by Jeff Bradstreet, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.

When my little boy developed serious health and learning problems, I became devoted to helping parents find the nutrients their kids need to lead healthy and happy lives. What I found was the government acknowledged one in six children doesn't develop normally. That's too many of America's kids struggling, and too many physicians, pediatricians, nutritionists, teachers, educators, and policy makers struggling in their efforts to help these kids.

Squandering Gifts

I also found that God has blessed our planet with a true bounty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fresh water, and nutrient-rich soil, but we are squandering his generous gifts. We have polluted the Earth's waterways, contaminated our ground water, and pumped tons of toxins into our air. We are processing nutrition right out of our food and adding sugar and preservatives in its place. Today's food is losing its ability to sustain life. Nowhere is this more evident than in children who are having trouble learning and concentrating. The dysfunction our children are experiencing is a testimony to the toxic assault we face.

Research long ago discovered that more than 90 percent of total brain growth takes place during the first three years of life. To "grow good brains," babies and toddlers need superior diets rich in nutrients that support healthy brain function. Research has also shown that as children get older, what they eat can profoundly impact the health of their brain and their ability to learn. Children's learning is also affected by immune function, liver health, and digestive processes. And nutrition is the key to keeping these systems healthy.

Natural Options

When I began looking for natural options to enhance our children's ability to develop and perform well in school, I observed significant improvement related to the use of high quality nutritional products. This is true for both kids with learning problems, as well as kids who learn easily. If you want your child to learn and focus (think about those scholarships you want them to earn), they must have superior nutrition.

Integrative Therapeutics' Learner'sEdge® was formulated to help improve a child's attention span and learning ability. This supplement provides a combination of ingredients to support healthy neurological development and function in children: A choline precursor, DMAE, to promote healthy thought processes; acetyl L-carnitine, to prevent free-radical damage; L-theanine, to help neurotransmitters deliver their messages more efficiently; and carnosine, to promote healthy activity in the frontal lobe—the biggest and most advanced part of the brain.

All children need a good multivitamin. But even the best multi won't be effective if a child won't take it. While most kids can be persuaded to take a chewable, the terrible taste of magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron can make some kids balk. So, Enzymatic Therapy formulated Sea Buddies, with a base of naturally sweet elderberry fruit, creating a great tasting chewable multi-vitamin with optimal mineral levels.

For superior nutrition, there's Integrative Therapeutics' ChildEssence®—a comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplement formulated to provide all-around nutritional support in children. ChildEssence is especially beneficial for children who are having significant troubles trying to focus and learn. Because it comes in a capsule, ChildEssence can be opened and added to your child's food or juice if they are not yet able to swallow capsules. Another fun way to get capsulated supplements into your child's food is to break them into smoothies of fruit and yogurt. Strong flavors like cherry, grape, and blueberry mask the taste of most vitamins, minerals, and herbs very well.

ChildEssence® also contains chelated magnesium plus activated coenzyme forms of the B vitamins (including B6), vitamin C, and zinc, which are essential for cognitive function and neurotransmitter production; the important minerals calcium, needed for nerve transmission, and iron; and the trace elements of iodine, selenium, and chromium. In addition, natural vitamin E and additional antioxidants protect against free radical damage.

Without a doubt, one of the most essential nutrients for children's learning is Omega-3 fatty acids. Clinical research has shown that children who take supplemental Omega-3 fatty acids have improved learning and concentration. Tyler's Eskimo Kids contains one of the most extensively researched and documented fish oil supplements, setting a new standard for quality and effectiveness.


Integrative Therapeutics DigestRight® - an enzyme supplement formulated to promote optimal digestion of the fullest range of foods.

Integrative Therapeutics ImmunoKids® - for immune support with vitamin C, grape seed, French maritime pine bark, zinc, standardized TOA-free cat's claw, and polysaccharides from aloe.

Integrative Therapeutics PureKids® - for suppott of healthy detoxification with standardized milk thistle, calcium D-glucarate, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, selenium, alphaketoglutarate, methionine, and choline.

PhytoPharmica's Probiotic Pearls® with patented True Delivery™ Technology. Each Probiotic Pearl contains Lactobacilus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum, bacteria known to support the healthy balance of friendly bacteria in the intestine. The patented True Delivery Technology protects the Pearls from stomach acids and guarantees intact delivery to the intestines.

Every parent wants their child to do well in school and succeed in life. To do that, I am reminded of a verse in the Bible, "God knows what we need and has already blessed us with everything to meet those needs. All we need to do is seek it out for ourselves.