Vitamins and Supplements for ADHD
Fish Oil for ADHD Symptoms
There is some evidence that fish oil can help improve ADHD symptoms. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. There are some findings that suggest that, in children with ADHD who are 8 to 12 years old, fish oil supplementation may improve mental skills. For instance, it may help improve a child's ability to organize activities.
In one study, a specific supplement of fish oil and evening primrose oil was used. Results showed that it improved hyperactivity, inattentiveness, an inability to think clearly, and overall behavior in children with ADHD who were 7 to 12 years old.
Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, and sardines.
St. John's Wort: No Help for ADHD
St. John's wort is a common herbal supplement. It's used for treating depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. This herbal treatment is thought to affect brain chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, as well as adenosine, GABA(A), GABA(B), and glutamate receptors.
Recent scientific studies do not support the use of St. John's wort to treat ADHD. In fact, recent findings conclude that St. John's wort has no effect on the symptoms of ADHD.
One study involved a group of children and adolescents with ADHD ranging in age from 6 to17. Each child and adolescent was given either a placebo or St. John's wort supplement three times a day for 8 weeks. They were then evaluated for changes in their hyperactivity and inattentiveness. The results showed no difference between the two groups.
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.