notable was his extreme restlessness and his unwillingness (or inability) to follow instructions from his exasperated mother. When analyzing Lucas’s blood, I observed evidence of mycoplasmal and fungal involvement and unusually severe free-radical damage. This is a pattern I’ve observed that is fairly unique to ADD/ADHD-diagnosed individuals.” After beginning his individualized protocol, noticeable improvement didn’t take long. “It’s been nine weeks since our last visit to Life Sources, and I’m seeing real progress every day,” says Lucas’s mother. “He’s not the disciplinary problem he was three months ago and he’s interested in life again. The real Lucas is coming back.”