Medisch nieuws vandaag: ADHD-supplementen: zijn ze effectief?juli 30, 2019
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Recently, researchers have been investigating several different supplements that may help alleviate ADHD symptoms.
In this article, we outline the research into some of the more promising hormone, dietary, and herbal supplements for ADHD.
Hormone, vitamin, and mineral supplements
Supplements may help counter mineral deficiencies that some ADHD medications cause.
In some cases, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are a consequence of ADHD medication. For example, stimulant medications can suppress appetite, which can lead to a decrease in a person’s nutrient intake.
Certain nutrient deficiencies may also worsen ADHD or cause symptoms that mimic the condition.
Researchers are investigating whether the following hormone, dietary, and herbal supplements are effective in treating ADHD:
Although this often improves ADHD symptoms, it can lead to the following sleep problems:
- difficulty getting to sleep and waking up
- waking up throughout the night
- daytime sleepiness
A 2019 study investigated the benefits of melatonin in children with ADHD who developed sleep problems as a result of taking the stimulant methylphenidate. All 74 participants had different doses of melanin for at least 4 weeks.
The researchers used parental reports to determine treatment success. According to the reports, melatonin effectively improved sleep problems in 60.8% of participants.
A 2018 study compared vitamin D levels in children with and without ADHD. Those with ADHD had significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their blood and were also more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.
In the second stage of the study, the researchers divided the children who were deficient in vitamin D into two groups. The participants in one group received an 8-week course of vitamin D supplements, while those in the other group received a placebo.
Children who received the supplements showed significant improvements in attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity compared with children who received the placebo.
These findings suggest that vitamin D supplements may improve ADHD symptoms in children who are vitamin D deficient. However, further studies are necessary to confirm this theory.
Research has shown that there may be a link between zinc deficiency and ADHD in children.
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in brain function.
Examples include jitteriness, inattention, and delayed cognitive development.
Several studies have reported a link between zinc deficiency and ADHD in children. A 2015 review of these studies concluded that zinc supplements could help treat ADHD symptoms in children with zinc deficiency.
However, it is still not clear whether zinc has any effect on ADHD symptoms in children or adults who are not zinc deficient.
These results suggest that iron supplements may be beneficial for iron-deficient children with ADHD. However, further studies are necessary to establish whether this is the case.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that play an important role in brain health. Omega-3 is especially important for protecting brain tissue and aiding communication between brain cells.
The review included 16 randomized controlled trials. Participants in each of these trials received either an EFA supplement or a placebo.
In 13 of the trials, the participants who took the EFA supplements showed improvements in the following:
- visual learning
- short-term memory
The authors of the review suggest that addressing this imbalance is more important than simply increasing the intake of EFAs.
Other natural remedies
The following herbal supplements are also under investigation as potential treatments for ADHD.
However, further studies are necessary to support the use of Pycnogenol as a treatment for ADHD.
A person taking ginkgo biloba may experience nausea, diarrhea, or headaches as side effects.
Ginkgo biloba is an herb that derives from the leaves of the G. biloba tree. This herb contains chemicals called terpene trilactones. Research suggests that these chemicals help protect against brain cell damage and increase the availability of dopamine in the brain.
The study found that taking a maximum daily dose of 240 mg of ginkgo for 3–5 weeks improved ADHD symptoms. According to parental reports, children showed improvements in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
However, this was a small study with only 20 participants and no placebo control. Well-controlled clinical trials are necessary to confirm the benefits of ginkgo for ADHD.
Although the study did not report any adverse effects of the herbal extract, the National Institutes of Health list the following potential side effects:
As ginkgo is also a potential blood thinner, it may not be suitable for people with blood clotting disorders or those taking anticoagulant medications.
Many different types of supplement show promise as complementary treatments for ADHD. However, research into these supplements is still in its early stages.
Further clinical trials with more participants are necessary to get a better understanding of the effectiveness and safety of these supplements for ADHD.