Author Archives: Anna

About Anna

I'm a board-certified Pediatric Nutritionist, who takes care of medically-fragile infants and children in the US Defense System; I'm mother of a teenager and a real estate investor. I love spending time with friends and family playing tennis, golf, hiking and stand-up-paddling. And we live in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Juicing for Detox

Yummy Green Juice for Detox

I was introduced to the idea of juicing as a nutrition therapy after watching Beautiful Truth and was fascinated with the idea that cancer cure exists.

After I saw the movie “Beautiful Truth”, I decide to investigate more into juicing. I realize that the juicing here is very different from the regular juice we drink daily. You know the ones that we told our children not to drink.

I chose to write an article about juicing because I found this therapy very fascinating.

I’ve been asked gazillion times about juicing in my career: “What do you think about juicing?” I have repeatedly told everyone the same thing: “It’s better to eat the whole fruit then to drink the juice, which is just sugar and water from the fruit. You’re missing all the good nutrients and fiber from the whole fruits or vegetables.” That was my typical response then.

Today, many people juice for health reason. There are many alternative therapies and detox programs that advocate juice fast. Interest in juicing has exploded in the last decade due to a number of books, videos that claims the extraordinary healing power of juicing or juice fast.

Documentary such as Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Beautiful Truth have increased the awareness that many diseases can be cured by simply changing one’s dietary habits. In these cases, it is juicing.

Beautiful Truth introduced the Gerson Therapy which involves daily juicing to cure many currently considered “uncurable” diseases and illnesses, such as cancer (including end stage), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue symptoms, etc.

The idea of juicing sound really simply for most, because many Americans consume significant amount of juice or soda daily. They’re already large volume of liquids a day, might as well be something good fo the body. So the idea of “drinking juice” to promote health sounds really realistic and easy, right?

Not so soon to judge. There’s no such easy deal in life.

We’re not talking about drinking couple glass of Tropicana orange juice or Naked Green Machine juice here. The juicing we are talking about is juice freshly made from wholesome organic fruits or vegetables, which you will be making the juice daily yourself, not from a carton you pick up from the store.

If you want to see result faster, you may try a juice fast challenge. A juice fast as its name implies is a fast, which means no food. The idea is going on a diet that consists of nothing else but juice. However, these therapies only works IF the person is discipline enough to follow the fast for a whole two weeks, AND does the juice correctly.

Gerson Therapy: Green Juice FOR BEGINNERS + Gerson Basics

Juicing is a nice supplement to add to anyone’s diet. It adds nutrients from the fruits or vegetables that you or your child normally wouldn’t eat and, at the same time, introduce valuable nutrients that are only found in fruits and vegetables. It can also add some variety to your child’s diet, especially if you have a very picky eater.

I’m not too comfortable at this point advising people to stop eating completely and go on a juice fast. I’m not going to talk about fasting here. That’s another topic of itself. There’s not much research out there to show that juicing is healthier or better for the body than eating the whole fruits and vegetables.

Here, the keyword is “research”. Who’s going to benefit from the result of showing that juicing helps. No one, maybe the farmers who grow all these delicious nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. But, bottom line is no one can patent that information and turn it into a 10-year monopoly, like all these pharmaceutical companies has been doing for years with new drugs.

I still believe in the benefit of eating whole fruits and vegetables to get all the benefits. And juicing is a great way to help picky eater ease into new vegetables or fruits.

Cook books, such as Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious have recipes for basic juices, such as green juice, white juice, etc. They use the fruits and vegetables juices as ingredient in cooking some common kid’s friendly foods, such as brownie, mac n cheese, smoothie, muffins, etc.

Doesn’t it make you feel good that when your child is eating mac n cheese, they’re also eating cauliflower? Or black beans in their brownies?

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices retain most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that would be found in the whole versions of those foods. These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.

Some advocates for juicing may claim that your body absorbs more nutrients from juices than the whole fruit because the fruit’s fiber gets in the way. However, there isn’t much research out there that supports that claim. Your digestive system is designed to handle fiber and extract nutrients from a variety of foods. Plus, fiber is important for digestive function and has a multitude of health benefits.

Anyway, the juicing that’s been popularized recently as alternative therapy is not the same as buying a carton of juice from the store. The juices discussed here are freshly made raw, unpasteurized juices that retains majority of its nutrients and live enzymes. Yes, fruits and vegetables are living things with live enzymes. That’s the difference. Commercially processed fruits or vegetables are processed in factory probably about a week ago before you get it in the store. They’re pasteurized, just like milk, to kill bacteria, which also inactivates all the vital nutrients and enzymes. Not to mention the fruits and vegetables used for making processed juice are not your fancy choices. These are usually bruises and blemish produce that orchid cannot sell to stores.

So you decide where you want your juice to come from.

