Mother becomes scientist to help young son overcome neurodevelopmental differences


Rachel Gow explains how her quest for answers to help her child’s learning and behavior differences inspired her career in neuroscience and nutrition. Dr. Gow shares her experiences, early failures and learnings, and the moment her son told her he felt ‘happy’. Her new book “Smart Foods for ADHD and Brain Health” includes her journey, the science behind brain health, practical tips, resources, and recipes for busy parents.

Topics Discussed
2:56 Early career & son's ADHD diagnosis
7:43 Interest in omega-3
13:12 Dr. Gow's book Smart Foods for ADHD and Brain Health
15:32 Clearing up confusion around omega-3s
23:01 Background diet and 'brain selective nutrients'

Resources Mentioned in this episode:
Follow Rachel Gow on Instagram: @nutritious_minds Smart Foods for ADHD and Brain Health  

I now know, as a newer scientist, ittakes six weeks to physiologically all to the red blood cell composition ofthe mega three fats in our red blood cells, hello and welcome to the science andthe story behind Omega Three: A podcast brought to you by Wiley companies,where we explore one of the most research nutrients on the planet.Listen in as Global Omega. Three experts and researchers translate thescience, reveal personal insights and share their stories of discovery whilenavigating the Sea of Omega Three Science. Thanks for joining us today. Now here'syour host Greg Lindsay Welcome back to another episode of theScience and the story behind Omega three or we talk with experts from allover the world. Our guests today is a child Nero psychologist and registerednutritionist, who specializes an attention deficit disorders. Her workintegrates the science of food and nutrition with child neuro development,learning and behavior. She is the founder of the charitable trustnutritious minds, and she has published a new book which we will hear moreabout to day. We welcome to the program Dr Rachel Gal, welcome, Doctor Galen.Thank you. So much for joining us, we are absolutely thrilled to have youwith us. Today you are a mom, a research scientist and now a bookauthor. We have so much to cover today, but I'd really like to start at thebeginning and ask you: How did you get interested in Omega threes? Firstly,let me just say it's a great pleasure to be with you today, and I've workedalongside Wiley's finest in various capacities over the years. So it's areal pleasure. Thank you in terms of how it all began. Would youlike the long or the short version? I think our listeners would pervert thelong version. Please, okay, sure. So my life started out in the world ofproperty, as you call it in the states real estate. So I was a young firsttime working mom in the north west of London, a place called Saint John'swood and I had a really exciting career because every day was different. I wasyou know I wasn't stuck in my chair in an office I was in and out of theoffice all the time very busy days. Meeting lots of really interesting,fabulous people and selling real estate is quite a lucrative career. I was ableto send my young son to a small private school round the corner from my workand yeah. I had lots of fun. However, he hewas about five six years of age and after a short period of time of himstarting that school, I received some complaints from the teachers about lowlevel, disruptive behavior and these kind of low level complaintsabout destruction led to me seeking out help from firstly by my memory, servesme correctly. It was an educational psychologist who came to interviewmyself, and my son also spent some time observing him in the classroom and shesuspected something called attention: deficit disorder or attention deficit,hyperactivity disorder, which is also known as Adhd, and she also suspectedthat he had dyslexia. So this then led to further investigations. I always saythat parents who have a child with any type of learning or behavior difference,any type of special educational need become better investigators than theFBI. You know we seek out every...

