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B Vitamins for ADHD
B Vitamins play an important role in reducing ADHD symptoms.
by Brad Chase
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a health condition that commonly occurs in children. It is characterized by reduced attention span, concentration problems, excessive talking, learning disabilities, lack of memory, and poor judgment.
There are several theories related to the cause of attention disorder in children and adults. These include genetic factors, excessive sugar intake, allergies, lack of oxygen at birth, lead poisoning and deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good balance in children with ADHD. There are several types of vitamins that can be used to help the brain function properly and are essential for those who want a natural alternative to treat ADHD in children.
Among other vitamins, the B vitamins (B12 and B6) are known to effectively support ADHD symptoms.
The B vitamins have two major mechanisms of correcting the nutritional imbalances which contribute to ADHD symptoms. First, they help regulate carbohydrate metabolism. Secondly, they are essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system.
The process of conversion of carbohydrates to glucose naturally proceeds at a pace that guarantees that the supply of blood glucose is enough to meet the present energy demands.
When children diagnosed with ADHD ingest large amounts of sugary foods, so many steps of carbohydrate metabolism are skipped and the blood level of glucose rises quickly. This excess energy source can contribute to the hyperactivity and excitability of ADHD children.
These negative effects of sugar rush become even pronounced when such children are deficient in certain B vitamins.
Yet a different reason the B vitamins are important supplements in ADHD therapy is their role in the syntheses and functioning of neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are essentially brain chemicals found along the neurons. They are responsible for the generation, transmission and inhibition of electrical impulses in the brain.
Some neurotransmitters contribute to the hyperactivity experienced by ADHD patients while others are responsible for depression. A properly functioning nervous system regulates these neurotransmitters ensuring that there is a balance between both extremes.
Some of the B vitamins are needed for this balance and when they are not present in sufficient amounts, especially when there are deficiencies of these vitamins, the symptoms of ADHD, such as short attention span, lack of mental focus, confusion and hyperactivity, are worsened.
Dr. Arnold Brenner investigated the benefits of some of the B vitamins for children diagnosed with ADHD children. This clinical study involved 100 children.
The children were divided into 4 groups and each group given one of Vitamin B1 or thiamine, Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine and a placebo. Large doses of these vitamins were given over 3 days.
All the vitamin groups performed better than the placebo group by showing marked improvements in attentiveness, mental focus and behavior.
Vitamin B1 or thiamine falls in the category of B vitamins which help alleviate ADHD symptoms by regulating carbohydrate metabolism. It is responsible for the conversion of carbohydrate to glucose in a way that prevents sugar-fueled high-energy ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity.
This vitamin can be found naturally in sweet corn, legumes, brown rice, red meat, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. Recommended daily dose is 25-50 mg.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin contributes to ADHD treatment in the same ways as Vitamin B1. It is also recommended in 25-50 mg daily doses. It can be found in whole grains, milk and peas.
Vitamin B3 or niacin is needed for normal carbohydrate metabolism. It is important to the metabolism of other food classes too.
This vitamin is also essential for protecting the gastrointestinal tract and ensuring the optimal absorption of important minerals and vitamins.
Daily recommended doses of niacin for ADHD treatment is between 50-100 mg. It can also be found in foods like legumes, potatoes, peanuts and meats.
Vitamin B9 or folic acid is needed for DNA synthesis and the normal development of children. It is essential for red blood cell production, and in this way it is responsible for maintaining oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood flow to important organs including the brain.
More specifically, folic acid is important for the synthesis of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known to affect mood states. For people diagnosed with ADHD, serotonin can help control impulsive behavior and extend mental focus by the calming effect it produces.
Vitamin B9 is naturally found in peas, spinach, dried beans, citrus and whole grain food. The recommended daily dose of the vitamin is 800 mcg.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the production of myelin, a defensive sheath round the neurons. A lack of sufficient Vitamin B12 can cause hyperactivity and low concentration, the two common symptoms associated with ADHD.
The proper intake of Vitamin B12 regulates the production of adenosyl-methionine, which a type of amino acid.
According to Dr. Richard A. Kunin, adenosyl-methionine can aid in improving the patient’s mood and mental sharpness.
Dr. Kunin states that Vitamin B12 joins along with Folic acid to ensure the maximum production of adenosyl-methionine.
Sufficient quantities of Vitamin B12 ensure the proper synthesis of S-adenosyl-methionine, and thus promotes concentration, a feeling of well-being, and mental alertness.
Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine allow the brain cells to communicate with each other.
Vitamin B6 also makes it easier for magnesium to enter into brain cells. Combining magnesium supplements along with vitamin B6 has proved to be more effective at alleviating ADHD symptoms.
A deficiency in Vitamin B6 could lead to symptoms such as bad temper, inability to concentrate, over activity and short-term memory loss.
A study carried out at Saint Joseph Hospital in Pennsylvania showed that ADHD inflicted children had reduced levels of serotonin. Giving vitamin B6 supplements to these children increased their serotonin levels and alleviated their hyperactivity.
Another study carried out at The University of Michigan Health System; found that giving 15 to 30 mg of vitamin B6 per 2.2 pound of the child's weight alleviated ADHD symptoms better than the prescription ADHD medication - Ritalin.
If you do not wish to use harsh ADHD medications to reduce attention deficit disorder in your child, you may consider using the natural ADHD supplements that contain essential mineral and vitamins.
Listol is an effective natural supplement used for treating the symptoms of ADD and ADHD in both children and adults.
The ingredients include Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Phosphatidylserine, Di-Methyl Glycine, Glycine, GABA Powder, DMAE Bitartatrate, and Huperzine A Extract.
|Next Article: Magnesium Deficiency Linked to ADD and ADHD|
Listol helps increase concentration and focus in kids and adults.