How Fiber May Benefit Children with ADHD

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, has now been diagnosed in over 6.5 million American children. Of even more concern is the fact that about two-thirds of these kids are now on medication, the long-term consequences of which we do not yet fully understand.

In this video, I explore research the correlates intake of dietary fiber with a child’s ability to remain focused on a task. We know that dietary fiber has a positive role in enhancing gut bacterial diversity, and as such, likely plays a role in reducing inflammation. Moreover, newer research indicates that dietary fiber might actually enhance the growth of new brain cells by increasing the amount of a chemical called BDNF. It’s a very interesting study, and I hope you enjoy the video.

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  • Raf Warren

    Thank you for suggesting another tool in our arsenal on non pharma solutions for our 10 year old son! He has ADHD like issues but despite numerous tests, doesn’t not qualify for the formal diagnosis. There is both familial and medical history as well an ‘autoimmune heavy’ profile which we see contributing to the inflammation in his brain. But because we know that the root causes of these attention issues, and our genetics, would make taking the traditional pharmas actually harmful and not helpful towards his attention abilities, we have opted for innovative OT and psychological approaches, lots of exercise and being outside, as well as nutritional avenues such as taking out gluten (we had no choice anyway) and have added supplements such as monolauric acid, vitamins with fish oil, and now you have given us another incredibly helpful tool, adding more dietary fiber to our diets, and will try adding more vegetables to as this ‘new’ tool. Thanks again for always helping us to make the best decisions for our holistic well being!

    • You should focus on increasing his immune system-my child went from barely passing now on principal’s list. Fiber is also important especially in pastas which results in constipation!
      My daughter has 3 neurologically intertwined conditions so I
      speak from experience and only use Meds in an emergency
      exacerbation situation which is very rare now. I specialize in Holistic Health now and can confirm Dr. Perlmutter & guests give out the best advice! Wheat-Fiber-etc., he’s on the ball of accuracy when it comes to our food ingestion affecting our brains capabilities! Don’t fall for any ‘pill’ fast solutions natural or otherwise as that’s a new FAD but follow protocol of foods & quality ingredients. You’ll set a pattern of great standards for your child’s health to improve faster that way!

      • Raf Warren

        Thank you SO MUCH, you are truly preaching to the choir! I am sorry that you have been through the ringer yourself with your children! Our oldest, our daughter, also has a whole host of autoimmunes and SPD as well. We all have immunodeficiencies (genetic predisposition), so thankfully we have been finding more and more practitioners like the ones Dr. Perlmutter has on his programs; he is an amazing pioneer! Thank you for your helpful support, seriously, it is great to ‘meet’ other parents facing these things and going towards the Holistic approach!!! We are all on very strict several-practioner mandated diets (not fad ones but ones which we must be on to keep us literally safe besides trying to reduce overall inflammation and toxins). Because of our immune issues we are trying to find the right immune support without tipping our systems to go too gung ho, or to go the opposite, underactive (we have a condition called MCAS involving certain immune cells which are in every part of our bodies, so we are in a constant battle not to go into ana shock, among many co morbidities). Wising you continued success in your thoughtful approach and thanks again for your advice!

  • Lisa Muzic

    Fiber and a healthy organic diet benefits all children.

  • Yvonne Forsman

    Thank you Dr Perlmutter. You are one of my very few heroes in the medical community.

    I feel sorry for parents who have children with all these modern day health disorders. I am old now, and sick with a list of health problems and have tried all kinds of supplements, have plastic drawers from Walmart, on wheels, full of empty supplements bottles. I really don’t want to be sick, I have tried very hard to heal my poor body. I of course eat only organic, home cooked, no industrial food with additives and what not, have cut out grains and sugar, filter my water, filter my home air. It is difficult to regain health once you lose it.

    A friend introduced me recently to raw living spirulina (algae) from a local Florida grower. I didn’t think much of it but started taking it in smoothies and to my great surprise I noticed improvement in my overall health. Now the grower is in a process of moving so I am using frozen spirulina and I can tell it has not the same effect. There are youtube videos showing how to grow your own sirulina at home, in an aquarium. It is also a great idea for a small business! I am too old to do it but I hope ppl all across this country will start doing it, especially now with Fukushima getting worse and the radioactive pollution have reached US, causing cancer. Spirulina has many health benefits, except of cancer also protection against radiation, inflammation and other health problems. Really everybody should be taking it as a disease prevention supplement, to strengthen the immune system, and help with different existing health problems (google it). 1 serving = 2 tbs, contains nutrients in 2 lb veggies and fruits. It is rich in chlorophyll, the deep green color which plants synthesize using sunlight. It is basically liquid sun!

    Sadly Big Pharma does not always have solutions for us but luckily nature does!

  • Jessica

    Would you mind suggesting some top fiber foods? Is this about veggies and squashes or are you talking gf grains? All of the above?

  • You are right on target with this topic as usual-Thanks very much!

    • David Perlmutter

      Glad to know this resonated with you!

  • oscarromero

    A study of 65 children over 9 months with their parents filling out dietary information every few days. Is that enough to warrant headlines? Not apparently peer-reviewed; no other peer-reviewed studies replicating the study. So many times a study comes out (like avoid fats) and then we find out that many fats are good for us. Salt No-salt, coffee no coffee — and countless others. Poor parents of special needs children who are given another thing to try. It may be good advice; but it may also be contradicted in a few months.

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