Interviewer: Doctor, we just touched on ADHD a little bit and how prevalent that has become in the last 15, 20 years. Why is that? It seems like we get bombarded by the media saying, "Oh, if your kid has this, than he must have this." Why has that become such a popular diagnosis, for lack of a better term?
Dr. Bob DeMaria: What happened by myself,personally, before I wrote "Dr. Bob's Guide to Stop AHDH in 18 days",I saw a snapshot in USA Today. Down at the bottom corner on the front page they usually have those. They have a map of the U.S. where all the snack food was being consumed. Believe it or not, in the Midwest is where most of it was being consumed. The second most was over on the East Coast.
A year later - now, I save certain articles because I thought they're significant - I had read some article about snack food and the oils they use to make it. A year later our local newspaper did a five day program on Ritalin and all the meds in the United States. This is back in 1996.
Ritalin is a schedule two drug. Methylphenidate,it's like cocaine. It's an amphetamine. In a map of the United States there was a little county in the upper part of Michigan called Dickinson County where 8%of the kids were on Ritalin. There's more Ritalin in the school principal office than there was in the pharmacy. I remembered the snapshot. I looked at the snapshot, I looked at the United States, and I had an epiphany. The epiphany was there is something in the food, like there's something in the water, that's causing this.
I had an acquaintance of mine who wrote a book that said trans fat . . . now normal fat molecules are C-shaped. They have a half life of 18 days. When they make trans fat or partially hydrogenated oils,they're T-shaped when they heat them. C's and T's don't interlock. Your brain sends messages on a layer of fat; this would be the nervous system, called the myelin sheath. When I looked at the book, there is a fat in the brain - this is going to be a big word now, the docosahexaenoic acid, DHA for short - DHA bathes the brain and gives information. It just helps the brain function optimally.
In the human body, unbeknownst to most of us in the USA, the food we eat becomes us. Somewhere along the way that equation has been taken out. What you eat becomes you. What you eat has to go through steps.Those steps need vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, for example. It needs those to make the recipe to make the DHA. I'm showing you a formula right here. Trans fat, which is over here on the formula, sabotages your body's natural ability to make DHA. In the book, "Dr. Bob's Guide to Stop ADHD in18 Days", we talk about the half life of trans fat and cis fat. A lot of science beliefs today that genetically, as a species, we can no longer make DHA from the food we eat. That's why everybody needs to use marine oil. The marine oil in the world today is toxic. So we promote an anchovy/sardine-based marine oil. Fish are smaller, less potential for toxins.
So if you have a diet of french fries, which the average American consumes 28 pounds of french fries per year, that's going to sabotage DHA. In the late 70's, the fast food industry went from beef tallow and lard to make fries. When I was a kid, the first fast food restaurant came into my community in 1962. That's a long time ago. We would go to the fast food store twice a year. French fries were two ounces made in beef tallow or lard.As time went on everybody thought that the reason we had high cholesterol was from beef, and etc.
In the late 70's the fast food industry flipped and started using trans fat, which by the way, has a half life of 51 days. In the early 80's economics in the world changed. Two people in the family are going to work. Moms are going to work; they needed a convenience food. Back in the day, and even today, trans fat is a convenience food. It's snack food. Moms are going to work, and then that happened until about the early 1990's.
Imagine, kids are eating a lot of this food that is sabotaging the body's ability to send messages down. C-shaped, T-shaped, in the early 90's, our government allowed ADHD to be considered a disability. Our schools started getting compensated for kids who had ADHD. They started getting money.
I have done radio all over the United States andI was doing a radio program in Cincinnati, Ohio, live talk radio. When you do live talk/call-in radio, that's always interesting. I had a guy call up and he was angry, and I thought he was angry at me. He was not angry at me at all. He was angry at his ex-wife. His ex-wife put their son on Ritalin. Guess why? To get the money.
I'm not saying people with ADHD are all doing that, I'm just making a point. In 1995 we talked about the nurse's studies in the past, we talked about trans fatty acid, what's happening in the national school lunch program. 31 million kids eat the national school lunch program. We had the law, the trans fat law that happened in 2005; they said packets that say 'grams trans fat' on it, that they had a half a gram or less per serving.
Recently, the city of New York stopped using trans fat in their restaurants. We had a part in doing that because I had a radio show on WFAN New York with Bob Salter on a Sunday, and the guy that was in charge of this whole whatever was going on out there, heard me speak, got my book; we sent ten books over there, it was really very interesting.
The state of California does not allow trans fat anywhere in the state; in any of the restaurants. The city of Cleveland and other cities are doing the same thing. Trans fat is sabotaging these kids' ability to function optimally. Most people don't think of even having good oil.Snack foods have trans fatty acids in them, healthy foods have cis fats. Half life of this, 51 days. Half life of this, 18 days. That's why the title of the book is "Dr. Bob's Guide to Stopping ADHD in 18 Days". The challenge,thought with the T, is the half life is 51 days. Somebody could easily have a breakfast pastry or breakfast roll, breakfast cereals. Even today, before we did this program I was at one of our local grocery stores. A very popular breakfast cereal had trans fat in it.
