Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a disorder of the brain resulting from faulty connections to the nerves that regulate attention. Researchers have found a link between nutrient deficiencies and this learning disorder.
The Orebro University, located in Sweden, researched amino acid levels in children with ADHD. The study found that ADHD sufferers have significantly lower levels of the amino acid tryptophan than those who do not suffer from ADHD. Tryptophan is a protein used during the production of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline. Additionally, ADHD sufferers have lower levels of tyrosine and alanine also. These amino acids are precursors to the brain's chemicals that are responsible for biochemical reactions associated with learning. For these reasons, taking an amino acid supplement may help improve the symptoms of ADHD.
B vitamins synergistically work together to support several critical functions within the brain. Numerous studies have shown that B complex vitamins reduce hyperactivity symptoms, while increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This results in happier, calmer children.
- Vitamin B1 and B2 helps deliver glucose to the brain and central nervous system. Because glucose is used as the brain's fuel, it is important to ensure a deficiency does not occur.
- Vitamin B3 calms the nervous system. Vitamin B3 deficiency symptoms include irritability, loss of cognitive functions, restlessness and hyperactivity.
- Vitamin B6 is used during the production of neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters help regulate brain functions and mood. Symptoms of a deficiency of vitamin B 6 include irritability, memory loss and short attention span.
- Vitamin B12 is used during the production and regulation of neurotransmitters. It is also involved in energy production, fatty acid metabolism and the production of the myelin sheath that protects the nerve cells. A deficiency of this vitamin causes memory loss and confusion.
Magnesium is known as the anti-stress mineral. This mineral is essential for neurological functions, energy production and detoxification. A deficiency of this mineral can cause auditory insensitivity to occur in children with ADHD. Several studies have shown supplementing a child's nutrition with magnesium helps to improve hyperactivity.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids help with cellular communication, immunity, metabolism and brain development. Omega 3 essential fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and improve mood and attention. DHA and EPA supplementation is significantly important for children with ADHD.
Children suffering with ADHD often have low amounts of good bacteria in the gut. Pathogenic yeast and other harmful bacteria can grow out of control if enough good bacteria are not present in the gut. A broad-spectrum probiotic can help decrease the symptoms of ADHD in children.
Zinc helps to maintain the brain's structure and functions. A zinc supplement can help improve memory, I.Q. and thinking. Zinc helps metabolize melatonin, which regulates dopamine levels in the brain. Combining a zinc supplement with calcium and magnesium can significantly improve behavior in children.
Supplementing your child's diet with supplements like probiotics, amino acids, fatty acids, mineral and vitamins could help you manage the symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, eating a diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates may help the brain work better, which can lessen the symptoms of ADHD, such as restlessness and lack of focus.