Cause of Behaviour Problems, Learning Difficulties and Juvenile Delinquency. (Hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD)
The Hidden Drug Dietary Phosphate
(ISBN 0646 40644 2)
By Herta Hafer,
originally published in German
and translated into French and Italian,
is now in English.
Hertha Hafer, is a research pharmacist, assisted by her husband, a research chemist, establishes the connection between excess phosphate, regardless of source, in the diet and hyperactive behavior in those people-young or old-who are susceptible to this syndrome.
She also shows how the controlled reduction in the daily ingestion of those foods containing phosphate compounds can bring the hyperactivity/ADD/ADHD syndrome under control.
Many cases are cited; a suggested phosphate reduced diet is included.
A book review by Michael Sellar Spring 2002, Enzyme Digest, No56, UK says that although the book concentrates on behavioral problems, learning difficulties, hyperactivity and juvenile delinquency a low Phosphate diet may also be appropriate for treating other symptoms of this metabolic imbalance.
Disorders such as eczema , asthma, hay fever, neurodermatitis, stomach and duodenal ulcers and migraines. It also makes clear that physical and psychological problems can continue throughout adult life.
The book will be of interest to dietary therapists as well as those interested in the relationship between food and mood, metabolic typing and acid/alkaline balance.
Towards a low-phosphate diet…
A low-phosphate diet is not necessarily one lacking in phosphate, since much of the food we eat has a phosphorous content far exceeding the recommended daily intake. It is not strictly a diet at all, but rather the kind of food familiar to our forebears, before the modern era when most foods became processed.
Twenty five years ago German pharmacist Hertha Hafer did much the same thing in her book ‘The Hidden Drug: Dietary phosphate, as Percy Weston has in Cancer Cause & Cure. Hertha identified surplus phosphorous in modern food as triggering a serious problem, curable with low-phosphate diet, and then challenged the medical profession to reproduce her experiments and explain them scientifically.
So far they they have not risen to the challenge. Hafer’s special interest is hyperactivity and behavioural problems in children , including Attention Deficit Syndrome. One of her findings is that almost every such child had laryngitis as an infant or toddler-an early indication of indications of imbalances in mineral metabolism caused by excessive phosphate in the diet.
Typically these children have an increased susceptibility to allergies, which continues into later life. For them the effect of eating phosphorus-rich food is dramatic. Within minutes of ingesting phosphate, the balance of calcium, potassium and magnesium is disrupted and the production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrineine in the brain is impaired or blocked( p77 of the Hidden Drug Dietary Phosphate) also now available from Health Search Direct
From being perfectly well-behaved and normal on a low-phosphate diet, the phosphate-sensitive child in her case studies could give the appearance of becoming suddenly ” nasty, arrogant, obnoxious, ogocentric, disruptive, deceptive and malicious” and remain that way due to single dietary lapse, such as drinking a glass/bottle of Coke (which contains phosphoric acid) or eating a piece of chocolate cake made with eggs.
Hafer’s low-phosphate diet is also low in sugar, especially citric acid and malic acid ( involved in the citric-acid energy cycle). As she has done more than most to identify what are acceptable foods for those wishing to reduce their phosphate intake, here are some of her suggestion:
Wholemeal bread is OK if made from flour, water, yeast and salt. But be wary if the word ” emulsifier” is among the ingredients. Phosphorylated starch is another phosphate to avoid.
Avoid bread made with milk or milk powder, or lecithin. Shortcrust, puff, flafy, strudel and pie pastries are OK but avoid all others. Raising agents sour dough, potash , bicarb of soda, ammonium carbonate and cream of tartar are OK, but avoid all whole grains( including Ryvita), all white bread and rolls if ingredients are unknown, frozen pastries, instant cake mix, commercially baked cakes and biscuits, and phosphate baking powder.
Eat pure fresh meat, poultry and game.
Avoid meat and sausages made with phosphate additives( mineral salts, emulsifiers and lecithin), bacon, cold-pressed meats such as ham and bologna, sweetbreads – kidneys, liver, offal, etc, chicken or beef stock cubes, instant stock powder, soup mixes.
Eat fresh and frozen fish and crustaceans, sardines and other fish in oil.
Avoid frozen fish fingers and frozen instant fish meals.
Eat butter, fresh untreated or sour cream, small amounts of hard cheese and cottage cheese, ice cream made at home from fresh cream and pureed fruit.