If a child has trans fat - in the book we talk about it, it's all about DHA - this is the big sabotager right here. Most people don't realize that it has a long half life. There is actually one of the major people who used to make a lot of these snack foods: Hostess, they're having financial problems today because people are voting with their wallets.They're not buying it. There is a big shift, that's what's so awesome about your program that we're having here today. When these kids are eating this trans fat, the trans fat sabotages DHA. Sugar comes into play. The averageAmerican consumes 150 pounds of sugar in a year. People love sugar, they're passionate about sugar. Sugar becomes addictive. That's probably the most difficult thing for people to get away from. What people don't realize is sugar takes B6, zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins out of the body. Remember we talked about the recipe at the beginning of the program?
Another one that concerns people and concerns me is dairy products. I am not telling anyone to stop dairy, but when was the last time you saw a cow eating cottage cheese, milk, or ice cream? Where do they get their calcium from? They get their calcium from hay, grass, and alfalfa. I encourage people, obviously, to eat greens and a variety of vegetables to get their calcium. Cows milk has a protein in it called casein. Cow's milk has a fat in it called arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid, when it is consumed on a regular basis, which most people do especially kids, sabotages DHA.
My wife and I were traveling at one point, and if someone finds out you're Dr. Bob and what do you do and yadda, yadda, yadda. This woman had a two and a half, three-year-old boy who had tantrums, because he was on a little expedition we were on. She said, "What's going on?" So I started chit chatting with her a little bit and found our that her son drank a gallon and a half of milk every two or three days. I just suggested to her, in love of course, stop the dairy products. I got home, a week later she had a five star review on amazon for me. Her son totally changed just getting off of dairy.
Dairy could be the issue. Sugar could be the issue. Trans fat is obviously the issue. Some people talk about lead preservatives; the Fendle (ph) Diet. Preservatives, food coloring, additives,that also sabotages the formation of the DHA in the brain; doesn't have a half life. Just taking fish oil for the sake of taking fish oil is not correct either. Science caught up with me. "What does that mean, Dr. Bob?"Well we have the ability, right now, with the prick of blood out of a little finger, to send it to a lab to do what is called an essential fatty acid bloodspot test. I could have somebody come in to my office and test for the DHA levels.
We have people who come to see us who are bipolar and they're suicidal. I had one girl who tried to commit suicide three times. My record was I had one lady who tried to commit 12 times, but this girl tried three. Mom was very concerned and I'd be concerned too; a 21-year-old trying to commit suicide. About 2,000 kids kill themselves every year in America. We did this blood spot test on her. Her DHA was low. Her EPA was low. Her alpha linoleic acid was low. And I know those oils are important, but her trans fat, if they could have made the page long, her trans fat was out of the ball park.
I grilled the girl, "What are you eating?" They like to dance around it all. Bottom line was she was eating french fries on a regular basis, as well as most of the people watching us who have kids. You can eat french fries. Cook them in rice oil. Cook them in olive oil. Cook them in coconut oil. Bake them in the oven; not in trans fatty acid.Took her off the trans fat, put her on appropriate supplementation, tadda!She's alive today because she made those appropriate and necessary lifestyle changes.
Here's the really good news. We've been really studying this whole ADHD issue for two years. The kids today, in the new millennium, are very smart. They are beyond smart. I have Asperger kids that come in, they're literally geniuses. I've seen the shift that's going on right now and I'm not saying this to be unkind. I really believe the school system and education process in America has not kept up. Our kids are learning so fast, at such a fast rate. The kids that really super intelligent cannot go into a traditional classroom on a chalkboard or whiteboard and be entertained.They need fast stimulation.
In various states they're actually having computers and on the internet. I've had Asperger kids, and I am telling you, 18days they turn around totally. We get them off the sugar, we get them off the items. I'm going to mention the food that I think is one of the worst foods in the world that will cause ADHD. Are you ready for this? Drum roll please.Skittles. Because of the sugar and the coloring and some of the other ingredients, they sabotage DHA in the brain.
If you ever go on an airplane and there' a kid in front of you that has a bag of Skittles, get on another flight or go to the back of the plane. If you go to a movie, it's the exact same thing. Just everybody watching me around the world right now, just trust me. There are a lot of other foods with trans fat. We're talking about DHA.
Dr. Bob DeMaria discusses the role of a certain fat in so many foods and how it relates to ADD And ADHD. His book illustrates how those conditions can be stopped in 18 days. Find out how that can be and how the conditions can be tied to what you eat!
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