Learning & Behavioural Disorders

Ruth F. Harrell and colleagues, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Harrell RF, Capp RH, Davis DR, Peerless J, and Ravitz LR. Can nutritional supplements help mentally retarded children? An exploratory study. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1981. 78: 574-8) showed that high doses of vitamins improved intelligence and educational performance in learning disabled children. . . The Harrell study was successful because her team gave learning-disabled kids much larger doses of vitamins than other researchers are inclined to use: over 100 times the adult (not child’s) RDA for riboflavin; 37 times the RDA for niacin (given as niacinamide); 40 times the RDA for vitamin E; and 150 times the RDA for thiamine. Supplemental minerals were also given, as was natural dessicated thyroid. Harrell’s team achieved results that were statistically significant, some with confidence levels so high that there was less than on chance in a thousand that the results were due to chance (P < 0.001) Simply stated, Ruth Harrell found IQ to be proportional to nutrient dosage.

“Dr. Harrell noted that one of the observations that they made during this study was that when there was a ten point rise in IQ, the family noticed it. When there was a fifteen point rise in IQ, the teachers noticed it. When there was a twenty point rise in IQ, the neighborhood noticed it. . . “The story of one child is particularly poignant. This seven year old child was still wearing diapers, didn’t recognize his parents, and had no speech. His motor skills were relatively unimpaired and he could walk and run fairly well. In forty days, after some of the supplements were increased, his mother telephoned. . . saying, “He’s turned on, just like an electric light. He’s asking the name of everything. He points and says, ‘What zis?’ Finally he pointed to his father and said, ‘zis?’ I said, ‘That’s your father and you call him daddy, and he looked at him and said ‘daddy.’ I’m your mother; can you call me mommy?” She went on to say, “I think he saw us for the first time.” This little boy went on to do very well in his learning, and eventually tested with an IQ of ninety, which an average IQ.” (Craft D. Can nutritional supplements help mentally retarded children? 1998. http://www.diannecraft.com/nut-sup1.html Accessed August, 2003.)