Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects approximately 6-9% of children and 5% of adults worldwide. Symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention characterize it, which can cause significant difficulties in daily life. While medication is often the first-line treatment for ADHD, some people may prefer to use natural remedies such as supplements. In this blog, we will explore some of the most popular ADHD supplements and their effectiveness.
The Types of ADHD Supplements:
Fish oil, flaxseed oil, and other sources contain essential fatty acids known as Omega-3 fatty acids.. They have been studied extensively for their potential benefits in brain health and cognitive function. Research has shown that omega-3 supplements may help to reduce symptoms of ADHD, particularly in children. One study found that children with ADHD who received omega-3 supplements had significant improvements in attention and hyperactivity compared to those who received a placebo. Supplements may also help to improve working memory, attention, and behavior in both children and adults.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Studies:
- Sinn, N., Bryan, J. (2007). Effect of supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids and micronutrients on learning and behavior problems associated with child ADHD. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 28(2), 82-91. doi: 10.1097/01.DBP.0000267568.88457.ed
- Bloch, M. H., Qawasmi, A. (2011). Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptomatology: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(10), 991-1000. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.06.008
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including the immune system and brain function. Some studies have suggested that zinc supplementation may improve ADHD symptoms, particularly in children. One study found that children with ADHD who received zinc supplements had significant improvements in hyperactivity and impulsivity compared to those who received a placebo. However, researchers need to conduct more studies to determine the optimal dosage and the effectiveness of zinc for all individuals with ADHD.
- Akhondzadeh, S., Mohammadi, M. R., Khademi, M. (2004). Zinc sulfate as an adjunct to methylphenidate for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children: A double-blind and randomized trial. BMC Psychiatry, 4, 9. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-4-9
Iron is another essential mineral that is important for brain function. Researchers have linked low levels of iron to ADHD symptoms, especially in children.. Some studies have suggested that iron supplementation may improve ADHD symptoms, particularly in individuals with low iron levels. One study found that children with ADHD who received iron supplements had significant improvements in attention and cognitive function compared to those who received a placebo.
- Konofal, E., Lecendreux, M., Arnulf, I., Mouren, M. C. (2004). Iron deficiency in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 158(12), 1113-1115. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.158.12.1113
- Konofal, E., Lecendreux, M., Deron, J., Marchand, M., Cortese, S., Zaïm, M., Mouren, M. C. (2008). Effects of iron supplementation on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Pediatric Neurology, 38(1), 20-26. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2007.08.014
You should only use iron supplementation under the guidance of a healthcare professional because excessive iron intake can be dangerous. Some studies have suggested that magnesium supplementation may help to reduce ADHD symptoms, particularly in children. One study found that children with ADHD who received magnesium supplements had significant improvements in hyperactivity and impulsivity compared to those who received a placebo. However, more research is needed to determine the optimal dosage and whether magnesium is effective for all individuals with ADHD.
- Akhondzadeh, S., Mohammadi, M. R., Khademi, M. (2006). Zinc and magnesium in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Child Neurology, 21(6), 501-505. doi: 10.1177/08830738060210060301
- Mousain-Bosc, M., Roche, M., Polge, A., Pradal-Prat, D., Rapin, J., Bali, J. P. (2004). Magnesium VitB6 intake reduces central nervous system hyperexcitability in children. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(5), 545S-548S. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719454
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in the gut. They play a crucial role in digestive health and immune function. Some research has suggested that probiotics may also have a positive impact on brain function and mental health. While there is limited research on the use of probiotics for ADHD specifically, one study found that children with ADHD who received a probiotic supplement had significant improvements in behavior and cognitive function compared to those who received a placebo.
- Pelsser, L. M., Frankena, K., Toorman, J., Savelkoul, H. F., Dubois, A. E., Pereira, R. R., Buitelaar, J. K. (2011). Effects of a restricted elimination diet on the behaviour of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (INCA study): A randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 377(9764), 494-503. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62227-1
While there is some evidence to suggest that certain supplements may be beneficial for ADHD, it is important to remember that they are not a substitute for medication or other treatments. A comprehensive treatment plan that meets the individual’s needs should be developed with a healthcare professional. It is also essential to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, as some supplements can interact with medications or have side effects.
In conclusion, natural remedies such as supplements may provide an alternative or complementary approach to treating ADHD symptoms, but more research is needed to determine their efficacy and optimal dosage. It’s crucial to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment plan for you or your loved one with ADHD.
ADHD Supplements Common Questions:
What supplement is good for ADHD?
Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, magnesium, and probiotics are some supplements that have been studied for their potential benefits in reducing ADHD symptoms.
What hits dopamine for ADHD?
Stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall are commonly used to increase dopamine levels in individuals with ADHD.
What can I take instead of ADHD medication?
Natural remedies like supplements, behavioral interventions, and lifestyle changes can be used instead of ADHD medication. However, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the most effective treatment plan.
What vitamin deficiency is ADHD?
Low iron levels have been linked to ADHD symptoms in some studies, but there is no specific vitamin deficiency associated with ADHD.
What is a natural way to help ADHD?
Some natural ways to help manage ADHD symptoms include exercise, a healthy diet, meditation, and practicing good sleep hygiene.
Does caffeine help ADHD?
While caffeine may help improve focus in some individuals with ADHD, it can also lead to negative side effects like jitteriness and sleep disruption.
Is ADHD a lack of dopamine or serotonin?
ADHD is believed to be associated with both dopamine and serotonin imbalances in the brain.
What are the symptoms of low dopamine in ADHD?
Low dopamine levels in the brain can lead to symptoms like lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and forgetfulness in individuals with ADHD.
Is there a natural alternative to Adderall for kids?
While there are no natural alternatives to Adderall, supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and magnesium have been studied for their potential benefits in reducing ADHD symptoms in children.
Does L Theanine help with ADHD?
L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has been studied for its potential to improve focus and reduce anxiety in individuals with ADHD.
What are ADHD brains deficient in?
Individuals with ADHD may have lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain compared to those without ADHD.
Can I treat ADHD on my own?
It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan for ADHD. However, there are some natural remedies like exercise, meditation, and a healthy diet that may help manage symptoms.
How can I calm my ADHD at home?
Practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques can help calm ADHD symptoms at home.
What can I give my child naturally for ADHD?
Some natural remedies that may help manage ADHD symptoms in children include omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and reducing sugar intake.
What is the best tea for ADHD?
Herbal teas like chamomile and lemon balm may help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety in individuals with ADHD.
Why does coffee make ADHD people sleepy?
Coffee may make ADHD individuals sleepy because it can disrupt sleep and lead to fatigue.