According to the perspective of Western medicine, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is mainly caused by a deficiency of dopamine and noradrenaline. Doctors place too much emphasis on correcting the brain's neuronal communication pathways with stimulant medications, and neglect the fact that neurotransmitters are released when an electrical nerve impulse reaches their receptors. The nerve impulses can travel along the nerves only if certain conditions are met, particularly when the membranes of the neurons are fluid and flexible. Healthy neuronal membranes require a special type of fat: the essential omega-3 fatty acids. That is why omega-3 fish supplements are a popular natural remedy for ADHD. However, neuronal membranes also require another type of fat, called phospholipids, to be an effective receptor.
Phospholipids are a class of phosphorus-containing lipids. They are an important component of cell membranes and form a lipid bilayer that is almost impermeable to most ions. The two phospholipids known to improve attention and decrease hyperactivity are phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylserine (PS).
Phosphatidylcholine is also found in most cell membranes. This phospholipid is responsible for numerous brain functions: it creates new brain cells; increases the body's natural detoxification pathways; maintains attention, concentration, mood and memory; and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which is toxic to the brain. Perhaps the most important thing about PC is that it is composed of choline, the precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine involved in memory and learning.
Choline can be obtained from foods that contain lecithin (egg yolk and soybeans), sardines and peanuts. You can also give your child PC supplements. The recommended daily dose for children is 1,200 mg of PC three times a day with meals for two months. After two months, the dose is reduced to 400 mg three times a day.
Phosphatidylserine can be found in all cell membranes of the body, but neurons have the highest concentration of this phospholipid. As it cannot be manufactured by the body, phosphatidylserine can only be obtained by eating meat from organs such as the liver, kidneys and brain of animals, which is not appetizing for young children. It is not recommended to eat these foods to increase the amounts of PS, since these are the same organs that accumulate toxins. PS supplements, on the other hand, are known to increase mood, improve cognitive function, memory, attention and reduce aggression and stress in children with ADHD.
The recommended daily dose for children is 200 mg of PS taken with meals for two months. After two months, the dose is reduced to 100 mg twice daily.