Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by the core symptoms hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. Most doctors agree that proper nutrition is essential in treating ADHD. Along with healthy eating, some vitamins and minerals improve ADHD symptoms.
Vitamin B1 and ADHD
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is included in the most important nutrients for the brain. It also happens to be included in a group of vitamins and minerals that children with developmental issues like autism and ADHD are most commonly deficient.
Vitamin B1, or thiamin, helps prevent complications in the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach, and intestines. It is also involved in the flow of electrolytes into and out of muscle and nerve cells.
Vitamin B1 is important to the central nervous system because it aids in the synthesis of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine functions as an activator and inhibitor in the central nervous system. This neurotransmitter also plays a part in the sensation of pain, learning, regulation of the endocrine system and sleep cycles.
An irritable mood is noted to be one of the first symptoms of thiamine deficiency. It may occur within days or weeks of deficiency.
To help give your central nervous system a boost, a healthy dose of foods rich in Vitamin B1 could significantly help!
Potassium and ADHD
Now, a group of Harvard-associated doctors treat the ADHD with a simple medication – potassium supplements.
Many people experience “sensory overstimulation,” where they feel like you are bombarded by sensory input, such as sights and sounds. This can be more common in disorders such as ADHD, and autism.
A woman who experienced this sensory overstimulation found that it subsided about 20 minutes after taking a potassium supplement. A neurologist found that her symptoms were the same as in “hypokalemic periodic paralysis,” where ion channels in the muscles become overactive when potassium levels are low. Her son, who was having attention problems in school, also found the same triggers and got the same benefit from taking potassium.
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body. It helps the body regulate fluid, send nerve signals and regulate muscle contractions.
The nervous system relays messages between your brain and body with the help of potassium. These messages are delivered in the form of nerve impulses and help regulate your muscle contractions, heartbeat, reflexes and many other body functions. Potassium deficiency has been linked to mood changes and mental fatigue. Getting enough potassium from your diet can help you maintain healthy nerve function.
Magnesium and ADHD
A positive influence of magnesium in the prevention and treatment of hyperactivity in children is more and more frequently raised in the literature.
In one study were examined 116 children (94 boys and 20 girls), aged 9-12 years, with recognized ADHD. Magnesium deficiency was found in 95 per cent of those examined. The conclusion from the investigations is that magnesium deficiency in children with ADHD occurs more frequently than in healthy children.
The mineral magnesium is necessary for sufficient brain energy and aids smooth transmission of communications through the central nervous system, calms the central nervous system and is an important component in the making of serotonin.
Magnesium deficiency is typified by a number of reductions in cognitive ability and processes, and in particular a reduced attention span along with increased instances of aggression, fatigue and lack of concentration
Given the nature of these symptoms and the significant amount of overlap that they share with ADHD, this led many experts involved in the treatment and care of ADHD to hypothesize that children who suffer from ADHD also have magnesium deficiency as well.
Another study found that 58% of participants with ADHD had low serum magnesium levels. All of the children were given preparations of magnesium plus vitamin B6 100 mg/day for a period of 1 to 6 months. In all of the children, physical aggression, instability, attention at school, muscle rigidity, spasms, and twitching improved.
A later study also replicated similar results, as researchers found that a magnesium-vitamin B6 regimen for at least 2 months significantly improved hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and attention at school. Magnesium treatment increased attention, work productivity and task performance.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and ADHD
Lately, there has been an increasing amount of evidence surfacing that omega-3 can improve numerous medical and psychiatric conditions like ADHD.
Researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience have found that fish oil supplements, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) improve inattention, hyperactivity and behavioural and cognitive symptoms in children and young adults with ADHD.
Other studies by Sonuga-Barke et al in 2013 and by Stevenson et al in 2014, where have shown that omega-3 supplements may help reduce impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention.
There are many benefits to taking an omega-3 supplement. Improvement of ADHD symptoms such as improved attention, ability to focus and memory. May contribute to a reduction in the symptoms of coexisting ADHD conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Sugar and ADHD
ADHD symptoms may indeed be triggered by sugar in some people.
In a 2019 review of studies Trusted Source, researchers went over the literature on the relationship between dietary patterns and ADHD. Results of the analysis showed that “unhealthy” dietary patterns, like a high intake of refined sugar or saturated fat, may increase the risk of ADHD.
Another recent review of studies Trusted Source looked at the link between sugar and soft drink consumption and ADHD symptoms. According to the results, increased consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages caused an increase in ADHD symptoms.