Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:51

Mineral Therapy For Learning Disabilities

Posted by on Monday, September 14, 2009, 16:30
This news item was posted in Learning Disabilities category and has 0 Comments so far.

Minerals, like vitamins, are necessary for the maintenance of health. At least thirteen minerals have been identified as essential to health, including potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Other like zinc and copper so called “trace elements” are needed only in tiny amounts.

Proponents of orthomolecular medicine claim that mineral deficiencies can result in learning and behavior problems. They also claim that such deficiencies can be detected by measuring the concentration of certain minerals in the hair and that supplemental treatment with the appropriate minerals will result in improvement in learning and behavior problems.

The evidence. Like the orthomolecular theory of vitamin deficiency, the notion that learning and behavior problems can result from mineral deficiencies has an intuitive appeal and, on the face of it, seems to make sense.

We know that minerals are indeed necessary for health and that mineral deficiencies can result in a broad range of problems. Iron, for example, is an essential component of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying component of the blood. Iron deficiency results in anemia, which is characterized by pallor, fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath. Magnesium deficiency, which can occur as a result of alcohol abuse or prolonged treatment with diuretic drugs, can produce anxiety, restlessness, tremors, palpitations, and depression.

Finally, there is good evidence that hair analysis, the technique usually used to detect mineral deficiencies, is not a valid way to measure the levels present  in the body. As one expert has pointed out, levels of mineral in hair can be effected by the exposure of hair to the environment, the presence of minerals in some shampoos, hair color, and the rate of hair growth. Therefore, there may be no relationship between levels present in the body add those measured in the hair.

Conclusion. Like vitamins, minerals are necessary for normal physical and mental functioning, and like vitamins, they pose dangers when take in excessive amounts. An excess of iron, for example, can result in nausea, abdominal pain, and liver damage. In excessive amounts, zinc can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron and copper, in turn resulting in nausea, vomiting, fever, headaches, fatigue, and abdominal pain.

There are documented dangers associated with this approach and no evidence to support its usefulness. Therefore, mineral therapy has no place in the treatment of children with learning or behavior problems.

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