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Vitamins and Supplements for ADHD

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Other Natural Supplements for ADHD

There is some preliminary evidence that some natural supplements may benefit people with ADHD. For example, in one study, a combination of American ginseng and Ginkgo leaf improved ADHD symptoms in children ages 3 to 17. But researchers conclude that more scientific studies are needed to confirm this finding.

Some research also shows that the natural hormone melatonin may offer some benefit for children with ADHD who take stimulant medications. Researchers noted that it improved sleep problems in these children. Melatonin, though, has not been found effective in decreasing ADHD symptoms.

Natural supplements such as GABA and inositol are sometimes used to treat ADHD and ease mood symptoms. Neither one of these natural products is proven to be effective, though. Also, there is still insufficient evidence about the safety of either product.

Can Nutritional Supplements Help with ADHD by Filling Dietary Gaps?

Some proponents of nutritional supplements believe that ADHD symptoms occur because of a lack in the diet. They also believe that supplements are needed to fill that dietary gap.

For instance, there are some studies on using iron supplements to treat ADHD. Findings from these studies suggest that children with ADHD may have iron deficiencies. The hypothesis is that supplementing with iron may improve ADHD symptoms.

It's important, though, to use caution when giving your child any supplement. Taking too much iron, for instance, can be toxic -- even deadly. It's important to check with your child's doctor if you believe your child may be iron deficient.

In addition, always talk to your doctor before using any natural supplements. That includes megadoses of vitamins or minerals. That's because there's always a chance of toxicity or of interaction with medication.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Patricia Quinn, MD on July 08, 2012
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