Pesticides and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

A new study out of Harvard (1) shows that even tiny, allowable amounts of a common pesticide class can have dramatic effects on brain chemistry. Organophosphate insecticides (OP’s) are among the most widely used pesticides in the U.S. & Canada and have long been known to be particularly toxic for children. This is the first study to examine their effects across a representative population with average levels of exposure. Findings show: Kids with above-average pesticide exposures are 2x as likely to have ADHD.

(1) Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides

Abstract

Objective: The goal was to examine the association between urinary concentrations of dialkyl phosphate metabolites of organophosphates and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children 8 to 15 years of age.

Methods: Cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2000–2004) were available for 1139 children, who were representative of the general US population. A structured interview with a parent was used to ascertain ADHD diagnostic status, on the basis of slightly modified criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.

Results: One hundred nineteen children met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Children with higher urinary dialkyl phosphate concentrations, especially dimethyl alkylphosphate (DMAP) concentrations, were more likely to be diagnosed as having ADHD. A 10-fold increase in DMAP concentration was associated with an odds ratio of 1.55 (95% confidence interval: 1.14–2.10), with adjustment for gender, age, race/ethnicity, poverty/income ratio, fasting duration, and urinary creatinine concentration. For the most-commonly detected DMAP metabolite, dimethyl thiophosphate, children with levels higher than the median of detectable concentrations had twice the odds of ADHD (adjusted odds ratio: 1.93 [95% confidence interval: 1.23–3.02]), compared with children with undetectable levels.

Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. Prospective studies are needed to establish whether this association is causal.

  • Accepted February 23, 2010.

Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis

Wheat belly is a very interesting read on how prevalent wheat issues are in our society. It is obviously a one-theme book, but there is so much depth to this conversation. The book does a great job of explaining how we got to this point in the “development” of wheat and how different modern wheat is from earlier varieties.
Dr. Davis explains how much wheat we actually consume in western nations and it is a little unsettling. The specific health figures really are shocking when you first see them and then start to put it together from a clinical point of view and it reinforces how important it is to look at one’s diet as a fundamental basis for health.
I guess I feel a little supported by what he says because I feel quite alone sometimes in recommending a gluten-free, wheat-free diet to people who are quite resistant if not completely opposed to making these changes. I have a lot more to back me up in making these recommendations, and we have more proof to inspire patients to make changes. It also supports doing the food allergy testing to further demonstrate how a food can drive inflammation in our body. This can lead to a wide variety of health effects including allergies, asthma, weight gain, hormone imbalance, depression and anxiety among others.
I recommend reading “Wheat Belly” for anyone interested in their own, or a loved one’s health.

Dr David’s Needle Free Chinese Medicine using Suction Cup Therapy

What is Cupping?

Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced by suction in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. Sometimes, while the suction is active, the cup is moved, causing the skin and muscle to be pulled. This is called gliding cupping.

Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain, where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled. Cupping has greater emphasis on the back acupuncture points due to the ease with which it can be performed on the back. Most practitioners use the back shu points or bladder meridian and the dazhui.

Cupping is based on the meridian theory of the body. On one hand, cupping removes any stagnation in the body and opens the meridians so that qi can flow freely. On the other, it also helps to rejuvenate certain meridians and organs that are not functioning at their best. From a scientific standpoint, cupping is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation, and is good for deep tissue repair.

The Cupping Process

The cups are fitted with a valve that attaches to a small hand-operated pump, allowing the practitioner to suck out air to create a suction. It also gives them greater control over the amount of suction. The modern name for cupping is baguanfa or suction cup therapy.

In order to allow the cups to move over the skin easily, oil is used. Oils that have been infused with extracts of medicinal herbs are particularly useful. The cups are applied at room temperature, and there is some friction generated with moving cups, causing a small but significant amount of heat, especially if a warming oil is also used.

Cups are generally left in place for ten minutes although the time can range from five to fifteen minutes. The skin will redden due to the congestion of blood flow. The cup is removed from the skin by pressing the skin on one side, allowing some outside air to enter and thus equalise the pressure. Some bruising on the skin where the rim of the cup is to be expected.

What Cupping Can Help

Cupping is generally recommended for the treatment of pain, gastrointestinal disorders, and lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma), although it does have application for other problems.

Cupping can affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing the tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks, and improve the appearance of varicose veins.