ADHD and supplements

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition characterized by poor attention span, emotional instability, and related symptoms, may respond to supplementation.

Amino acids

Children with ADHD are often deficient in the amino acid L-glutamine, a precursor for gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that calms the mind and may help reduce hyperactivity.



DMAE has been used to treat symptoms such as shortened attention span, hyperactivity, learning and behavioral problems, reading and speech difficulties, and impaired motor coordination. DMAE may over-stimulate the nervous system, and should be introduced gradually; 100 to 300 mg, taken twice per day, is the normal dosage range.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

In a 12-week study of 41 eight- to 12-year-olds with ADHD, the EFA group experienced greater cognition and fewer behavioral problems than the placebo group. The usual EFA dosage range is 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg per day.



Iron, magnesium, and zinc deficiencies have been implicated in ADHD. The suggested dosages are 10 mg to 30 mg of iron per day, 200 mg of magnesium per day, and 10 mg to 30 mg of zinc per day.



In a recent study of six- to 12-year olds with behavioral problems such as ADHD, multi-vitamin supplementation helped control anti-social behaviors.

Symptoms of ADHD can be exacerbated by food additives including artificial colors, flavor enhancers such as MSG, thickeners, and bleaching and anti-caking agents, as well as allergenic foods such as corn, eggs, milk, oranges, soy, and wheat. 


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