In part 3 of a series on nutritional supplements with BrainMD Chief Science Officer Paris Kidd PhD, we turn our attention to children. With the help of Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen, Dr. Kidd answers the question of what supplements are the most helpful for children. Knowing how to support your child’s health is one of the best ways to give them a head start in their development, so it’s crucial to know which supplements will be most effective for them.
Tana Amen: We're back, and we're gonna talk to Dr. Kidd about kids. So we're gonna-
Dr Daniel Amen: That was a pun, wasn't it?
Tana Amen: I really want to encourage you- it was, yeah.
Dr Parris Kidd: Kidd's kiddies.
Tana Amen: I would really encourage you to watch the video we did with Dr. Kidd on general information about supplements, because it will fill in a lot of the blanks, but I want to talk to you about some specific information about kids. People ask me all the time, what can I give my kids, how much, that kind of stuff. I know with my daughter I gave her the basics, but I want to hear from the expert what you think the basics are for kids?
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, and how early can you start?
Dr Parris Kidd: Kids need all of the vitamins and essential minerals that we need.
Tana Amen: So, multi.
Dr Parris Kidd: Yeah, yeah, a multiple vitamin mineral.
Dr Daniel Amen: And we have one of the best multivitamins
Tana Amen: That's not loaded with sugar.
Dr Daniel Amen: We have a chewable-
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: That I actually use on my desk, don't listen to this, for candy in the afternoon. So-
Tana Amen: I don't think you're [crosstalk 00:01:08]
Dr Parris Kidd: Even if it has no sugar in it-
Tana Amen: [crosstalk 00:01:09]
Dr Parris Kidd: Even though it's sugar free, you still like it.
Tana Amen: Wait. What people just heard is they can give this to their kids as candy. Don't do that.
Dr Parris Kidd: But the kids NeuroVite, while I was working on it-
Dr Daniel Amen: It tastes so good.
Dr Parris Kidd: While I was working on it, I got this call from Dr. Amen, from Daniel, and he says, "Parris, you've got to do better than this." And I go, "Why? What's up?" He says, "Well, the flavoring has maltodextrin in it and we can't have that. We don't want to have any of those sugary things in our products." So I said, "Okay, Daniel," and I had to go and redesign the flavoring so that the kids NeuroVite has zero sugars.
Tana Amen: Which is actually unusual.
Dr Parris Kidd: And it still tastes incredible. Yeah, it's very unusual.
Dr Daniel Amen: So go to the big box store with the kids [crosstalk 00:01:48] food dyes, sugar, corn syrup.
Tana Amen: Right, it's crazy.
Dr Parris Kidd: It's very unusual for-
Dr Daniel Amen: They're trying to kill these kids.
Tana Amen: Crazy.
Dr Parris Kidd: Very unusual for any supplements produced by anyone and very unusual for foods, but BrainMD does things differently. Even our beautiful tasting chocolates don't have sugar added to them.
Tana Amen: Love it. Okay so-
Dr Daniel Amen: Kids can eat the chocolate.
Tana Amen: So multivitamin, vitamin D is already in there, but would you add vitamin D?
Dr Parris Kidd: Omega 3s, don't forget. The omega 3s and the 12% to 15% of American kids who have some sort of issue with attention or learning or behavior or whatever all can benefit from omega 3 supplements. We can offer them the Omega 3 Power if they're willing to take a capsule, or we have this product called Coromega.
Tana Amen: The pudding.
Dr Parris Kidd: Which they can just squeeze out of a pack and put into a liquid.
Tana Amen: Those are good for traveling. My daughter would rather take the pills because she doesn't want to have to mess with the pudding, but when we traveled, it was really easy to take that because it wasn't a big thing of oil. I could just take little pudding packs with us, and they're individual.
Dr Parris Kidd: The kids' NeuroVite supplies actually quite a lot of vitamin D, but if they want to give more, then they can either use our 5000 IU and give them one every two or three days or so.
Dr Daniel Amen: I think it's important, even with kids, to test their level.
Dr Parris Kidd: Yeah, absolutely.
Dr Daniel Amen: When I found my level was 17, I've been obsessed with it ever since. When you know the number, then you know if you should do something or you don't need to do something.
Tana Amen: What about probiotics?
Dr Parris Kidd: Well, if their kids have specific issues that involve their GI system, if they know that the child is not doing well with going to the bathroom and stuff like that, then a probiotic would be appropriate. Or if the kid has been taking a lot of antibiotics over the years, or if they just want to give them a probiotic supplement, but as I said in another segment that we did, it's very important to ask the supplier, "Do you have clinical studies with the strains of bacteria that you want me to buy for my child? Do you actually have clinical studies that show that these work for children?" There are, by the way, lots of clinical studies. Unfortunately, many of the strains that are being offered are not the ones that the clinical studies were done on.
Tana Amen: Okay. So if, let's just say, because I know we make a really good probiotic, but it comes in a capsule and if your child is too young to swallow a capsule, can it be opened up and put into a smoothie?
Dr Parris Kidd: Yes.
Tana Amen: Okay.
Dr Parris Kidd: That applies to any of the supplements.
Tana Amen: So what I did with my daughter when she was too young to swallow pills, I either mixed it into a little, I created a little like avocado pudding type thing or I would make her a small smoothie, small enough that she would drink the whole thing, and I would put all of the supplements in there.
Dr Parris Kidd: Right.
Tana Amen: That's just one tip for you and I wanted to make sure that our probiotic could be opened.
Tana Amen: I would also poke a hole in the vitamin D.