That’s right. The best place to get your juice from is your own home. Use organic produce as much as possible. Local farmers’ markets are great place to shop for local produce in season. You can talk to the farmers to find out about their farming practice, whether any pesticides or GMO seeds are used. And you’ll be able to buy produce in season from local market, skipping the long distance transportation. All this mean cheaper cost for you as a consumer.

Related article: Plant-based Diet

Common ADHD Medications

Meth vs Adderall lab

As a board-certified specialist in pediatric nutrition, I see children with ADHD frequently, mostly for just 2 reasons why these patients are referred to me. These children are either failure to thrive due to the anorexic side effects of ADHD medications OR newly diagnosed ADHD and parents wants to try the “natural way” or “diet” first.

Based on these, we know the side effects of ADHD medications are real and parents are aware. Besides, people also know that ADHD can be treated with changing diets.

It is true that ADHD medications can help reduce symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity in children and adults with ADHD. However, these medications come with side effects and risks—very bad side effects and very risky outcomes.

Remember, ADHD medications don’t cure ADHD. They are only for symptoms relief to make life easier for the adults (namely the parents and teachers). Don’t forget there are many other alternative options for ADHD treatment. ADHD medications are just “boo-boo bandaid” for the problem without treating the underlying causes.

Needless to say, ADHD medications do work well for some. And in some cases, it is necessary.

I once have this family who is adamant about not starting ADHD medication on their young. Like I said, in some cases, medication is probably a good idea, at least for the short-term while trying to fix the body.

This child is WILD…one parent had to literally hold her down with both arms to keep her to stay in the exam room. And when not paying attention, this child would just dash out of the door and down the hall. The parents had to literally chase her down to bring her back.
This is the situation where the child needs medication.

ADHD medications do not work for everyone. And not to mention the many unpleasant side effects, it’s important to know the facts about ADHD medications so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your child and family.

And administration of ADHD medications should always be personalized and closely monitored by a trained psychiatrist (not psychologist or your pediatrician).

How Do ADHD Medications Work?

There are two classification of ADHD medications: stimulants and non-stimulants.

Stimulants are the most common type of medication prescribed for ADHD. They have the longest track record for treating ADHD and the most research to back up their effectiveness.

Stimulant ADHD medications include:
• Amphetamine (Adzenys XR ODT, Evekeo)
• Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine (Adderall and Adderall XR)
• Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, ProCentra, Zenzedi)
• Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin and Focalin XR)
• Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
• Methylphenidate (Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate CD and Metadate ER, Methylin and Methylin ER, Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Quillivant XR)

For many people with ADHD, stimulant medications boost concentration and focus while reducing hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Stimulants are believed to work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain by inhibiting its re-uptake mechanism. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, pleasure, attention, and movement. There is concern that the re-uptake inhibition may deplete neurotransmitters throughout the body and potential neurotoxicity of amphetamine.

Non-stimulant medications

In addition to the traditional stimulant drugs, there are several other non-stimulant medications used to treat ADHD. In cases where stimulants don’t work or cause unpleasant side effects, non-stimulants might be used. These include certain antidepressants and blood pressure medications, and are shown to improve concentration and impulse control.

Non-stimulant ADHD medications include:
• Amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), or other tricyclic antidepressants
• Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
• Escitalopram (Lexapro) and sertraline (Zoloft)
• Venlafaxine (Effexor)

Atomoxetine (Strattera) was the first and only non-stimulant ADHD medications approved by the FDA. Unlike stimulants, which affect dopamine, Strattera boosts the levels of norepinephrine, a different brain chemical.

Warning, Strattera may cause an increase in suicidal thoughts and actions in some children and teenagers, especially if your child has bipolar disorder or depression in addition to ADHD.

This is a tough choice. Do I want a hyper child? Or do I want a suicidal child? Hmmm…

Guanfacine (Intuniv) is also approved for children and teens between ages 6 and 17.

Certain blood pressure medications, such as clonidine (Catapres) and guanfacine (Tenex), has also been approved for treating ADHD. While these medications can be effective for hyperactivity, impulsivity, and aggression, they are not as effective when it comes to attention problems. These medications can also cause daytime drowsiness. If this happens, reducing the dose or spacing it out over the course of the day may solve the problem. If not, ask your doctor about trying another non-stimulant medication.

For people suffering from both ADHD and depression, certain antidepressants, which target multiple neurotransmitters in the brain, may be prescribed. Wellbutrin, also known by the generic name bupropion, is most widely used. Wellbutrin targets both norepinephrine and dopamine.

Another option is the use of tricyclic antidepressants, such as Imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramine), and nortriptyline (Pamelor). Unlike the stimulant medications, tricyclic medications must be tapered off slowly. Stopping abruptly can cause aches and other flu-like symptoms.

