Vitamin Power! 8 Best Supplements for ADHD
ADHD nutrition expert Sandy Newmark, M.D., lets you in on the eight vitamins, minerals, and herbs that he recommends to his patients to boost attention and improve focus — no matter what age they are.
The Best Supplements for ADHD
- Zinc and Magnesium: These minerals play an important role in controlling attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) symptoms. Zinc regulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, and it may make methylphenidate more effective by improving the brain’s response to dopamine1. Magnesium is also used to make neurotransmitters involved in attention.
- Iron: Iron plays an important role in controlling ADHD symptoms in children. If you suspect low iron levels, be sure to have them measured by your doctor.
- Inositol and Theanine: Inositol is part of the B-vitamin complex and theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. Both have calming properties that can settle an ADHD brain.
- Pycnogenol: An extract made from French maritime pine bark, this herb may improve concentration2.
- Valerian and Lemon Balm: In a large European study3 on hyperactivity and sleep problems, using these herbs together was found to relax children with ADHD.
Sandy Newmark, M.D., is a member of the ADDitude ADHD Specialist Panel.
1 Akhondzadeh, Shahin. “Zinc Sulfate as an Adjunct to Methylphenidate for the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children: A Double Blind and Randomized Trial.” BMC Psychiatry, vol. 4, no. 9, 2004, doi:10.1186/isrctn64132371.
2 Trebatická, Jana, Soňa Kopasová, Zuzana Hradečná, Kamil Činovský, Igor Škodáček, Ján Šuba, Jana Muchová, Ingrid Žitňanová, Iweta Waczulíková, Peter Rohdewald, and Zdeňka Ďuračková. “Treatment of ADHD with French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, Pycnogenol®.” European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 15, no. 6, 2006, pp. 329-35.
3 Müller, S.f., and S. Klement. “A Combination of Valerian and Lemon Balm Is Effective in the Treatment of Restlessness and Dyssomnia in Children.” Phytomedicine, vol. 13, no. 6, 2006, pp. 383-87.