...professional that we can, and in mycase it was, as I said, educational psychologist, clinical psychologist,child and adolescent psychiatrists, and that resulted in a diagnosis of bothadhd mild dyslexia. Now that really turned our world kind of upside down.As I said, I was working a real estate. I had no or very little knowledge ofthese neuro developmental differences, and I realized that I needed to learnand fast. Basically, so that's where we were at after he received thesediagnostic labels. He was prescribed a stimulant psychotic,similar medication, also known as method teneat brand names Ritalin, andwe kind of had to wean him on an experiment with dose to see what workedand what didn't and it's not well known, but there's a proportion of childrenthat are called non responders. So they don't respond to the similar medicationor the side effects are kind of so severe that parents have to withdrawand in our case it was a bit of both. He responded in some ways in terms thathe was much better able to focus and pay attention, but then he wasn'treally eating and he wasn't sleeping and his emotions were kind of shot topieces. He was like all over the place, so we knew that that you know thiswasn't really going to work in the long term and I started to seek howalternatives. But alongside that, I decided to give up my career in realestate, and I enrolled in university is a mature student, because I was in my late s and Ibasically decided to study psychology. So I did a bachelor of science inpsychology and that led me to a master of science, also in psychology whichthen led to a PhD in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at theInstitute of Psychiatry, Kings, College, London, so yeah. So I spent four yearsstudying and I specifically was interested in looking at patterns ofactivity in the brain, so I recruited a cohort of childrenwith and without Adhd, so I were using Ug. We would have scalp recordedelectrical activity. We would record the electric activity of their brainwhilst they were doing tasks that captured sustained attention and alsoemotion, processing and also the ability or inability to suppress aresponse, which is also referred to as cognitive conflict inhibition. So theseare the kind of the hallmark symptoms of adhd s, inattentiveness emotionaldisreguarded, the inability to regulate their emotions. Often children withADHD, can be prone to unprovoked emotional outbursts, and I was alsointerested in the impulsive side as well. Not only was I interested inbrain activity, but I was also really interested in how that correlated tothe AMIGA three highly unsaturated variated levels, so that was my PhD.It's fascinating to hear. So, can you take us back to how you got interestedin Omega Threes? So how did I become interested in aweek of three well actually at first started when I was doing my masters ata University University College, London back back and a friend of mine workedat a neutraceutical in London and she had heard that my son had recently beendiagnosed of Adhd. So she really...

...educated me somewhat in terms of therole that a mega fees play in both the structure and the function of the brain,and not only that she sent me some samples to sent me a couple of boxes offish oils and the fish oils contained ECO to Penton, Ora Cassett, which isknown as PA, and also do co to Hexton o acid, which is known as D H. And weknow that these two key highly unsaturated bade acids of critical thebrains function in terms of neuro transmission, which is simply just theability of the brain to send signals across the brains network, also knownas cells. Signing. I'm sure we'll come on to that a bit more as the interviewprogresses, but also the critical in terms of regulating both the CERETANIand the Dope Manogi systems of the brain. Now Sarah Tona, and, as most ofyou may have heard of, is the neuro transmitter or chemical that governsand enables us to have feelings of well being and happiness, whereas dopamineis the chemical that enables us to feel pleasure, reward motivation and I'msure we'll come on to those and more debts later on so anyways there, somethese ficial capsules. As I said at the time, I didn't really know too muchabout them. We started taking them. We followed the instructions at the backof the box and, six weeks later she followed or she's like hey, you knowhow's it going if you observed any noticeable differences, and I was likeactually, I happened disappointingly and she said. Okay, that's not unusual.She said: There's a body of research. That's come out of the states showingthat children with Adhd have what's called nutritional insufficiencies, soshe said the dose is reallycritical and not only the dose but the duration ofdose, because I now know as a neuroscientist. It takes six weeks tophysiologically all to the red blood cell composition of a mega three fatsin our red blood cells, but not only that I've also learned through myresearch and training, I'm also a registered nutritionist under thecategory of Science, and I know that Mege, six and the meager three competefor desorption and synthesis into a red blood cells. So hence the backgrounddiet is critical and she was like, what's his background, diet, life and Isaid well, actually you know it's not the best. As I've mentioned, I was abusy working mom often we would have you know, meals out or meals, on the go,because you know we'd get home quite late at night and I didn't alwaysprepare meals and scratch back then. So this was something that I realized Ihad to quickly address. You know I had to address his background diet and Iwanted to get him nutritionally evaluated to see if he was intolerantor allergic to any. You know specific foods, and after discussing all of thiswith my friend, I decided to one get help to change his diet and learn asmuch as I could about the types of food he should be eating and also cut out a lot of the junk get back inthe kitchen. You know get back to making meals from scratch, which we didso we completely change his diet. We cut out sugar and years later, Iobviously found out more about the got brain access which I'm sure will cometo and how important that is in terms of the absorption of nutrients and then,after about ten weeks, I increased the dose, so he was on the dose that was onthe box and after researching this research, you know, findings that havecome out of the US about insufficiencies and deficits in ameager three in these cohorts and these...

