Our Products
About Us
Contact Us
Hello Sign In
Your Account
My Cart

The Most Helpful Vitamins For ADHD & Attention

In This Article
Pin it
It has been shown that giving essential vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin B12, to ADHD inflicted children and adults considerably helps in reducing ADHD symptoms.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a condition that affects an estimated 11 percent of the human population. This incredibly common condition is still misunderstood by many. Although ADHD is now known to be caused mainly by genetics, there are still many misconceptions about the condition.

ADHD is a behavioral disorder characterized by lack of attention, irritability, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is the most commonly diagnosed developmental disorder, affecting 8 - 12 percent of school-aged children.

Though there are several types of potent ADHD prescription medications available, many parents prefer using natural methods like vitamins and minerals to improve health.

It has been shown that giving essential vitamins and minerals to ADHD inflicted children and adults considerably helps in reducing ADHD symptoms.

Read on to learn more about what vitamins have been shown to reduce some of the symptoms of the condition.

The Most Important Vitamins for ADHD

Nutritional deficiencies contribute strongly to the symptoms of ADHD. While the members of the Vitamin B complex are the most common vitamins prescribed for supplementation in people diagnosed with ADHD, other vitamins have secondary roles in the development and treatment of this hyperactivity disorder.

B vitamins are important in ADHD therapy for two major reasons. First, some of them, especially Vitamin B6 and B12, are essential for the development of the nervous system and the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Secondly, these B vitamins are needed for the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Such regulation is important to balance the glucose level in the blood.

Because sugary foods flood the body with glucose and cause hyperactivity in the process, these vitamins moderate the release of glucose and provide a more balanced energy supply.

Helpful Vitamins for ADHD
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a member of the B vitamin family, also called "B-Complex vitamins," that help your body in several different ways. They give you clearer skin and healthier nails, help you lose weight, and help with your nervous system.

When it comes to ADHD, Vitamin B6 is the king.

Vitamin B6 (or pyridoxine) takes food and turns it into energy that helps create neurotransmitters (chemical messengers carrying signals from one nerve to another) and produce serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and melatonin (calming hormone) helping you to feel calm and happy.

Since ADHD is a brain-based disorder, it makes sense that taking Vitamin B6 would work well.

Scientific Evidence for Taking Vitamin B6 for ADHD

Several studies have shown that Vitamin B6, along with magnesium, reduces the symptoms of ADHD in both children and adults. One such study was conducted on 52 diagnosed ADHD children and their families.

It was proven that Vitamin B6 reduced the symptoms in the children, and even the other family members who didn't suffer from ADHD but had other nervous system problems found relief as well. The study further revealed that when Vitamin B6 was reduced in the subjects, they soon returned to their normal level of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.

How do you get Vitamin B6?

There are a few ways, but the most natural is Vitamin B-rich foods that serve as a real powerhouse for the brain. Eat these foods, and your body will take Vitamin B6 and help you not only with ADHD but also provide balanced sugar levels, stronger bones, and a healthier heart.

What foods are rich in VitaminB6?

Spinach - Bananas - Chicken - Turkey - Tuna - Salmon - Shrimp - Beef Liver - Milk - Chickpeas - Cheese - Lentils - Beans - Carrots - Brown rice - Bran - Sunflower seeds - Wheat germ - Whole-grain flour

The catch is eating these foods every day and in the right amounts to ensure you're getting enough Vitamin B6. America is not known to be the healthiest of nations, and many of the foods we eat and the drinks we drink not only don't provide Vitamin B6 but also can sabotage what we do have in our bodies.

Also, certain medications such as heart medicines, antibiotics, and asthma medicines, (just to name a few), can impact your absorption of Vitamin B6 and potentially lead to further health issues.

So, what if you just take a multi-vitamin?

For the average person, a multi-vitamin should help augment what they don't get in their daily diet. However, if you are looking to help you or your child's ADHD, just meeting the daily requirement set by the USDA won't be enough.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin and one of the 8 B vitamins.

Vitamin B12 is the most structurally complex of all vitamins. It is found in all human cells where its functions range from DNA synthesis and regulation to blood formation and energy production. But just as importantly, vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system, including the brain.

There are four known forms of this vitamin: cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, and methylcobalamin. Of these vitamers, cyanocobalamin does not exist in nature. Instead, it is produced when hydroxocobalamin is purified over activated charcoal (it picks up trace amounts of cyanide).

Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are produced in the human body, where they serve as cofactors of certain enzymes.

Hydroxocobalamin, on the other hand, is produced by bacteria.

Only bacteria produce the basic form of vitamin B12. Therefore, dietary sources of vitamin B12 include plants and animals in which vitamin B12-producing bacteria grow symbiotically.

Animals are, however, a better source of the vitamin than plants. This is because these bacteria usually live in the roots of plants and are mostly was removed during food preparation.

Animals, on the other hand, have these bacteria in their guts or store the vitamin in their livers.

