Zinc and ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder)

June 08, 2004

This study included 400 children diagnosed with ADHD. The children were given 40mg of zinc each day, or placebo for 12 weeks. The children were evaluated periodically for symptoms common to ADHD using scales for attention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and socialization skills. At the 4-week interval the children given zinc had significant improvement over children given placebo in scores of hyperactivity, impaired socialization and impulsiveness. At 12 weeks they had improved even further versus the placebo group. The study appears in the May issue of Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

There is a need for good nutrition in children with ADHD. Recent research has shown that food additives such as benzoates trigger hyperactivity in all children, and they will certainly irritate the condition in children with ADHD (although they probably do not cause the condition they certainly add to a sufferers misery on a day to day basis). Conversely, a number of nutrients aid children and possibly adults with ADHD. Nutrients other than zinc that have proved valuable include L-Carnitine, DHA, and GLA. I would also suggest using L-Carnosine and small servings of L-Theanine in these children. Interestingly, a recent study shows that zinc supplementation helps improve the effectiveness of antidepressant therapy in patients with severe depression.

Lycopene and Cancer of the Mouth

Leukoplakia is a precancerous condition seen in the mouth. It can eventually turn into cancer. Leukoplakia is a white plaque patch that cannot be scraped away. In the recent study 58 people with oral leukoplakia were split into 3 groups, one group received 8mg of Lycopene each day for 90 days, a second group received 4mg and the third group received inactive placebo. In the group receiving 8mg of Lycopene, 55% of these individuals had no plaque visible, a complete resolution of the condition, the result was 25% of the 4mg group, and 0% of the placebo group. The study found that higher doses of Lycopene reduce the size of oral leukoplakia and reverses the precancerous changes.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Previous studies have shown great effectiveness for natural tomato oleoresin Lycopene in lowering the risk of certain cancers especially cancers of the prostate, breast, mouth, larynx, throat, and esophagus. It also may lower the risk of cancer of the cervix, stomach, colon, and rectum. Lycopene has ability to protect blood vessel walls and may lower the risk of developing a stroke. It also helps protect the skin, the eyes, and immune cells (white blood cells).

There may be no Safe Level of Lead

In a recent study of 2,125 adults over 40 years of age, those with the highest levels of lead or cadmium were almost 3 times as likely to have peripheral artery disease (PAD). The alarming result is even more cause for concern because the levels of lead or cadmium in the blood were well within what is thought to be a safe level according to OSHA guidelines.

Those with PAD had either 14% higher lead levels or 16% higher cadmium levels than individuals without PAD. The OSHA level for safe blood lead levels is below 1.93 micromoles per liter (the individuals with PAD averaged just 0.10 micromoles per liter, well below the "safe" level). The average cadmium level in those with PAD was 4.3 nanomoles per liter, (far below the OSHA "safe" level of 44.5 nanomoles per liter). The study is published in the current issue of Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association.

Commentary - Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

PAD (peripheral arterial disease) affects millions of Americans. Plaque deposits cause narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs. Pain upon walking or exertion in the legs due to hardening and narrowing of the arteries is called intermittent Claudication.

Some of the risk factors for developing PAD include:

It seems that heavy metals are toxic at any level. To help protect yourself from heavy metals try the following:

Hormone Blocking Therapy in Men with Prostate Cancer may increase the risk of Developing Bone Fracture and Osteoporosis

A study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology states that men on hormone blocking therapy (testosterone blocking therapy) for prostate cancer for a few years had a 40% increased risk of developing a fracture over men treated for prostate cancer without blocking testosterone. The study included almost 4,000 men on hormone blocking therapy compared to almost 8,000 men with prostate cancer who did not use hormone-blocking therapy.