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We’ve tried many natural supplements over the years, including melatonin, magnesium, and fish oil to name a few, and we have always used Omega 3’s feed the brain.
I stumbled across the Nemechek Protocol, which is by Dr. Patrick Nemechek; he has a practice in AZ. I’ve read his book (I am not an affiliate) and the premise is very aligned with what I’ve read and believed for many years – that gut health is an important part of brain health and function.
I remember when I started my daughter on a GFCF diet (8 years ago), there was a Developmental Pediatrician who assured me that she did not need the diet, and that I’d give her scurvy. Yes, scurvy. The funny thing was, at that time, my kiddo ate broccoli for breakfast (odd, perhaps, but completely true). I wasn’t worried about scurvy – or eliminating dairy or gluten – I knew she was eating good, whole food and I couldn’t see any down-side to that. We saw gains.
The Nemechek protocol helps to heal the gut through the use of inulin fiber, and reduce inflammation with certified extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), while feeding the brain with fish oil. The book explains that many processed foods today use Omega 6 oils (like Safflower oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil) which are inflammatory, and it’s imperative to avoid them. The book goes on to say that once the gut is healed, there won’t be a need for a special diet (like GFCF), and that developmental delays will catch up slowly but surely with healing.
We are now on week 4. The protocol is very easy to follow and is relatively inexpensive. The hardest part if finding foods without Omega 6 oils (everything from salad dressings to chicken nuggets contains them).
Although we are early-on with the protocol, we’ve already seen some gains. The picture shows my daughter at her chorus concert following along with the hand movements, focused on the teacher, and leaving a hat on! (This was taken at 3.5 weeks on the protocol).
Another important part of the protocol is the discontinuance of all other supplements, which includes the enzymes we would use should she eat dairy (once in a while she’ll have a little ice cream). We tested that theory last week with a milkshake, without an enzyme – and there was no stomach ache! Even so, we are not in a hurry to discontinue the GFCF diet, but it seems like the protocol might be helping her to heal.
It’s early on in the protocol for us, but after what I’ve seen after 4 weeks, I’m cautiously optimistic.
If you’re interested in learning more, Dr. Nemechek has many available YouTube videos, a FB group, and a book. all which are helpful for following the protocol based on your child’s age and needs.