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How Do I Choose the Best Supplements for ADHD?

Ginseng root is a popular herbal ADHD treatment.
ADHD affects children and often continues into adulthood.
ADHD treatments are designed to ease symptoms like hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Ginko biloba may provide relief for people with ADHD, but should be used with caution due to possible side effects.
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  • Written By: Jackie Myers
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2014
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Individuals with ADHD have problems with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects children and often continues into adulthood. When choosing the best supplements for ADHD, select fish oils, zinc, ginseng and ginkgo biloba. Other natural supplements, such as melatonin, can help to promote better sleep after taking stimulant medications for ADHD. It is best to consult with a physician before taking any new supplements for ADHD.

Experts recommend omega-3 and omega-6 supplements for ADHD. A lack of various polyunsaturated fatty acids can contribute to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and essential fatty acids are found in fish oil and evening primrose oil. Studies reveal that children with ADHD who take the oil supplements for a period of three months, show significant improvements in spelling, reading, and behavior.

Zinc supplements for ADHD are ideal because they help to regulate the function of the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine signaling is connected with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and it also plays a pivotal role in generating feelings of reward in pleasure. Research shows that zinc significantly reduces hyperactivity and impulsivity.

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Ginseng, which is known for its memory boosting benefits, may also provide relief for many of the problems that stem from ADHD. Individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are deficient of both dopamine and norepinephrine, and ginseng extracts increase the levels of these transmitters found in the brain. Imbalances of dopamine and norepinephrine lead to disruption in attention span, motor behavioral dysfunctions, and auditory processing delays.

Ginkgo biloba is found in botanical treatments for ADHD and improves inattention and immaturity problems. It may be taken as a tea, capsule, or herbal infusion. Ginko biloba has also been associated with hemorrhagic strokes and is not recommended for those with high-blood pressure, as It increases blood flow to the brain. Ginko biloba helps with the symptoms of ADHD that affect intellectual functions.

One of the best types of supplements for ADHD is melatonin. The stimulant medications prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can disrupt sleeping patterns and cause insomnia. Melatonin promotes sleep in children with ADHD but has no effect on the behavioral symptoms. Experts suggest melatonin is effective when taken for short periods of time.

Iron deficiency is suspected in some forms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Studies reveal that individuals with ADHD have abnormally low levels of ferritin, an iron storage protein. Low iron levels also alter dopamine activity, and slower brain development is related to iron deficiency. People with ADHD benefit from taking iron supplements or adding foods containing iron to their diet.

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