Potentially Beneficial Nutrients & Supplements for ADHD

24 May

I am currently reading the book What’s Eating Your Child? by Kelly Dorfman.  One section discusses supplements that have been found to be beneficial for ADHD sufferers: magnesium, DMAE, & fish oil.

Magnesium is required for normal nerve function.  Studies suggest that children provided with magnesium often calm down.  The best sources of magnesium are green vegetables.  Other good sources include legumes, nuts, seeds, & whole grains.  For those kids (and adults) who’d sooner starve than eat their beans and spinach, magnesium supplements are also an option.

DMAE is a unique nutrient found in sardines & human brains (this explains the calm lazy gait of zombies ;-))  It helps cognition by boosting neurotransmitter production.  One study found a DMAE supplement to work as well as Ritalin in the treatment of ADHD.

Finally, fish oil.  The research on the effectiveness of omega 3s in treating ADHD continues to mount.  Vegetarian sources of omega 3s include flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.  However, some folks do not have the proper equipment to convert these (ALA) building blocks into the necessary (EPA) & (DHA) shown to be beneficial.  I have been able to find some algae-derived DHA supplements for vegans and have heard a rumor that you can find some with EPA as well.

Oh and one more thing…

Sugar may cause hyperactivity in some children.  Surprise!  Sugar is still the devil!


Breedon, C.”Aunt Cathy’s Guide: My Current Top Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Family’s Nutrition” (2010). MeritCare Medical Center. Pgs. 3-4.

Dorfman, K. What’s Eating Your Child? (2011) Pgs. 180-182.


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