In some children, tricyclics can affect brain wave activity. If your child has a seizure disorder, a tricyclic might exacerbate the problem. Discuss this matter with your doctor before starting your child on a tricyclic.

Tricyclics have also been known to affect the electrical conduction pattern within the heart, triggering a rapid pulse. This is a rare side effect, and it generally stops once the medication is stopped.

We have not even dive into all the side effects of ADHD medications, and so far, there are some very scary ones. Knowing what you are dealing with helps to make better decisions for your child and family.

Don't rush into making a decision. ADHD symptoms can also be the results of other medical conditions or even malnutrition or nutrient deficiencies.

Related article: ADHD Symptoms or Something Else

Take your time to rule out other possibilities, weigh your options and get your child's input in the decision-making process.

A friend of mine recently was faced with the decision to start ADHD medication for her daughter. The psychiatrist explained to her daughter why she needs medication, and her daughter flat out told both my friend and the psychiatrist “no, i don’t need medication! I can focus on my own”. For sure, after that doctor’s visit, my friend’s daughter changed her behaviors and start showing more focus and completing tasks as expected.

Trust your instincts and do what feels right to you. Don't let anyone—be it your physician or the principal at your child's school—pressure your child into medication if you're not comfortable with it. Remember: medication isn't the only treatment option, and it’s not even a good option to start with.

ADHD medications should be the absolute last resort if nothing else works.

Read next: Common Side Effects of ADHD Medications

Detox with Glutathione

Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant made up of three amino acids – cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. It is naturally produced in our body. It plays an important role in supporting the immune system by boosting levels of white blood cells production to fight off infection and foreign substances. It is a cofactor of the glutathione s-transferase enzyme, which function to detoxify chemical toxins.

High levels of glutathione maybe found in the liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas and stomach lining, organs that are frequently exposed to toxins. Our body’s level decreases with age. Diseases, such as cancers, liver diseases, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS have been linked to low levels. Stress, excessive exercises, poor diets and toxic overload increase its demand.


How does it work?
Hepatic GSH is a key substrate for reducing toxic oxygen metabolites and oxidized xenobiotics in the liver. Depletion of hepatic glutathione is a common occurrence in Leaky Gut Syndromes contributing to liver dysfunction and liver necrosis among alcoholics and immune impairment in patients with AIDS.

Toxic chemicals, such as those from our environment – pesticides, heavy metals (lead, mercury, and cadmium), preservatives, PCBs, and medications are first neutralized by the liver. Then glutathione in the liver binds to these toxic chemicals and eliminates them from the body safely. This is what happens when the body’s detox system is functioning well and all nutrients needed for detox are adequate.

It has been suggested that toxic metals, such as mercury, inhibit the production of glutathione in the body, sabotaging the body’s detoxification system. As a result, toxic chemicals accumulate, affecting brain functions, resulting in behaviors frequently seen in children with ADHD.

This maybe reversed by limiting your child’s exposure to toxic substances and heavy metals through diets and supplementing your child’s diet with detox supplements, such as alpha lipoic acid, carnosine, n-acetylcysteine (NAC), trimethylglycine (TMG) or dimethylglycine (DMG).

Where to find GSH?

Glutathione is found in both plant and animal sources. Fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked meat and fish contain about 25 – 750 mg per pound. Processed foods, dairy products, most nuts, grains and legumes are not good sources.

Glutathione Food Sources

Glutathione supplement itself is poorly absorbed since the stomach acid would have digested most of it. The most effective way to raise hepatic glutathione is to administer its dietary precursors, cysteine or methionine.

Its precursors, N-acetylcysteine, glycine, L-cysteine and methionine supplements are more effective in increasing glutathione levels in the blood.

L-Cysteine supplement should not be used in children. However, NAC is a safer alternative. High doses of NAC may cause headaches and dizziness.

Silymarin, the active substance in milk thistle, may increase glutathione levels in the liver up to 50%.

There are also transdermal and intravenous glutathione available. However, these options will require special prescription through physicians who are familiar with their use.

As always consult a registered dietitian and/or physician who are familiar with dietary or nutritional supplements and working with children with developmental disorders. Avoid implementing trials of these supplements on your own. Some of these supplements may interact with your medication and some require closing monitoring of a pair of experienced eyes.

Immune-Boosting with N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

Immune-boosting N-acetylcysteine

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is naturally produced in our body from cysteine, a sulfur-containing amino acid. It is the acetylated form of L-cysteine. NAC is also the precursor to glutathione, a natural antioxidant and detoxifier that our body produces. N-acetylcysteine is more easily absorbed than either glutathione or L-cysteine.


ADHD, autism and many other developmental disorders are thought to be the result of defective detox system and abnormal accumulation of toxic chemicals and heavy metals.

NAC acts as an antioxidant and a free radical-scavenging agent to support the body’s detox system. It protects the liver by preventing the abnormal accumulation of lipids within liver cells due to oxidative stress, and against environmental pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, chloroform, urethane, and certain herbicides and reduces the toxicity of ifosfamide and doxorubicin used in cancer treatment, and alcohol toxicity. NAC is used among other chelating agents to eliminate heavy toxic metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic from the body.

NAC or cysteine participates in the sulfation cycle of the body, acting as a sulfur-donor in phase II of the detoxification system, and methyl donor in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. NAC has also been show to protect against neuronal death induced by oxidative stress.


NAC helps improve lung functions by breaking the disulfide bonds in mucoprotein molecules. This results in thinning of mucus in the lungs making it easier to cough up and clear out. This is especially helpful in people with chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hay fever, cystic fibrosis, fibrosing alveolitis, head and neck cancer, and lung cancer.

It also protects against heart diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, in patients with severe kidney diseases by reducing the levels of cholesterol, lipoprotein-a, homocysteine. Remember? NAC helps to convert homocysteine into methionine.

NAC is used as an antidote for acetaminophen intoxication by binding to the acetaminophen in the liver, and then excreting it.


N-acetylcysteine is more easily absorbed by the body than either glutathione or L-cysteine. Purified glutathione supplement is not very well absorbed by the body.

Studies show that dosage of up to 40mg/kg of NAC in children is safe.

NAC increases excretion of zinc and other essential minerals. When taking NAC over a long period of time, it is wise to supplement diet with zinc, copper and trace minerals.

Understanding the ADHD Brain

The ADHD Brain

How is the ADHD brain different from a normal brain?

The conventional medical views attention deficit hyperactive disorder as a biological disease or disorder caused by dysfunctions in the brain - specifically, a deficiency in key neurotransmitters.

This is the basis or rationale for using ADHD medications that supposedly alters the brain neurochemistry to reduce ADHD symptoms.
A medical doctor will probably tell you that the ADHD brain is deficient in two neurotransmitters - dopamine and norepinephrine, which are chemical signals that the brain uses to communicate between brain cells.

Dopamine is associated with mood, risk taking, impulsivity, and reward. Norepinephrine is believed to moderate attention, arousal, and mood.
It has been shown that defects in receptors genes and transporter proteins of neurotransmitters play an important role in creating the abnormal functions of an ADHD brain.

If there is a problem within the process of getting these neurotransmitters to their destination, the brain is unable to function optimally.
Researchers also discovered that children with ADHD typically have smaller prefrontal lobe (10% smaller). This is the portion of the brain responsible for reasoning, planning, and solving problems. This may be the cause of inattentive behavior, impulsivity, and over-stimulation.
There’s also research showing that a problem with the electrical impulses needed to release the neurotransmitters may be to blame.
Alternative health care practitioners may further explain the deficiency in neurotransmitters is due to problems, such as brain hemisphericity, delayed brain development and sensory integrative disorder.

Brain hemisphericity

Researchers have discovered that children with ADHD have right hemispheres that are weaker than the left. The normal brain can generally activate the right and left hemispheres of the brain effortlessly. The left brain tends to be the accelerator of the body, whereas the right brain is the "brake" system. If the right brain is the "brakes" of the body and the brakes cannot be applied, we, literally, have a runaway nervous system, which manifests itself as allergies, overactive immune system, hypersensitivity reactions and emotional instabilities.
Related article: Hemisphericity explained eloquently in this article.

A Delayed Development of Brain Structure and Function

An imaging study done by researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has revealed that the brain of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has a three year delay in maturity, and the pattern of development remains normal as other children without ADHD.

This basically means the ADHD brain’s development is behind actual age. So a ten years old child demonstrating ADHD behaviors might have parts of his brain functioning at the level of a six year old, which is why he or she has the attention span and impulsivity of a six-year-old.
The delay in ADHD was most prominent in regions at the front of the brain’s outer mantle (cortex), which important for the ability to control thinking, attention and planning. 

Other than the delayed maturation in the ADHD brain, the brains of children with or without ADHD showed a similar back-to-front wave of brain maturation with different areas maturing at different times.

Problems with sensory processing and integration

As a result of brain hemisphericity and brain developmental delay, a child with ADHD tends to have issues processing sensory information. They either feel too much (hyperactive) or don't feel enough (hypoactive). This explains the fidgeting and hyperfocusness with electronic stimulation.

In summary, the ADHD brain basically is an underdeveloped brain, just like any other developmental delays that we see all the time.
Some babies walk early, some walk later. Some speak early, and some need more help with speaking. My daughter had speech delay as toddler. She did not have her first word until 18 months of age. And her first word is “apple”, her favorite food.

She needed speech therapy for the first few years of her life and her intelligence, obviously.

