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A study was released today stating that children exposed to pesticides have higher rates of ADD/ADHD: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37156010/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

If you need a reason to eat organic, this is the one. Pesticides damage neuron bundles in the brain, exacerbating ADD/ADHD and leading to alarmingly high rates. The problem is worsening because our environment is becoming increasingly toxic. Damaged neuron bundles also cause depression, anxiety, addiction, migraines, insomnia, chronic pain, and Parkinson’s. Environmental toxins, pesticides, herbicides, poor nutrition, and faulty detox pathways all contribute to these issues. When neuron bundles become damaged, they cannot properly communicate, and serotonin/dopamine transfer is adversely affected. Serotonin and dopamine are our feel-good neurotransmitters, and when these neurotransmitters are low, any or many of the above issues can result. Our lifestyles, genetics, and toxic environment are contributing to brain drain: low neurotransmitter levels & damaged neurons.

Conventional medicine prescribes anti-depressants or Ritalin to deal with the problem. Kids on Ritalin, teenagers on Prozac, adults on Lexapro, Cymbalta, Xanax, Zoloft, Effexor, Paxil, Celexa, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, BuSpar, Remeron. A staggering list. The drug approach does not deal with the underlying issue and only addresses the symptoms, which could be depression or ADD or any of the others I mentioned. These drugs affect serotonin reuptake in the brain, causing it to flood and then linger around longer in the synapses so you feel better. Serotonin is your feel good chemical that regulates appetite, cravings, sex drive, sleep. Sad thing is that over time, your body’s production becomes depleted on the drug and the drugs stop working. This is not a sustainable solution! It is possible to address this brain drain holistically.

Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, which come from protein. I can’t tell you how many vegetarian clients I’ve seen who have the above issues because they are not getting the right kinds of quantities of protein. They’re eating low quality protein (soy or plant proteins) or not enough of it. Or, if your digestion is poor and you’re not absorbing what you’re eating, you will not be able to produce these neurotransmitters. By providing the raw materials from which the body produces serotonin and dopamine, it is possible to correct these issues.

Depression & addiction & ADD can result from genetics or from exposure to toxins or poor lifestyle choices. The thing with addiction is that if one is predisposed to food or substance abuse, that substance actually makes the person feel normal again. This could be sugar, carbs, booze, or cocaine or other hard drugs. The person craves the substance on a physiological level to achieve homeostasis because of low brain chemicals or damaged neurons. This is not an issue of willpower, folks–it is a physiological, biochemical issue. These people need amino acid therapy, a high quality, organic/chemical-free diet, a detox program to get toxins and heavy metals out of the body, and good digestive repair program to make sure they are absorbing everything.

It is a tragedy to me that our children are being drugged to deal with ADD and that people in recovery or rehab fight life-long cravings instead of correcting underlying imbalances. It’s time that these issues associated with low brain chemicals are addressed in a holistic manner.