Dr Parris Kidd: Exactly. This is all very good. This is very good. Some people ask, "Well, do I have to take my supplements separately or what?" The answer is supplements are not pharmaceuticals. Supplements work in such a way that you can take them all together. The only distinction is that the vast majority of supplements are meant to be taken with a meal. There are just a couple, like our NeuroLink and serotonin mood support that are better taken on an empty stomach.
Tana Amen: Oh, okay. Good to know.
Dr Parris Kidd: But just a few. There's no need ever to have a high fat meal when you take supplements because the liver makes bile, which is our biological-
Tana Amen: Oh, so that's a myth.
Dr Parris Kidd: -Emulsifier and fat dispersant and the bile disperses all of the nutrients and optimizes their absorption.
Tana Amen: Okay, so just putting it in a smoothie for a kid is enough.
Dr Parris Kidd: Yeah. Bile is the best fat that we have. It's all biological. Well, there's another story to that, but anyway. There are fatty type substances that are actually very healthy for us and bile takes care of that, so we don't need to worry about fatty meals and all of that.
Tana Amen: Awesome. I just think this is so helpful to know with kids. I still, when my daughter went into kindergarten I got her blood tests done and found out what her ... I added vitamin D to it, because I'm sneaky that way, so that I would know if I was on target with what she was getting, whether I needed to add or decrease or whatever.
Dr Parris Kidd: Right. I go to my friends' homes and I see them with a calcium product or this or that. [crosstalk 00:06:07] They don't have a good multiple vitamin mineral and they don't have a decent vitamin D and they don't have omega 3s and yet those are the core of our health. The way our cells function requires that core program, the multiple, the omega 3s and the vitamin D. You can go out and you can buy stuff because somebody tells you to buy it, but if you're not getting those three, then your health is not guaranteed.
Tana Amen: I agree.
Dr Daniel Amen: What do you do with the child that is difficult? I mean, we see so many oppositional defiant disorder kids, and they're also very sensitive to taste and they refuse to take them?
Dr Parris Kidd: Right. You slip the supplements into-
Tana Amen: You be sneaky.
Dr Parris Kidd: -Something that they like.
Tana Amen: Yeah, you don't ask them.
Dr Parris Kidd: But you can negotiate with them and get it into a meal.
Tana Amen: You're nicer than I am. I'm just like sneaky.
Dr Parris Kidd: Well, if they're oppositional, I've actually met oppositional kids. I did a study on them once a long time ago and they actually responded to omega 3s by the way, oppositional kids [crosstalk 00:07:11].
Dr Daniel Amen: Interesting.
Dr Parris Kidd: And to PS, phosphatidylserine. Anyway, so you slip the supplements into some vehicle that they will take.
Dr Daniel Amen: You know we have phosphatidylserine.
Tana Amen: Right. I just made something really tasty and didn't say anything.
Dr Daniel Amen: And there are studies with phosphatidylserine, or PS, and we have our own stand alone PS. You actually were involved in bringing that to the United States.
Dr Parris Kidd: Right. Just call me Dr. PS.
Dr Daniel Amen: Dr. PS. So why was that? Why were you excited about that?
Dr Parris Kidd: Because there were so many clinical trials on it already from the 1980s, there were clinical trials with phosphatidylserine and then clinical trials continued to be done and it has a consistent ...
Dr Daniel Amen: And the trials were done in Israel?
Dr Parris Kidd: No. Europe, a few trials in Israel, but all over Europe, in the United States, other places.
Dr Daniel Amen: So have you heard this before? I just heard it yesterday and it really irritated me. Well, are there any trials in the US?
Dr Parris Kidd: Yeah, there are US trials.
Dr Daniel Amen: Because the saffron trials are in Iran.
Tana Amen: Why does that-?
Dr Daniel Amen: I'm like, "That was just the most racist thing."
Tana Amen: Why does that matter?
Dr Daniel Amen: You could ever say.
Tana Amen: I'm confused. If it's from a reputable ...
Dr Parris Kidd: They're actually saffron trials from Greece and actually arguably the single best trial on PS was done in the United States at Vanderbilt by my now deceased friend and colleague, Thomas Crook, a dutifully designed trial on memory and then he did another trial on people with catastrophic memory loss, which for regulatory reasons I'm not allowed to talk about. So we have American trials on PS and we have trials all over the world and it is the best documented nutrient for memory, and it's also very good for attention and learning and it also helps with behavior.
Dr Daniel Amen: What dose for kids would you start with?
Dr Parris Kidd: Kids actually need more proportionately than adults do. Little kids need about 200 mg and bigger kids need 300.
Dr Daniel Amen: The adult dose is typically 300.
Dr Parris Kidd: I take 600.
Dr Daniel Amen: Wow. Is that why you're so smart?
Dr Parris Kidd: Because I know it's safe. I'm trying. I'm working on it, Daniel. I'm working on it. I need all the help I can get.
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, we hope this is so helpful for you.
Tana Amen: Really helpful.
Dr Daniel Amen: Supplements can really, as Dr. Kidd says, give you insurance. They can help optimize brain function. We've seen it. I've published a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial showing that brain and body power increased memory and focus. We're excited about this, not because it's our business. It's our business because we love it and we know it has the potential to be helpful to you.
Tana Amen: For non-pharmaceutical.
Dr Daniel Amen: Start with the brain health assessment. Learn as much as you can. Go on scientific sites like pubmed.com from the National Library of Medicine.
Tana Amen: Look it up yourself. Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: There is more science that will really excite you that these things have the potential to help you.