Avoid all cows milk, buttermilk, skim milk( as an additive or not), yogurt, all processed cheeses, cheese spreads, cheese dishes, all margarines, and manufactured ice-cream.
Fruit and Vegetables.
Fresh salads and vegetables, potatoes mashed with butter and water, green beans, peas in moderation, ripe stone fruits, canned fruit without the syrup.
Avoid Mushrooms , sweet corn, soy beans and soy products, legumes- dried peas, lentils, tomatoes ( except certified organic)
Favour rice, seminola/cream of wheat, sago, tapioca, arrowroot, durum wheat pasta, unbleached flour-wheat or rye, homemade puddings and custard prepared with cream and water, corn flour, potato flour, fructose ( fruit sugar).
Avoid oats, oatmeal, muesli, instant rice, instant noodles, instant pudding mixes, instant thickening such as instant gravies, pancakes, sugar, honey, glucose and dextrose.
All have phosphorus to excess. Avoid.
This can neutralise phosphate induced hyperactivity in children.
Here’s what experts have to say.
“For two decades it has been known, but not widely publicized, that a number of environmental factors including exposure to certain chemicals has been associated with this disorder.”
“The Author Hertha Hafer, has an impeccable science background and is herself a concerned parent of an ADD child. Based on trial and error, scientific method and a deep love for her son, she has unraveled a perplexing mystery and formulated a fascinating new concept in managing these children. She has put her knowledge to the test with her own son with stunning results.”
“Perhaps this book will not help every child with ADD/ADHD,but it nevertheless is essential reading for parents to assist them in making an informed choice about their child’s treatment.”
Eve Hillary , Sydney NSW ,Environmental Health Consultant ,Natural Therapist and author of Children of a Toxic Harvest.
“While phosphorus is an essential nutrient, excess phosphorus acts like a kind of intestinal sludge, keeping both calcium and magnesium from being absorbed. One of the most alarming dietary changes in this country (USA) during the past decade has been the increasing consumption of soft drinks by teenagers. We take in more phosphorus than we can use .”
Leo Galland, M.D. in discussing the “chemistry of healing” in an essay entitled Magnesium and the Battle for Light.
“I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in understanding and overcoming ADD/ADHD. There is evidence that phosphate in the diet is above the optimal level and has been increasing in the last 20-30 years, as it has become more widely used in many types of processed foods.”
“In particular, the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the diet has declined. Independent evidence from diverse sources indicate that excess phosphate is an unappreciated cause of illness and can be treated.”
J.C. Waterhouse, PhD, Director of Chronic Illness support and Research Association ( CISRA) California, USA .
“I recommend Hertha Hafers Book The Hidden Drug-Dietary Phosphate to my addiction patients, because so many have ADD and the disturbed chemistry that underlies ADD. Unless this underlying chemical disturbance is corrected, these people just keep relapsing to their addiction.”
“Dexamphetamine is the mainstay of the treatment for ADD but diet is extremely important also, as so many addicts have such terrible junk food diets. We find the book very helpful.”
Doctor Neil Beck, Perth Western Australia,
Head of the Victoria Park Clinic for Heroin Addiction
Author of Beating Heroin,
Parents report success in using the Diet ( two examples dozens in the book)
A pale, difficult eight-year-old boy, who took frubiase calcium capsules prescribed by his doctor. He became extraordinarily restless, fidgeted, could not concentrate-was even less responsive than before the course of treatment. The exacerbation of his symptoms ceased after he stopped taking the medication. Norbert behaved completely normally after being put on the low-phosphate diet.
A ten year old with ADD symptomatology. Medical diagnosis- minimal early childhood brain damage, EGG normal. Attracted attention from the age of three onwards as a result of coordination problems. Increased motor restlessness was followed by psychological disorders.
In 1977 his condition improved considerably. There were relapses after changes to his diet. His mother recognised the connection between certain foods and the relapses.
These foods were the same as the “forbidden foods” of the low-phosphate diet. From 1978 onwards Friedrich received the low-phosphate diet. Four years later his mother reported, ” The problems are all gone-my son is doing well”
The Hidden Drug Dietary Phosphate
by Hertha Hafer
(Cause of Behaviour Problems, Learning Difficulties
and Juvenile Delinquency ADD/ADHD)
This book is now available
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