...children and young adults. I decided toincrease the days and after about ten weeks, you know he turned round and hehe said mummy, I feel happy, and that was just absolutely incredible and thatclearly was now I'm you know putting my newestscientific hast on now. I realized that that was likely to be the betterregulation of both dopamine and Ceratonia, and also, I noticed that hishyperactivity diminished that he was a lot calmer and better able toconcentrate now. Of course, this was just a case study. This was just me asa mom. You know, experiment you know with my son and trying to find ways tohelp him and to help him better manage as symptoms because it was affectinghis schooling. So then I had to put this all into practice in terms of aresearch setting and that's what I did. I decided to devote my studies to thefields of what's called nutritional US size. Well, Dr Gal. Thank you. I wantto take a moment to jump into your book. So, first of all, what's the title andthen, secondly, why did you write it and what do you hope to accomplish fromit yeah? So the title is smart foods, the ADHD and grain health, and itreally is the sum of the acquisition of fourteen years worth of study, research,training, clinical practice. Of course, my son was the inspiration and drivingforce behind all that I have done, and I'm so happy that I did take that parbecause it's changed our lives and not only that. It's also enabled me to helpother parents in their journeys, because all of our journeys are uniqueand I just found the a lot of information wasn't readily available tome as a mom. So essentially, what I learned was you know what we eat reallydoes affect not only our mood, our ability to learn or concentration, ourmemory, you know at both cellular molecular levels and a lot of people.You know, don't take the role of food to the brain as seriously as I wouldlike, and I know others. My field would like because often time when you talkabout nutrition and it's a dress in the neck down, you know, in terms of youknow, you've got to eat, to prevent type you diabetes or obesity, or toadduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke and the every dayfundamental effects of nutrition. To our you know, neuro transmission, whichof course governs a new behavior ports. Feelings up on an everyday basisdoesn't get the attention it deserves, like what you hear so far make sure younever miss a show by clicking thes subscribe. But now this podcast is madepossible by listeners like you. Thank you for your support now back to theshow. So, let's talk specifically about amega threes, there's a lot of confusion around a mega threes right now and I'dlove to I've asked other guests. This question I'd love to help clear that upfor our listeners. So I'd love for you to maybe dig into that a little bitaround some of the confusion so well. The word fat normally has a negativeconnotation because, quite frankly, we've got it wrong. We've got the fastwe for a long time, and now we know that there are specific types of factsthat are critical, but our brain. So I'll tell you a little bit about that,but let's go right back to basic, so the brain is the fattest organ in ourbody. Around sixty five percent is the dry way to the adult brain and rettleand made up with these complex...

...specialized and unique fats calledLipids and around twenty five percent of all neuronal membranes, a made up ofa highly unsaturated bat called docorated or D H, and what they do I'lltry and break it down into a translation. Al Sense, so we havearound is estimated. We have around a hundred billion new ans in our brain,and each of these new ones is coated in a Milan sheath which acts as aninsulator to speed up self signing of the cross, our brains, networks. Nowthat mine and sheet is made up of tha. So essentially, research has been doneby Professor John Stein at the University of Box Thad that has shownthat Dha basically makes the faster and more efficient communication. So if youthink about that in a translational sense, you know you think about a childthat has adequate t ha versus a child who has suboptimal, or you know, nutritional insufficienciesof the Ha and the teachers. Asking a question and the child with adequate D,Ha has already put his or her hand up as completely computed, fullyunderstood the question you know ready to deliver the answerversus the child with inadequate Dha, which is who's still trying to figureout exactly what the question is, so that can be a translation or example orhypothetically in terms of differences in terms of the speed ofneurotransmission, and we also know, though, the work of a lady called he onKim at the National Institutes of Health, that, if you deprive selfcultured hit the campalans that result in something called new it out growth.It just means that the dendrites on the new one don't form as they should,which again slows down that communication process across the brains.But she's also shown that, if you put Dha back into this into thesehippocampal new ons, it was stores new. It out got so yeah. We know that depleted a mega three hasall sorts of implications across the brain in including lower domine in thenuclear succumbent and Fontal CORTEX. So Dha is critical for the brainfunction in a in a variety of ways. In fact, a meager three performs you know.Significant biological processes throughout the central nervous systemis also important for vision, visual acuity. You know the weter ismade out of the HA so essentially yeah. It's really important that children aregaining the rights, a man of the mega trees and it's difficult because a lotof children don't want to eat fish and seafood, and you know this can be justyou know: sub optimal amounts of a meager three and because a Mecury, youknow it cannot be made by the body nor stored for very long periods of time isonly obtainable by the Diet. So, let's break down a mega freeze a little bitmore. There are different types of fats. As I've discussed. You know there arethe Polyana rated buddy asses Alpha in E. LA casted is head of the Amigafamily and it's a short chain plant face polly, unsaturated body acid,often available from CCS flats. Nuts sees green, leafy vegetables, but it's the two key highly unsaturatedBadya EGAD DH, which required the brain function, and these are not easilyconverted from Ala to epands, hence of direct source from oily fish andseafood is critical and it's not from supplements, and we know that in the UKat least, a lot of school children have... adequate amounts of a megathere. Hisarm for a lady called Dr Alex Richardson University of Oxford,carried out a study called the dolad study and she measured, what's calledthe mean you know just meaning average, basically, the average school in UKschool children, and to do this, you can get in the meager three fingerprick test and the megacities podcast has a scale which is zero to for is suboptimal for ter. Eight is intermediate that everyone should be eight to twelveand that's the optimal and she found a men of just two point: Four in new Pschool children, which is pretty alarming. So we spoken about a megathree. Now, let's talk a little bit about a mega six, so the head of themeager six family is Linalae, and that is the biochemical precursorto a racoon ic acid. Now, Lina Le Acid is predominantly source from soybeanoil, so certain kind of vegetable oils, andalso from you know, Darry and meat and other sources, and so basically Linalae is abundant,also in a lot of John Composes foods. So if you pick up, you know go into thesupermarket and pick up any commercially available process food andyou look at the label. It will say soybean oil. The problem is withconsuming too much soybean oil, which most of us do is estimated that theaverage person is consuming around twelve to seventeen grams a day it canswitch on these inflammatory markets called Costenos and Luca Chines, whichcan place our brain in a state ofinflammation. Now, there's a general consensus among researchers, working inthe field of nutritional psychiatry and aditional new science, that underlyingmuch of psychiatric ill health is information in the brain. So it'sreally important to lower your intake of a mee sixes and increase your intakeof a meager threes. It's the balance. That is key but, as I said too much ameager six can switch on these inflamer markes and the last thing we want isinflammation in the body and brains. It's really critical to lower yourintake of of the megasea being oil and increase your Amegartos by a healthy.You know healthy fat such as kind of Avocado. You know olive oil, lots of seafood wild less than salmon orficial suppet. If you're, not aChristian seafood lover. The other thing I realized of going back to anearlier comment about when I first tried to fish off my son and it didn'twork, and then I corrected the doze and increase the day and then notice thedifference. That's really important, because if you remember I said I hadn'tchanged his background diet and a mega bring and six compete absorption sogiving him a little one. Gram Fish Oil Hill didn't make a difference becausehe was eating way too much a mega six and obviously it was a meager six. Thatwas being absorbed and not the AMIGA three. So that's a another importantpoint to make the parents as well. Can you give busy working parents sometips on food for their children? And I guess then my second question would be:Is it more advantageous to get your daily and take of a make a three fromfood from supplements from both? I love your opinion around that yeah I meancritically. You know there are lots of what I referto is brains, selective nutrients. So when we eat a piece of fish, forexample, we don't just get the meager...

