Saturday, October 10, 2009

11. What's Next?

Not all people who have deficiencies in vitamin D, calcium, and dietary fats become obese. Whether the person accumulates excess body fat to compensate probably depends on genetic make-up. However, those who stay thin suffer consequences that are at least equal in severity, and perhaps exceed, the health issues associated with obesity.

Dr. Fred Baughman, a pediatric neurologist, has recently published a book, How Psychiatry Makes 'Patients' Out of Normal Children , [1] in which he proposes that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a fake disease, invented for the sole purpose of pushing drugs like Ritalin that are claimed to combat it. He cites the case of a 14 year old child, Matthew Smith of Royal Oak, Michigan, who fell off his skate board and died suddenly. Matthew had been on Ritalin since first grade, due to a diagnosis of ADHD. Upon autopsy, his heart was found to be diffusely enlarged, scarred, and riddled with fat. The medical examiner blamed Ritalin for the heart damage, and certainly Ritalin may have aggravated the problem. It may be the case that Ritalin works by making the brain more efficient at utilizing fats, but this would be at the expense of the heart. The heart would then be compelled to further enhance its own private store, to satisfy its nutritional needs. However, I believe that the fatty and enlarged heart and the ADHD are both a consequence of an underlying defect in glucose metabolism.

In my next blog post, I will discuss how defective glucose uptake in children may explain a number of problems assoicated with an inadequate supply of fat to the brain, such as ADHD, Asperger's syndrome, depression, and sleep disorders. The brain is an extremely fatty organ. All of its nerve fibers are coated with a fatty myelin sheath that insulates them to keep their signals intact. The brain does not use fat for fuel. This would be extremley unwise, becauseit would be unable to avoid feeding off of itself. However, with inadequate fat supply, it is unable to build healthy nerve fibers, and this has dire consequences to mental health. The consequences are especially disturbing for children, whose immature brains are constantly integrating new knowledge, concepts, and experience, to make sense of the world they live in and their role in it.

No comments: