Nutritional therapy found to moderate violent behavior

A study of nutritional therapy in children suffering from violent behavior was recently completed at the Pfeiffer Treatment Center (PTC; see their website at near Chicago and was published in the journal Physiology and Behavior (2004 Oct. 15; 82 (5): 835-9).

In this study, more than 200 children were individually evaluated and given nutritional supplement programs based on their specific needs. The evaluation phase included a history and exam, as well as a series of laboratory tests selected on the basis of PTC’s 10-year experience treating psychiatric disorders with nutrition and inspired by the work of the late Carl Pfeiffer, PhD, MD (detailed in his book “Mental and Elemental Nutrients”).

Results were dramatic; upon re-evaluation four and eight months after starting the program, more than 90% of participants had improved, with roughly 60% becoming symptom-free.

As impressive as this study may seem to many, it would be rapidly dismissed and considered “anecdotal” in mainstream medicine because it is an outcome study and not a double-blind study. In outcome studies patients are evaluated before and after treatment, as they are in double-blind studies, but none are given a sugar pill instead of the real treatment and both patients and doctors know what is being done.

The problem is that individualized nutritional therapy simply does not lend itself to analysis by double-blind study. This leads to a vicious cycle where vitamin therapy is considered quackery because there are no “valid” studies, which are not do-able, and the studies that are done are summarily dismissed. As inflexible as this position may appear, it reflects a deeply ingrained bias against natural and nutritional treatments.

In my work, I have long corresponded with the scientists at PTC and use evaluation criteria and nutritional therapies that are very similar to theirs.

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