The varying degree of maturation rate in the ADHD brain may present problems with functions and skills. Some maybe corrected with drugs to manipulate the neurotransmitters, different parenting skills, brain remodeling therapies, such as yoga, biofeedback, Luminosity or Brain Gym.
Knowing that ADHD is more of a collective term for symptoms rather than an actual diagnosis, we should focus treatment on correcting the underlying cause.

We can fix this with good food and nutrition and some supplements.

First of all we need a good healthy balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is an importance component of brain tissue.

Proper nutrition also ensure adequate energy to support brain function, growth and development.

Other dietary supplements that boost neurotransmitters and increase blood flow to the brain, such as ginseng and gingko biloba, may be included.

Also remember, ADHD symptoms can also be triggered by many other environmental factors, life stressors, nutrient deficiencies and biochemical imbalances, and the ADHD brain is just the manifestation of the real underlying causes.

CoQ10 for ADHD

What is Co Q 10?

Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant synthesized by the body, found in many foods, and available as a supplement. It comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidized form, which the body partially converts to ubiquinol. It is also known as ubiquinone, ubidecarenone, coenzyme Q, and eventually it is abbreviated to CoQ10 , CoQ.

This fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance is present primarily in the mitochondria, the body’s power station. It is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP. Ninety-five percent of the human body’s energy is generated this way. It is found in every cell of the body. Those organs with the highest energy requirements—such as the heart, liver and kidney—have the highest CoQ10 concentrations.

How Does Co Q 10 Help?

Co Q 10 maybe beneficial for children with ADHD in that it helps with membrane stabilization and the facilitation of metabolic pathways.  Co Q 10’s main function is that of an energy carrier. It participates in the aerobic cellular respiration inside the mitochondria, generating energy in the form of ATP.

Co Q 10’s antioxidant property derives from its role as energy carrier. As an energy carrier, the CoQ10 molecule is continually going through an oxidation-reduction cycle, which gives Co Q 10 the ability to exchange two electrons between ubiquinol (reduced CoQ) and oxidized CoQ (ubiquinone). Its reduced form makes it an excellent candidate as an antioxidant by giving up one or two of its electrons to wandering free radicals, thus, neutralizing them.

Unlike other antioxidants, Co Q 10 protects the body against the resultant oxidative stress from both the lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation. It also regenerates other antioxidants such as vitamin E. It’s benefit in cardiovascular disease lies in its protection against oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). And during oxidative stress, as in most children with ADHD and Autism, or adults with Alzheimer’s disease, Co Q 10 efficiently prevents the oxidation of bases on the DNA, in particular, mitochondrial DNA.

When shopping for Co Q 10, you’ll notice that most are advertised for heart health. Co Q 10 is mostly marketed for heart health in the United States because heart disease is the number killer in the US, followed by cancer. Go figure $$$$$$$$$

However, the antioxidant function of Co Q 10 does not only benefit heart disease. It can benefit any diseases or conditions that are the result of excessive free radicals, oxidative stress, daily physical, emotional and psychological stress.

Co Q 10 also plays a critical role in enhancing the immune system as well. It has been shown that patients with cardiovascular problems, cancer, and diabetes, taking 60mg of Co Q 10 a day for 3-12 weeks, raised their levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG), an antibody, levels significantly. IgG protects the body again infection by binding many kinds of pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Some research has suggested that this immune-enhancing function of CoQ10 maybe useful as a secondary treatment for cancer. In 1961, scientists saw that people with cancer had very low level of CoQ10 in their blood, especially patients with myeloma, lymphoma, and cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, pancreas, colon, kidney, and head and neck.

How Much Co Q 10 do We Need?

Our body has the ability to make Co Q 10. However, typical American diet provides only approximately 10 mg of CoQ10 daily. Not to mention, physical, mental and emotional stress, all forms of stress, illness and aging all contributes to the depletion of co Q 10 in the body, which increased body’s need of this substance even more than usual.

Therefore, supplementation is usually necessary to reach the amounts that Dr. Weil regards as optimal. Foods such as codfish, mackerel, salmon, sardines, egg yolks, wheat germ, whole grains, meats, and oils from soybean, sesame, and rapeseed (canola) are good dietary sources.

To get 30mg of Co Q 10, you needs to eat one pound of sardines, 2 pounds of beef, or two and a half pound of peanuts.

CoQ10 Food Sources

CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so taking the supplement with a meal containing fat will increase its absorption.

Co Q 10 supplements come in various forms. The gummies that generally more acceptable to children as it does not require any swallowing skill, it is familiar to most children as gummy candy, and it is generally quite tasty. Just remember not to leave the bottle around within reach of your child.

If your child is capable of swallowing pills, or prefer to swallow a pill, choose the soft-gel ubiquinol form, as this has greater antioxidant efficiency than the ubiquinone form.

