Nexus review of THE HIDDDEN DRUG: Dietary Phosphate -
Cause of Behaviour Problems, Learning Difficulties and Juvenile Delinquency
by Hertha Hafer
Published in NEXUS Magazine, August-September 2002.
Most of us have heard of the environmental problems caused by phosphate run-off from cleaning products and agri-chemicals into waterways and seas, but know little about the health dangers from consuming the processed, phosphate-ridden foods and drinks that are common in the modern consumer society.
According to the investigations and observations of German research pharmacist Hertha Hafer, phosphate in food is the cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the so-called behavioural disorder affecting so many children these days and increasingly being treated with psychotropic drugs like Ritalin. Hafer's son demonstrated such symptoms, yet, when he was given low-phosphate food, he soon returned to his normal, responsive, friendly self.
The more processed food you eat, the more phosphate you consume, though some people have greater sensitivity to it than do others. Phosphate additives are used by the food industry in emulsifiers, stabilisers and thickeners and are found in processed meats, cheese spreads, soups, sauces, creams, chocolates, baked goods, baking powder, soft drinks and so on. Hafer describes the alarming biochemical effects of phosphates and includes lists of what can be eaten and what should be avoided, as well as a special low-phosphate diet plan.
Hertha Hafer's book, The Hidden Drug: Dietary Phosphate, was first published in 1978, and this is the 2001 English translation of the considerably updated sixth edition. This one reports on scientific studies up until the late 1990s, as Hafer hypotheses have now been verified around the world.
If you're concerned about children's health in the consumer society, this is a must-read.