Mineral Deficiencies and Hyperactivity

Howard J

Presented at the Hyperactive Childrenís Support Group Conference. Published by HACSG, Chichester, UK, 1987


A brief description of how I first became interested in this subject might help to set the scene. During the nineteen sixties I was involved in some investigations into a possible relationship between exposure to toxic metals and infertility. As part of this work post coital tests were performed. In some types of toxic element accumulation spermatozoa are unable to pass through the cervical mucus due to a problem which is very like that found when anti-sperm antibodies are present. About 50% of the women investigated already had children. During the routine history taking it seemed to me that a rather high proportion of these youngsters were being described as troublesome or problem children.

I was unable to stimulate much interest in this observation among the other doctors and scientists involved with the project. I was, however, given the go ahead for an informal investigation.

As a pilot scale study I chose six of the most troublesome of the children and, with the permission of their parents and their doctors, proceeded to look for possible increases in toxic metals such as lead and cadmium. As my major interest was in the essential elements such as zinc and magnesium I also measured these in the samples from the children. I was actually quite disappointed to find that only one of the children had a high lead and none of them had any other toxic element problems that I could detect. When I looked at the essential element levels a very different situation came to light.

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