...threes, we get the irons ID theselenium, the magnesium, the sink, and all of these were Cynagis ically tofacilitate the absorption of IMEGES. But, as we've mentioned earlier, a lotof children, don't like the smell or the texture taste of fish so ratherthan they go without altogether. In that case, I do recommend supplementingfor sure because, as we said, a negates critical for both Destructura dfunction of the brain and there's been so many. You know: randomized deceivercontrol clinical trials showing clinical efficacy. It's a small tomodest affect size, but none the less the megatech been successful in Arutzin reducing symptoms of adhd and improving literacy and improvingbehavior. So the list kind of goes on. So you know, my message to Pars isreally try and reduce sugar at least white with fine sugar. You know if youhave to use a bit of honey on Porridge out fine, you know, use it inmoderation, but get rid of that white. The fine sugar and also avoid processfood as much as possible because of the risks of increasing those inflammet ary marketsin the brain and try to give your child like a approaching in a meget whichbreakfast, if you can, as opposed to like cereal, you know, which has Idon't know up to fourteen ingredients. You know and oftentime elevated amountsof sugar and salt, and what that does is it gives that dope mean high and, ofcourse, by the time they're in the class, an then they're going to getthat crashing low with their blood sugar levels are going up and down, andwhat that does is it creates lactation simultaneously in their coonitis andmove so you're kind of setting them up to have? You know a less than productive morningat school, and this can impair their ability to access the curriculum andlearning so yeah always set them up. They try and do scrambled eggs get somesour dough, maybe some Avocado Mackerel. You know an Omelette yeah those typefoods instead of just the boldest cereal. So before you wrap up today, would yoube so kind to tell our listeners where they can find your book? Absolutely ifyou're interested in finding out a little bit more about my personaljourney and also about the contents of my book and just the touch on some ofthe subjects? It's not just aimed at parents with children who have adhd forany parent who is essentially interested in the role of nutrition inthe brain, and so you can head on over to Amazon it's available on the AmazonCom, as well as the Amazon, doc codo UK, and it's also available directly fromJessica Kings, Lee publisher and all major book sorts, but if you're, a momor perhaps you're a student studying, newes science or nutrition orpsychology or young person with any type of kindof mental health or brain health condition. I would recommend you headon over to nutritious under school mines, which is my instagram, and alsoI have two websites, Dr Rachel B, glom and nutritious minds do or so pleaseyou know, do get in touch by my social media or websites. I'd love to hearback from you love to keep in contact and her your thoughts. If you have anyquestions, I'd be happy to answer them to Dr Gal. Thank you so much again forbeing with this today, what an interesting program- and I, as a parent,just found it extremely fascinating and...

...listeners. Thank you again for joiningus today is always be healthy, bewell and fight the good fight. This has been the science and the storybehind Omega Three. Thanks to our sponsor wily companies, you can findthem and more information about our show at Wiley Cocom, a podcast. If youenjoy today's episode, don't forget to subscribe wherever you get yourpodcasts thanks for listening and we'll catch you next time any statements on this podcast or theopinion of the scientific guests and or author, and have not yet been evaluatedby the FDA. The information we may provide to you is design foreducational purposes, only as not intended to be a substitute forinformed medical advice or care. This information should not be used todiagnose, treat or prevent any health issues or conditions without consultinga health care professional. If you are experiencing a health, as you arecondition, we suggest you consult with your health care, professional, a.

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