Most supplements sold in the market are around 100-200mg per tablet, which is a pretty decent amount for most adult to start.

How much does a child need?

General rule of thumb for children over 2 years old is half of the adult dose. I suggest talking with your child's pediatrician before starting him or her on CoQ10 supplementation. I understand that many doctors are still not quite supportive of any natural alternative treatment, but, talk to them anyway as a courtesy gesture and ask for their support.

How Much is Too Much?

There is not much evidence on the toxicity of CoQ10, but so far, evidence shows that supplemental doses of up to 1,200 mg a day may be beneficial for those with certain health conditions, especially Parkinson's disease, with no known side-effects.

Some studies have found gastrointestinal discomfort was reported with high daily dosages of up to 3,600 mg.

These are really high doses that are usually seen in scientific research and signed consent form and human study agreement…blah, blah, blah. So don’t even try to get that much. Even half of these amounts are too much for most people.

5 HTP a.k.a. 5-hydroxytryptophan for ADHD

5 HTP Pathways

5 HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is a chemical that exists naturally in your body. The body makes 5-HTP naturally from tryptophan, an amino acid, from protein that you ingest. It is then converted into serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter in your body. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation.

How does 5-HTP help in ADHD?

5-HTP is used for treating many co-existing disorders of ADHD, such as sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), along with prescription drugs to treat seizure disorder and Parkinson's disease, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

How does it work?

5 HTP works by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain and the central nervous system. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Because 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain-barrier, it is the supplement of choice recommended by physicians to increase serotonin levels, as serotonin itself does not cross the blood-brain-barrier.

Related article: Treatment of attention de cit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation

Is 5 HTP Safe?

5-HTP is a natural substance in our body, thus, it is generally safe to use for short-term use for up to 12 weeks.
However, those with existing gastrointestinal problems should be cautious and speak to a physician, as there are reports of gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Avoid taking 5-HTP if you’re already taking antidepressants (such as an SSRI or MAOI) and/or medication that interfere with serotonin level in the body.

5-HTP has been known to increase suicidal ideation. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use 5-HTP.

What Should I Look For?

5-HTP is found in drug stores, health food stores and online. Make sure to look for pure 5-HTP or griffonia simplicifolia extract on the label. Avoid any additives, fillers, or binders. There have been reports of impurities and contaminants in 5-HTP supplements that cause eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), which can be deadly. It is an acute illness that causes intense muscle soreness. The condition comes from impurities in some L-tryptophan or 5HTP supplements, but not the L-tryptophan or the 5-HTP themselves. Look for reputable brands and manufacturers.

Start with a low dose of 50mg, twice a day, and slowly increase up to 100mg twice a day over several weeks. Take it 20-30 minutes before meals. It may take a few weeks to really feel a difference; you should not take the supplement longer than 12 weeks.

Here is a list of medication that also increases the body’s serotonin level. You should not take 5-HTP if you’re on any of these medications.

Antidepressant drugs interacts with 5-HTP

Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others. Taking 5HTP along with these medications for depression might increase serotonin too much and cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors interacts with 5-HTP

Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others. Taking 5-HTP with these medications used for depression might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Carbidopa (Lodosyn) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with carbidopa can increase the risk of serious side effects including rapid speech, anxiety, aggressiveness, and others.

Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take 5-HTP if you are taking dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others).

Meperidine (Demerol) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with meperidine (Demerol) might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Pentazocine (Talwin) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with pentazocine (Talwin) might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

Tramadol (Ultram) interacts with 5-HTP

Taking 5-HTP along with tramadol (Ultram) might cause serious side effects including confusion, shivering, stiff muscles, and others.

Keep Calm and Drink More Coffee

Keep Calm and Drink More Coffee

Can Coffee Help ADHD?

Coffee has long been known for its ability to increase alertness, reduce daytime tiredness and improves mental focus and concentration. Caffeine is the main chemical compound that gives coffee its special power.

Of course, it’s a “stimulant”.

Caffeine is probably one of the most consumed drug in the world — more than alcohol, and more than tobacco. About 90% of adults worldwide consume it daily.

Most of the caffeine is consume in the form of coffee (think Starbucks), and tea consumption is trailing right behind coffee. And caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks are growing popularity among children and young adults.

The average American consumes about 280mg a day, equivalent to about two cups of brewed coffee.

So, what does caffeine has to do with ADHD treatment? Doesn’t coffee or caffeine cause more hyperactivity?

Well, caffeine is a potent stimulant, just like the stimulants used to treat ADHD/ADD. It may not be as powerful as the amphetamines and methylphenidate (Ritalin), but it sure can help people with ADD/ADHD to function and focus better at work, in school, and in society.
Caffeine has been studied for ages as a potential treatment for ADHD. But its use as a “therapy” is not widespread because research studies show that it is less effective than the common stimulants used. However, one could have argued that the caffeine doses used in these studies were too low to have a consistent effect. And, of course, if caffeine is shown to be more effective or just as effective, pharmaceutical companies would lose a lot of customers to Starbucks.

