Would you like to try a natural alternative to Ritalin? Natures Sunshines Focus Attention provides important nutrients recognized for their effects on optimal brain and nervous system function, as well as their protective benefits against free radical damage. Focus Attention is a safe and natural dietary supplement that can be taken by both adults and children to enhance memory, mental focus, clarity of thinking and overall learning ability.
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) is a naturally-occurring nutrient present in small quantities in the brain and in certain seafoods such as anchovies and sardines. DMAE has demonstrated positive effects on brain function, including improvement of intelligence, learning ability, memory and mood. One of the few substances capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, DMAE protects cells against oxidative (free radical) damage. DMAE also enhances the production of choline, which is utilized by the brain to create acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter that increases learning ability and memory—research confirms that older adults afflicted with memory loss exhibit reduced
acetylcholine levels. In addition, research shows that DMAE effects positive behavioral changes (reduced anxiety, depression and irritability) in patients with senile dementia. Furthermore, studies have shown DMAE to be effective for children diagnosed with learning and behavior disorders, including attention-deficit disorder (ADD). In fact, DMAE is often promoted as a natural alternative to Ritalin, the now-controversial drug typically prescribed for ADD. DMAE is considered a safe and effective alternative to such amphetamines, especially since there are no reported side effects on blood pressure or heart rate, no induced “jitteriness” or loss of appetite, and no serious disruption of sleep.1-6
Ginkgo biloba provides significant antioxidant protection against free radical damage to brain and nerve cells. Ginkgo also helps prevent metabolic disruptions that can cause a lack of blood supply to the brain by increasing oxygen utilization, cerebral circulation, and the uptake of glucose by brain cells. A review of over 40 clinical studies confirmed that ginkgo effectively decreased all symptoms of impaired mental function associated with cerebral insufficiency (insufficient blood flow to the brain). Numerous studies also indicate benefits for delaying the mental degeneration seen in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. However, ginkgo’s positive effects are not limited to the elderly—a double-blind study of young women showed that ginkgo significantly increased their reaction times during a memory test. Furthermore, the German Commission E recommends ginkgo for improving memory and learning capacity.7-11
Grape seed extract is a rich source of plant flavonoids called proanthocyanidins. The powerful antioxidant activity of these proanthocyanidins is approximately 50 times stronger than that of vitamins C and E. Many grape seed proanthocyanidins can cross the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells and nerve endings against free radical damage caused by exposure to air pollution, certain carcinogenic chemicals, tobacco smoke and ultraviolet
L-Glutamine is the only amino acid capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once inside the brain, glutamine is readily converted into glutamic acid where it functions, along with glucose, as fuel for the brain, enhancing mood, mental alertness and clarity of thinking. Glutamic acid also acts as a detoxifier of ammonia buildup (a by-product of brain metabolism) in the brain. Even small increases in ammonia levels in the brain can result in confusion, fatigue, inability to concentrate and mood swings. Glutamine supplementation has been shown to be helpful for behavioral problems and autism in children. Glutamine is also useful for IQ improvement in mentally-deficient children and in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, epilepsy, sugar cravings, schizophrenia and senility.1,14,15
Melissa officinalis, also known as lemon balm, has been widely used as a relaxing tonic and mild sedative for anxiety, restlessness and irritability. German researchers have shown that melissa’s volatile oil component is primarily responsible for the herb’s calming effect on the central nervous system. Melissa’s sedative properties have also been confirmed in animal studies. In addition, recent research shows that melissa provides more antioxidant activity than vitamins C and E.16-18
Slippery elm is well-known for its healing effect on irritated or inflamed mucous membranes. The herb’s mucilage coats and soothes affected tissues, drawing out toxins and irritants, thus making slippery elm especially helpful for conditions such as acidity, colic, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Individuals with weak or overly sensitive digestive systems will also benefit from slippery elm’s nutritive content. Furthermore, slippery elm may also aid health problems related to poor digestion and absorption such as allergies, food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies. Interestingly, allergies, food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies have all been implicated in many cases of learning and behavior disorders (including ADD and hyperactivity).16,19,20
1 Potter, B. & Orfali, S. Brain Boosters. Berkeley, CA: Ronin Publishing, 1993.
2 Mindell PhD, E. Earl Mindell’s Supplement Bible. NY, NY: Fireside Books, 1998.
3 Jope, R.S., et. al. “Dimethylaminoethanol (deanol) metabolism in rat brain and its effect on acteylcholine synthesis.” Journal of
Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; 1979, 211(3): 472-479.
4 Ferris, S.H., et. al. “Senile dementia: treatment with deanol.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; 1977, 25(6): 241-244.
5 Lewis, J.A. & Young, R. “Deanol and methylphenidate in minimal brain dysfunction.” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics;
1975, 17(5): 534-540.
6 Avila, R. “Attention Please!” Energy Times; 1997, 7(1): 52-58.
7 Murray ND, M. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995.
8 Brown, D. “Curbing Dementia with Ginkgo.” Health & Nutrition Breakthroughs; December 1997.
9 “Botanical Research Bulletins: Ginkgo versus Tacrine.” American Journal of Natural Medicine; 1997, 4(4), 24.
10 Kleijnen, J., et. al. “Ginkgo bilobafor cerebral insufficiency.” British Journal of Pharmacology; 1992, 34, 352-358.
11 Null PhD, G. The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing. NY, NY: Kensington Books, 1997.
12 Passwater, R. & Kandaswami, C. Pycnogenol. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1994.
13 Bagchi, D., et. al. “Protective effects of grape seed proanthocyanidins and selected antioxidants against TPA-induced hepatic and brain lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and peritoneal macrophage activation in mice.” General Pharmacology; 1998, 30(5): 771-776.
14 Chaitow, L. Thorsons Guide To Amino Acids. London, England: Thorsons, 1991.
15 Balch, J. & Balch, P. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Garden City Park, NY: Avery, 1990.
16 Chevallier, A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. NY, NY: DK Publishing, 1996.
17 Soulimani, R., et. al. “Neurotropic action of the hydroalcoholic extract of Melissa officinalisin the mouse.” Planta Medica; 1991,
18 Foster, S. “Lemon balm emerges as powerful antioxidant.” Herbs For Health; 1999, 3(6): 86.
19 Block, M.A. “Treating ADHD without drugs.” American Journal of Natural Medicine; 1998, 5(2): 8-12. 20 Peirce, A. Practical Guide to Natural Medicines. NY, NY: The Stonesong Press, Inc., 1999.