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6 Essential, Natural Supplements for ADHD

Zinc for impulsivity. Omega-3s for concentration. Iron for better behavior. Plus three more ADHD natural supplements shown to improve symptoms. How to augment your ADD treatment plan with vitamins and minerals that work — and skip those that don't.

20 Comments: 6 Essential, Natural Supplements for ADHD

  1. chrisanker – I know you wrote your comment last year, but I wanted to respond anyway;
    You are close. Our brains DO require glucose to function, but it can be produced from protein or fat instead of carbohydrates if the body is in a state of ketosis.
    Quoting from

    Our bodies can convert protein into glucose, “but very slowly and inefficiently,” as Dr. Richard K. Bernstein wrote in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. The conversion of fat to glucose works much better.

    “Fat is the perfect fuel,” Dr. Michael Eades wrote on his blog. “Part of it provides energy to the liver so that the liver can convert protein to glucose. The unusable part of the fat then converts to ketones, which reduce the need for glucose.”

    Dr. Eades continues: “If you’re following a low-carb diet…the protein you eat is converted to glucose…. If you keep the carbs low enough so that the liver still has to make some sugar, then you will be in fat-burning mode….How low is low enough? Well, when the ketosis process is humming along nicely and the brain and other tissues have converted to ketones for fuel, the requirement for glucose drops to about 120-130 grams per day. If you keep your carbs below that at, say, 60 grams per day, you’re liver will have to produce at least 60-70 grams of glucose to make up the deficit, so you will generate ketones that entire time.”

  2. Hi,
    I recently read the information that Saffron is very good for kids with ADHD.Do you have any advices on this?

    Thank you.

  3. I am only leaving a comment as a rebuttal to the people commenting that nutritional supplementation as part of a balanced mind and body in this day and age is pseudo-science when ALLOPATHIC medicine has spent hundreds of years destroying real scientific research from around the world in order to weaken the populations immune systems and ability to rear our children well is sad and incorrect. As someone who comes from a family line of people with ADHD, who grew up learning to eat well, meditate, fast and balance the body, mind and spirit who is now a practitioner helping parents and children reverse their symptoms and live balanced lives, I say you are sorely mistaken and not able to speak from truth or experience. I WILL SAY THIS ONCE AND HOPE YOU CAN HEAR IT FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S SAKE. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS Your RESULTS over time! RESULTS! RESULTS RESULTS! That is your own personal results over time, along with your own research, speaking to others who have personal knowledge and experience over time with themselves and others. We are out here and we are dedicated, 100% pharma free from day 1 and have helped others regain their lives after years of drugs and incorrect treatments from the system. Be smart and do what works for you and most importantly talk to your children, spend time with them, teach them to listen to their bodies, eat well, meditate and surround yourself with positive people who are sensitive as well. This is a gift and not a disease.

  4. Dear Attitude Editors,

    It makes me angry that you have a picture of donuts as a suggestion to help people with ADHD. There are so many sources of conflicting information out there. Under the guise of helping people who have ADHD, you should be putting out the correct information. There is evidence to show that following a gluten-free diet will reduce or even eliminate ADHD problems. The fact that you show a picture of these stupid donuts invokes the power of suggestion to people who do not know any better. You should be ashamed of yourselves for this. People were not intend to eat carbs of any sort that were manufactured in a warehouse, lab or even a bakery. Carbohydrates exist naturally in nature. Carbs exist in fruits and vegetables. You should not be encouraging people to eat the other crap. Shame on you.

    I’ve never been to this site before and will not bother to return. Do better!

  5. The brain does not exclusively run on glucose (sugar). It also can run on ketones. Please fact check these quotes.

  6. White spots on fingernails are a telltale sign of Zinc deficiency. Also, there is a balance interaction between Zinc and Copper, so if you have high copper levels in your water (from standing in copper pipes or copper kettles) you may become Zinc deficient and really crabby.

  7. This is all great information. However, you recommend tests for deficiencies or discussing taking the supplements with your doctor first which is just not possible in all areas of the country. The doctors in this area (Southwest MO) treating ADHD DO NOT believe in any of the things recommended in this article. “silly” “there are no legitimate studies to back up these findings” “ineffective” “waste of money” These are just a few of the comments we have heard when asking about the recommendations in the article. So, when faced with this what should parents do? Just start giving these supplements one at a time and see what happens? Unfortunately, we cannot try doctors outside of this area in K.C. or St. Louis because they will not take patients outside of their metro area. We have tried repeatedly.

