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Corrin Ainley
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Natural interventions for your child’s learning, behaviour and growth

by on 11 April, 2018

Nurturing happy, healthy children

Children today eat a completely different diet to their grandparents.

The huge increase in processed carbohydrates, sugars and trans-fatty acids is implicated in an epidemic of behavioural and learning disorders in the Western World.

Diet and gut dysfunction is implicated in up to 60% of these disorders. These diets lead to digestive and nutritional deficiencies and common in children with Autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma, chronic infections, irritable bowel syndrome, learning delay and anxiety, caused by the lack of essential nutrients to the brain.

The 5P (principles) to improve your child’s diet:

  1. Primitive (Paleolithic). Simple foods, often raw, recognisable as real food and prepared as done over thousands of years (soaked, slow-cooked broth and meat, no microwave, fermented grains and vegetables).
  2. Processed. Avoid all processed foods including all white foods (especially sugar, glucose, refined flours).
  3. Preservatives. Avoid these and any other food colours or additives. Be wary of any numbers in foods.
  4. Packaged. Avoid additives or food constituents that are not whole food. Beware of aluminium, plastic and other packaging that may leach into food.
  5. Pre-prepared. Be wary of any shop-bought ready-made foods or frozen dinners. Check the ingredients carefully for anti-caking agents in salt, MSG, hydrogenated oils, “bakers flour” etc.

 

Why children need correct levels of vitamins, minerals and protein

A child’s brain is a complex living organ that requires fuel just as bones require calcium. The brain’s neurotransmitters control all aspects of behaviour, mood, learning, concentration, movement and. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein are the raw materials (fuel) needed for neurotransmitter function. Not only does the brain require specific amino acids for neurotransmitters but also co-factors (in the form of certain vitamins and minerals) that must be present to support the synthesis of amino acids into neurotransmitters.

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Key Neurotransmitters in Behaviour

The main neurotransmitters involved in behaviour, mood and learning are Serotonin, Dopamine and Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine). 

Serotonin is an inhibitory (calming) neurotransmitter that regulates mood, controls eating behaviour, sleep, arousal and dreams. 

Dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that controls movement & muscle action, attention and learning. Ritalin (an ADHD drug) increases available dopamine in the brain. 

Amino acid supplementation and diet can also increase dopamine and involves the amino acid tyrosine along with co-factors B3, B6, folic acid & Vitamin C 

Noradrenaline is an excitatory neurotransmitter responsible for alertness and wakefulness, energy, memory and our ‘Fight or Flight’ response.

Symptoms of neurotransmitter imbalance

  • Serotonin: sleeplessness, depression, long-term memory, regulating temperature 
  • Noradrenaline: listlessness, lack of energy, stress-related anxiety/depression
  • Dopamine: attention disorders lack motivation, movement-related problems

 

The importance of testing

Vitamin and mineral levels, neurotransmitter assessment and digestive health can all be assessed through urine, blood and stool testing. 

A science-based assessment ensures your child receives only what their body needs. 

Supplementing with the incorrect dose or supplement can waste time, money and at best be ineffective and at worse can cause minor symptoms.

‘Identifying nutrient deficiencies and supply the correct nutrients for brain development is one key element

Other areas of treatment

  • Constipation and digestive disorders
  • Fussy eating
  • Allergies
  • Immunity

 

Corrin Ainley ND offers a lab based approach to children’s health.  With reliable testing of digestive health, food intolerances, neurotransmitters and nutrient levels, each child’s treatment is tailored to their biochemistry. 

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  1. Villagomez A, Ramtekkar U. Iron, magnesium, vitamin D, and zinc deficiencies in children presenting with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Children 2014;1(3):261-279.
  2. Bala KA, Dog?an M, Kaba S, et al. Hormone disorder and vitamin deficiency in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2016;29(9):1077-1082.
  3. Raine A, Cheney RA, Ho R, et al. Nutritional supplementation to reduce child aggression: a randomized, stratified, single-blind, factorial trial. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2016;57(9):1038-1046.
  4. Parletta N, Milte CM, Meyer BJ. Nutritional modulation of cognitive function and mental health. J Nutr Biochem 2013;24(5):725-743.
  5. Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements, 3rd edition, 2010. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier: Sydney.
  6. University of Maryland Medical Center. Magnesium, 2015. Viewed 14 February 2017, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/magnesium
  7. Vela G, Stark P, Socha M, et al. Zinc in gut-brain interaction in autism and neurological disorders. Neural Plast 2015;2015:972791.
  8. Mindd Foundation. http://mindd.org/s/uploads/pdf/MinddHandbook-Website.pdf

 

 

 

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