Question: from Joanne
Hi, I have an 8 year old son, adopted from Russia. He is having problems and is suspected to have some fetal alcohol effects and many of the ADHD symptoms. I have had him on your Omega 3 (2 tablets a day) for a few months. He has definitely calmed down, however I am now looking for something to help with concentration. I have read numerous articles on line and have come across herbal products called "brightspark" and "focus formula" - but I am looking for something I can buy in NZ.
I was wondering whether your TB children's (tried a bottle of this but he wouldn't swallow the tablets) or whether the natural memory would be worth a go. Your memory product contains some of the ingredients recommended in the "brightspark" and focus formula products. Do you know anything about either of these products? I am finding it very difficult to decide what to try.
Answer: from Joanna Machin (Medical Nutritionist for Xtend-Life)
First of all yes, the Total Balance Children's would be ideally advised to try to balance his health overall more, which in part includes this area, at his young age. The recommended dose for his age of the Children's formula would be 3 tablets per day - 2 in the morning and one in the afternoon.
If he has problems swallowing this may just take encouragement and perseverance if he isn't used to taking tablets full stop. Children can find this hard when they are not used to it, once they do it a few times with positivity they usually find it second nature. In order to help, here are some swallowing tips that you could use:
Ensure that you use a thick liquid to drink whilst trying to swallow tablets. Using water or tea or a similar thin liquid simply doesn't give enough leverage to someone whose throat and tongue are already tense from not feeling too comfortable with what they are doing. Therefore, using a thick liquid such as a smoothie or very thick juice will help this process, as taking a big gulp allows the tablet to slip down easily with the normal act of swallowing the liquid.
Ensure that the tablet is placed in the mouth so that it is going down lengthways. Make sure that it is placed to the middle to back of the tongue, just not at the front. This also helps. Another helpful tip is to dip the tablet in jam or yoghurt first, then place it in the mouth, and follow this with a large gulp of a thick liquid. This should reduce the actually feeling of having a tablet in the mouth and allow for even easier sliding down during the swallowing action.
Ensure that he sits up straight, with his head straight forward. If the head is tipped down, or tipped up too high, then the act of swallowing is more difficult naturally anyway, so this inhibits the natural act. If the head is facing straight forward, or just very slightly tipped up (but not too far) then swallowing becomes much easier.
Now, with regard to Neuro-Natural Memory, this product is advised for people aged 10 and upwards so he is a little young for this at the moment. At age 9 he could take 1 per day tablet if you wish to try to help a little more as it is a good recommended supplement for this condition.
Brightspark is a completely separate type of remedy. It is a homoeopathic remedy. If you wish this is absolutely fine to be taken with any or all of the above, as homoeopathic remedies don't interfere with any other elemental product.
The Focus remedy is similar in that it only contains some low potency liquid extracts and could be used as well if you wished, although with all of the above I feel this would be unnecessary. Ensure of course that his diet and pure fluid intake is optimal and of course, plenty of regular daily exercise.