Natural Supplements That May Help With ADHD – Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects a significant percentage of our children and adolescents. Some people with ADHD experience learning and performance difficulties
throughout their adult life. Due to concerns about the addiction and side effects, many people prefer to find alternative supplements instead of treating their disorder with prescription drugs.
Here are some natural supplements that have shown promise for the treatment of ADHD.
Why Alternative Treatment?
Adderall is a prescription medication that is frequently used to treat ADHD in children as young as 3 years old. If your child has been prescribed medication, you should always check with your kidcare pediatrics team before experimenting with other supplements. Adderall works by balancing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to increase concentration and attention span as well as decrease restlessness and impulsivity. Sadly, despite Adderall’s many
helpful qualities, it can have several unwanted side effects such as insomnia, headaches, digestive discomfort, blurred vision, and appetite suppression—which can impact growth and development.
Another concern is the addictive qualities of Adderall. Categorized as a Schedule II substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), users of Adderall can quickly develop a dependency on the medication if they fail to strictly adhere to their prescription instructions. This will result in higher tolerance and the need to increase the dosage and frequency of their medication consumption. Sudden withdrawal from Adderall can have severe consequences including depression, lethargy, and suicidal ideation.
Supplements for ADHD
Some natural substances can enhance brain function and focus without the negative side effects of synthetic medication. You may be surprised that many vitamins and minerals can play an important role in managing the symptoms of ADHD. Some of these substances are listed below.
B vitamins are essential to maintain a healthy neurological system. Of all the B vitamins, B6 is the most important for people with ADHD. Vitamin B6 is converted into an enzyme known as pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP) which is used in the production of vital neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Studies have shown that children with ADHD experienced a significant improvement in symptoms after eight weeks on a magnesium-vitamin
Choline and cytidine combine to form citicoline, a naturally occurring molecule in the brain. Boosting your citicoline levels can help to increase your mental stamina, concentration, learning ability, and productivity. Taking citicoline can give your brain a boost and improve the efficiency of your neurotransmitters. And it can also help to protect your brain by increasing healthy antioxidant activity and reducing inflammation.
L-theanine is a natural amino acid that can be found in green tea. By increasing alpha brainwave activity, L-theanine has been known to calm the mind and enhance creativity. Through the stimulation of serotonin and dopamine production, the amino acid also contributes to mental focus. L-theanine can mitigate the jittery effects of caffeine and an L-theanine-caffeine combination has been shown to improve attention span in boys with ADHD.
Zinc & Magnesium
Zinc can help to increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin. Low levels of zinc are associated with attention deficits, low mood, and poor impulse control. Therefore, zinc supplementation is thought to help people with ADHD concentrate for longer periods.
Magnesium is required for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin. Adding magnesium to your diet can lessen the severity of ADHD symptoms and help to improve mood and sleep quality. In supplements, magnesium is frequently combined with vitamin B6.
Magnesium and zinc may interact with other medications. So be sure to consult with your doctor before adding them to your supplement regimen.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Healthy fat is essential for normal brain function. The human body cannot create omega-3 fatty acids on its own so you must consume them as part of your diet. Certain food such as cold-water fatty fish and flax seeds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the research, people with low levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in their blood showed improved alertness and attention span after omega-3 supplementation.
There are suggestions that certain diet changes can bring beneficial effects and alleviate the symptoms of ADHD.
Avoid Food Additives
People with ADHD are thought to be more sensitive to food additives such as artificial sweeteners, food coloring, and preservatives. Substances that may intensify ADHD include monosodium glutamate, sodium benzoate, and food colorings FD&C Yellow No. 5 and FD& C Red No. 40. Desserts, carbonated drinks, fruit juice, cereal, and candy often include these
additives so it is best to avoid them where possible. As food sensitivities can differ, you should observe how you react to what you eat and eliminate additives accordingly.
Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Some studies suggest that eating too much sugar can worsen ADHD symptoms. Sugar can cause blood glucose fluctuations and damaging energy peaks and crashes. This can exacerbate ADHD symptoms by influencing memory, focus, and level of activity. Regular meals help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. People with ADHD should avoid sugary snacks and
refined carbohydrates and choose protein-rich foods and complex carbohydrates instead.
If you are worried about the negative side effects and risks associated with Adderall, natural supplements may be a better alternative. There are certain natural supplement blends designed specifically to address the root causes and symptoms of ADHD. Many people have found these legal over-the-country supplements to be helpful for managing ADHD. That said, always seek medical advice from your regular doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.