How many people do you know drinks coffee every their lives depend on it?

Interestingly, anecdotal evidence suggests that many people are already using caffeine to self-medicate themselves or their children.
Many adults with ADHD symptoms are already using coffee daily to help them stay focus on task and get through the day. In fact, some can’t do without it.

I used to have a boss who drinks 2 liters of Mountain Dew a day. And recently I learned that one of the doctors that I work with consumes about 10 cups of coffee a day.

Ok…caffeine may not be as strong as the prescribed ADHD stimulants, but continuous oral infusion likes these makes up for it.
As opposed to common notions that caffeine makes you hyper, many people find coffee to the calming and soothing. Some even become sleepy with coffee consumption.

Let’s take a look at how coffee or caffeine helps in ADHD.

Caffeine, or 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, affects our brain chemistry by blocking the adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a central nervous system neuromodulator that binds to very specific receptors. When adenosine binds to its receptors, neural activity slows down, making you feel tired and sleepy.

As a consequence of blocking the adenosine receptors, caffeine also affects other major neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and, in high doses, on norepinephrine too. 

The activation of numerous neural circuits by caffeine also causes the pituitary gland to secrete hormones that in turn cause the adrenal glands to produce more adrenalin. Adrenalin is the “fight or flight” hormone, which increases your attention level and gives you an extra burst of energy.

By affecting these other neurotransmitters, caffeine is able to deliver a major boost of energy to mental alertness even when we are well-rested.   By increasing the transmission of dopamine, caffeine improves our mood and may protect brain cells from age and disease related degeneration.  By increasing the activity of acetylcholine, caffeine increases muscular activity and may also improve long-term memory.  By raising and adjusting serotonin levels, caffeine relieves depression, makes us more relaxed, alert, and energetic, and it also relieves migraine headaches by causing constricting blood vessels in the brain.

Why Drink Coffee to Treat ADHD?

First of all, it tastes better and it’s a lot cooler be seen drinking a cup of latte, Cappuccino or Expresso than seen taking ADHD stimulants.
Many people with ADHD function well enough with just caffeinated beverages to make it through life. Cost of coffee is more affordable compare to expensive ADHD medication. Not to mention all the side effects of these medications - anorexia, weight loss, loss of appetite, somnolence, sleep disturbance, zombie-like…

The use of caffeine does not have to be supervised by a health professional because it is not a dangerous controlled substance. Did I mentioned that one possible side effects of ADHD medication is ”suicide ideation”?

No, thank you…I rather have a hyper and inattentive child than a suicidal one.

And for some, they just don’t want to have to carry the burden of the diagnosis of having a "mental" disorder. Some occupations exclude candidates with any kind of mental disorders.

Both caffeine and Ritalin are absorbed into the bloodstream within about 45 minutes and wear off after 3 or 4 hours.

Caffeine certainly appears to be beneficial for some adults and children with ADHD. But just because it is easily accessible without a prescription, it is still a drug and does have side effects. Overconsumption and/or abusive use of anything (even if it’s good) can be dangerous.

How to Incorporate Caffeine into Your Daily Routine to Help You Focus?

The best and most natural way to get your daily caffeine is from coffee or tea.

A combination of caffeine-and-fat is the most effective for kids, teens and adults with ADHD.

Start with adding small amount of instant organic coffee powder or Starbucks microbrew with coconut cream in the morning. The caffeine, as we know by now, would provide the focus and concentration you need. The fat, specially medium chain triglyceride (MCT), in coconut cream will provide a sustained level of energy for the brain. The fat in the coconut cream also helps to absorb the caffeine better, which is soluble in fat.

A diet free of dairy, wheat, processed foods, processed fruit juices, food dye and any artificial food additives would complement nicely to better mental focus and concentration.

Monitor the amount of coffee taken. 100 mg of caffeine is equivalent to the low therapeutic dose of 5 mg of Ritalin.

An 8-oz cup of brewed coffee has about 135 mg of caffeine, black tea 60 mg, green tea 30 to 40 mg; and most caffeinated sodas have 35 to 55 mg and Red Bull energy drinks have up to 80 mg.

Fish Oil for ADHD Treatment

Fish Oil Benefits

Studies have shown that many children with ADHD have very low blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids. This deficiency is associated with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, apraxia, depression and anxiety. It has been shown that omega 3 fatty acids supplementation improves ADHD symptoms, such as hyperactivity, inattentiveness, aggressions, anxiety, impulsiveness, and learning difficulties.

