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On December 17, 2004 the Schafer Autism Report notified its readers of a study showing that Low Iron Levels May Contribute to ADHD. Based on their findings, researchers recommend that children with ADHD would benefit from iron supplements. While supplementing with iron is the obvious solution to low levels of iron in our blood, it may not be the best answer. In fact, these children, and many adults who think they are low in iron, will most likely become worse on supplemental iron.
The 53 children in the study were not tested to see if they also had an infection in their blood. These children most likely have a chronic, undetected fungal, bacterial and/or viral infection. These pathogens also require iron for their own growth. If you supplement with iron you feed the pathogens, making your infections worse.
Iron is essential for all life forms. This means humans, animals, fish, and perhaps to most everyone's surprise, fungus (yeast) bacteria, viruses and parasites.
An enormous number of children (including teens and adults) have a chronic, low-grade yeast or fungal infection in their bloodstream. Children you think are healthy are not! Neither the parents nor doctors suspect these infections are present but they are negatively influencing each child's physical, emotional and even intellectual development. These children are misdiagnosed and labeled with disorders like ADHD or even autism. Until we understand how serious these infections are in our bodies, we will constantly make mistakes in diagnosing and treating conditions. This study and the resulting conclusion are a perfect example.
Tens of millions of Americans have chronic fungal infections (ie. candidiasis). Fungi love iron. They take it right out of your blood for their own use. At times when your blood becomes even more acidic, the chronic, low-grade fungal infection will flare up and will become an even more serious infection. More iron will then be consumed by the fungus. With lower levels of iron in your blood you will feel even more exhausted.
People who have fungal infections usually have other pathogens as well. Viral infections and bacterial infections, like the fungus, may also be thriving on your iron.
My suggestion to the researchers who conducted this study and to parents who have read it and now want to give their ADD/ADHD/Asperger's or autistic child iron is to:
Eliminate the yeast infection first. The Body Ecology Diet is designed to do just this. Also focus on correcting your child's digestion by adding at least one fermented food or beverage to his/her diet and follow our many recommendations for increasing energy. For more information on increasing energy, listen to our Audio CD,Adrenal Fatigue.
Begin eating those foods that are excellent sources of iron. Now with fermented foods in your diet, you will notice how well you digest them. Animal protein will be one of your best sources of iron. Vegetarians will have to be especially mindful to obtain iron from other sources. Body Ecology's Vitality SuperGreen (with Chlorella) and Grainfield's Fermented Spirulina are excellent sources of iron. This is one of the many reasons why they increase energy.
Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron. Cultured veggies are an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Make sure the iron-rich foods you eat are also sugar-free. For example, black strap molasses has iron but also has a lot of sugar. Figs and other dried fruit are often recommended as a source for iron, but their sugar will cause your blood to become more acidic and your yeast infection will flare up again.
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