    1. The doctors are right. All this talk of treating ADHS with supplements and naturopathy is all pseudoscientific
      nonsense. There is zero evidence for any of it.
      Using this stuff on kids is wrong – they cannot give consent and do not understand – and it is dpriving them of real treatment.
      I know this won’t influence all the true believers out there – but belief is not evidence.
      Y’all are wasting your time and money and entriching quacks in the process.
      It’s a real shame.

      1. I don’t know what experience you have with adhd and children but I do know what I have witnessed with myself and my son. There are kids that don’t respond to stimulants. My son becomes someone he is not and the boy is only six years old! His doctor pulled this “trial and error” BS. After watching my baby struggle for months taking these medications and seeing how they affected him… Let me tell you, he became hateful and angry constantly because the meds made him feel terrible. He was suspended from school over ten times in just 6 short months! The school was literally calling me every single day. Those stimulants including -adderall, aptensio, focalin xr, vyyvanse and lastly concerta. Every one had horrible side affects. My poor child was miserable. So please take your soap box somewhere else lady because if you had a clue what it’s like to fight for your child every damn day of their life…you would know better than to be so quick to judge people that you know absolutely nothing about!

      2. Can you please share with me what holistic approach you have used to treat your son’s ADHD I do not want to put him on medication if I do not have to.

      3. Bestmommy I just came across this post while on Pinterest. I scrolled reading comments. I saw you’re. Omg please help me. I feel like I just read about my son and I. Trial and error, calls everyday. My son has two adhd medicines left and th ats it to “try” . Please help me on what vitamins you use that have helped. I mentioned vitamins to his med provider and nothing she just brushed it off. School starts soon. We are suppose to up his dose. To get him stable before school starts. And it’s killing me to see him not getting better.

      4. I just registered for an account here specifically so I could reply to this. Medications and supplaments aside, have you tried taking synthetic food dye OUT of his diet? My youngest kiddo had several symptoms that either went away completely or vastly improved when we took synthetic dyes out of his diet. Through trial and error I’ve learned that he can have blue in moderation without any noticible effect. He can NOT have anything with Red40. We avoid yellow 5 & yellow 6 almost completely too. The difference in him was like night and day. Also, some that are sensitive to synthetic dyes also have problems with certain preservatives like BHT and TBHQ. If you have not tried this, I highly recommend you do. It’s really surprising how many things have those synthetic dyes in them, but there are usually alternatives. A person who is sensitive to synthetic dyes may experience ADHD like symptoms even if they don’t have ADHD. For a person that DOES have ADHD, those same dyes can make symptoms worse. I hope this is helpful.

    2. I know you wrote this a while ago but I wondered if you have tried KU Med for your child. We have had many good experiences with the doctors there. They may be willing to see you if you’re willing to make the drive.

      I was born south of Joplin and live in the KC metro area now. I hope you can find some help.

  8. We take algae-derived DHA and EPA because our oceans are so polluted, and toxins could affect behavior adversely. Algae-derived DHA and EPA is bioequivalent to those in fish oil (source:( (In fact, algae are where the fish get them from in the first place.)

    Here’s some supporting evidence:

    “[T]he fish oil distillation process was found ineffective at removing all the industrial contaminants from fish oil, so even “PCB-free” fish oil may be anything but.

    Isn’t there a law in California, though, that makes it illegal to sell toxic substances that cause cancer or birth defects without at least a warning label? I’ve never seen such a label on fish oil, and neither did the Environmental Justice Foundation, and so they sued CVS, GNC, Rite-Aid, along with the major fish oil manufacturers.

    To do so, of course, they had to prove the fish oil you find in stores actually contains PCBs, so they went out and grabbed ten, and tested them. Some had 70 times the PCBs of others, and 240 times the toxicity.

    This is why we should get our long chain omega-3s without any risk of toxins by choosing microalgae or yeast-based EPA/DHA supplements—nutritionally equivalent; a safe and convenient source, without the toxic waste.” =>, citing this study:

    “Researchers recently looked at 13 over-the-counter children’s dietary supplements containing fish oil to assess potential exposure to PCBs, toxic industrial pollutants that have contaminated our oceans. PCBs were detected in all products. Could you just stick to the supplements made from small, short-lived fish like anchovies instead of big predator fish like tuna, or use the purified fish oils? No, they found no significant difference in PCB levels between the supplements labeled as molecularly distilled or how high up the food chain the fish were.

    So while children’s dietary supplements containing the long-chain omega-3’s from fish oils may claim to benefit young consumers, daily ingestion of these products may provide a vector for contaminant exposure that may off-set the positive health effects.” =>, citing this study:

    Just thought I would pass along a safer, bioequivalent source of the essential fatty acids in fish oil, DHA and EPA.

    1. Please also remember there is Calamari oil supplement.It is squid oil derived and highest in DHA compared to fish/krill oil.

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