Fish oil and cod liver oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), while flaxseed oil and algal oil are excellent sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is the precursor to DHA and EPA. ALA is an essential fatty acid, which means our body cannot produce this fatty acid. Our body makes limited DHA and EPA from ALA. However, this ability is limited. This is even more so in children with ADHD. Males, in particular, have a harder time converting ALA to DHA and EPA than females.

Furthermore, the typical American diet, which is excessive in omega 6 and deficit in omega 3 fatty acids, makes the situation even worse. This comes to no surprise as the major food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are seafood and nuts and seeds. The optimal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 4:1. You might think 4:1 – it seems we need more omega 6 than omega 3.

But not if I tell you the typical American diet provides a ratio of 20:1. We eat way too much omega-6 fatty acids in the form of processed foods. That means, our children will need to increase their dietary omega 3 intake by 5 times to get to the optimal 4:1 ratio. That’s a lot of fish to eat.


Both fish oil and cod liver oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. But cod liver oil has a higher EPA content, and it also contains vitamin A and vitamin D, which help boost immunity to fight infection.

Both DHA and EPA play important roles in the brain development. DHA has a structural role and EPA has a functional role in the brain development. EPA affects hormone metabolism, dopamine (neurotransmitter that regulates mood) metabolism and immune systems. DHA is the major structural component of nerve cells. It is also a major component of the retina in the eye.

Fish oil is better choice for children struggling with dyslexia and attentiveness for its higher DHA content. And cod liver oil would be a better choice for children with frequent infection, mood swings and/or depression for its higher EPA content.


During early childhood, the brain develops rapidly. You see the rapid progression of infants transitioning from just crying, drinking, pooping and sleeping to walking, eating, and talking in merely under one year. This is also why we always say baby’s brain is like a sponge. It absorbs new knowledge and skills very quickly. In fact, the infant brain doubles in weight by 2 years of age from birth, and continues to develop rapidly until at least 5 years of age. And the brain does not stop development and reshaping until we die. Amazing…


The answer is FATS…DIETARY FATS.

As the brain develops more nerve cells, more fat, in the form of fatty acids, is needed. Omega 3 fatty acids make up about 8-10 percent of brain tissues. It is the major components of myelin sheaths on nerve cells. Myelin is the fatty coating on nerve cells. The myelin sheaths insulate nerve cells (imagine electrical wiring) to ensure smooth uninterrupted transmission of impulses, preventing misfiring of nerve impulses. The rapid myelination during early childhood is what helps brain develops.

Because of this special needs in infants and young children, fat should not be restricted. Infants and children up to 2 years old should maintain a diet of up to 50% of calories coming from fat.

Healthy fats, such as avocado, safflower oil, olive oil, organic animal fats, organic eggs, coconut oil, and organic nut oils are encouraged. Organic oils/fats are preferred because pesticides, hormones and other chemicals tend to accumulate in fatty tissues in animals and/or plants. The organic choices will help to minimize intake of these substances, which can affect brain developments and health.


Children with ADHD need more DHA and EPA than other children. They may need up to 500mg to 1,000mg DHA from fish oil or cod liver oil. Remember these children have defective fatty acid metabolism, which makes converting ALA to DHA/EPA difficult. This is even more so in males than in females. Therefore, the best route to get adequate DHA and EPA is through fish oil or cod liver oil.

Most supplement container shows the total amount of fish oil, DHA and EPA per capsule. From here, you will have to do some math to figure out how many capsules your child needs to get to 500mg. Don't be surprised if it takes 4-6 capsules to get to 500mg. If your child prefers the gummy fish oil, the number could be double (10-12 pills).

Fish oil supplements have become very popular due to its many benefits and supporting researches. Manufacturers are coming out with new products that are flavorful for children. Look for high potency ones that deliver high dose of DHA in a more condense form. These tend to be more expensive. Therefore, when buying fish oil make sure you know what you are looking for, then price compare. It may be cheaper to buy a more expensive bottle, that your child may need only 1 pill a day versus a cheaper bottle that he/she will need 4-6 pills a day.

Cod liver oil is a good choice too. Besides providing EPA and DHA, it also provides vitamin A and vitamin D that are not in fish oil supplements.

Improvements may be gradual. Allow at least 4 months to determine if the supplementation is helping or not. Keep a diary of behavior helps too.

Sugar Coated

I just love the passion of these people making all these documentaries exposing the corrupted food system in this country.

Every time I watched one of these documentaries, I feel upset. I feel that I've been lied to during my training years as a student and intern.

Now that I don't have to be supervised by anyone. I told the patients what I believe, which is the truth.

Sugar is such an addicting ingredients that is in everything. It's amazing. Parents still believe that fat is bad.

NO!!! Sugar is worst.

I've been telling all my patients to avoid added sugar and simple carbohydrate all this time. It's like no one can give it up.

Watch the full documentary here and help spread the words.