Don’t miss out. Stay Informed. Get EcoWatch’s Top News of the Day.
There’s no evidence that the behavioral disorder ADHD is caused by diet.
However, research suggests that for some people, dietary changes can improve symptoms.
In fact, a substantial amount of research has examined how nutrition affects ADHD.
This article is an overview of these findings, discussing the foods, diets and supplements involved.
What Is ADHD?
The exact cause of ADHD is unclear, but research shows that genetics play a major role. Other factors, such as environmental toxicity and poor nutrition during infancy, have also been implicated (5, 6, 7, 8).
Bottom Line: ADHD is a complicated behavioral disorder and common treatments include therapy and medication. Dietary changes may also be useful.
Nutrition and Behavior
The science behind food’s effects on behavior is still quite new and controversial. However, everyone can agree that certain foods do affect behavior.
Nutritional deficiencies can also affect behavior. One study concluded that taking a supplement of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals led to a significant reduction in antisocial behavior, compared to a placebo (24).
Since foods and supplements have been shown to influence behavior, it seems plausible that they could also affect ADHD symptoms, which are largely behavioral.
For this reason, a good amount of nutrition research has looked into the effects of foods and supplements on ADHD.
Mostly, two types of studies have been performed:
- Supplement studies: Supplementing with one or several nutrients.
- Elimination studies: Eliminating one or several ingredients from the diet.
Bottom Line: Studies show that certain foods and supplements do affect behavior. For these reasons, quite a few studies have looked into how nutrition affects ADHD symptoms, which are mostly behavioral.
Supplement Studies: A Research Review
This caused researchers to speculate that supplements might help improve symptoms.
Nutrition studies have looked into the effects of several supplements on ADHD symptoms, including amino acids, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.
Amino Acid Supplements
For this reason, a few trials have examined how amino acid supplements affect ADHD symptoms in children.
Bottom Line: Amino acid supplements for ADHD show some promise, but more studies need to be done. For now, the results are mixed.
Pages: 1 • 2