Therefore, the animal liver is an excellent source of vitamin B12. Other good sources include meat, poultry, eggs, milk, dairy products, fish, and shellfish.

Vitamin B12 is also commonly added to fortified foods, including breakfast cereals, energy bars, and soy products.

Other sources of vitamin B12 include supplements that are available in different dosage forms, from pills to liquids, injections, patches, and nasal sprays.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The recommended dietary intake of vitamin B12 ranges from 2 to 3 micrograms per day for adults. Pregnant and lactating women are advised to go near the upper limit.

The major cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is pernicious anemia.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a rather delicate state. Even at levels slightly below the normal range, vitamin B12 deficiency can start to show clear symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and memory loss.

Chronic vitamin B12 deficiency can serious and permanent damage, especially to the brain. When vitamin B12 deficiency gets rather serious, it can cause mania and psychosis.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Those at Risk

Vitamin B12 deficiency usually affects old people more than any age group. Care should also be taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers as their need for vitamin B12 is higher.

It is believed that the main reason vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in the elderly than any other age group is the reduction in stomach acid levels as we grow older.

Vitamin B12 obtained from dietary sources is often combined with certain proteins. It takes the action of stomach acid to release the bound vitamin B12 for absorption in the gut. However, it has been shown that about 30% of elderly people do not produce sufficient stomach acids to release adequate amounts of vitamin B12 for absorption.

Another group of people who are at a high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency due to low stomach acid production is those who regularly use acid-suppressing drugs such as antacids and anti-ulcer drugs.

For the people who are at great risk of vitamin B12 deficiency due to insufficient acid production in the stomach, regular consumption of vitamin B12 supplements or fortified foods is necessary to meet their recommended daily intake of the vitamin.

Unlike vitamin B12 obtained from dietary sources, supplemental vitamin B12 is supplied unbound to proteins, and therefore, does not need stomach acid for absorption.

However, both natural and synthetic forms of vitamin B12 need to combine with an intrinsic factor in the stomach before they can be absorbed. This factor is lacking in people suffering from pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease. Therefore, vitamin B12 injections may be necessary to address this deficiency to help bypass the need for gastrointestinal absorption.

Vegetarians (all vegans and strict vegetarians) are yet another group of people who need regular vitamin B12 supplementation.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Cognitive Decline

The effect of vitamin B12 deficiency is most pronounced in old people. One of the main presentations of this deficiency is cognitive decline.

Cognitive decline is often believed to be one of the signs of aging in old people, but more often than not, it is due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Clear signs of cognitive decline in the elderly include poor memory and confusion while performing simple, everyday tasks.

However, cognitive decline should not be taken as a compulsory presentation of aging.

Vitamin B12 supplementation may help reverse cognitive decline, especially when it is taken for a long time. However, vitamin B12 can only improve aspects of cognition (learning, reasoning, memory, etc.) in people who are deficient in the vitamin. Those who do not have vitamin B12 deficiency will rarely benefit from taking more of the vitamin.

It is still unclear how vitamin B12 affects memory and other cognitive function, but the most popular theory is the effect of the vitamin on a compound called homocysteine.

Vitamin B12 is required for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. This conversion is necessary because the resulting methionine is further converted to an intermediate that is needed for the formation of myelin (the sheath around nerves), different neurotransmitters, and phospholipids used in making the membranes of nerve cells.

Neurotransmitters, myelin, and membrane phospholipids are the core of the nervous system.

Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that carry all transmissions in the brain while myelin and phospholipids maintain the integrity of the nerves.

When vitamin B12 deficiency occurs, the conversion of homocysteine to methionine proceeds poorly. Therefore, homocysteine accumulates in the body. When homocysteine accumulates in nerve cells, it kills them off. In the cardiovascular system, homocysteine accumulation can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.

It has been confirmed that the accumulation of homocysteine in the brain is linked to dementia and Alzheimer's disease. However, most studies have found that lowering homocysteine levels through vitamin B12 supplementation did not improve cognitive function.

Other B Vitamins

Other B vitamins useful for treating ADHD include those needed for maintaining general health. These include Vitamin B1, which is useful for the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose. Vitamin B2 is also needed for this purpose.

Vitamin B3 or niacin is important for general metabolism and to improve the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins from the gastrointestinal tract.

Clinical Study of B Vitamins for ADHD Therapy

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 four groups, and each group was given Vitamin B1 or thiamine, Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, and a placebo. Large doses of these vitamins were given over three days.

All the vitamin groups performed better than the placebo group by showing marked improvements in inattentiveness, mental focus, and behavior.

Vitamin B1 for ADHD

Vitamin B1 or thiamine falls into the category of B vitamins which help alleviate ADHD symptoms by regulating carbohydrate metabolism. It is responsible for the conversion of carbohydrates 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. The recommended daily dose is 25-50 mg.

Vitamin B2 for ADHD

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 for ADHD

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 for ADHD

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.

Vitamins A & E

Although Vitamin A and E are generally not recommended for any ability to improve brain function, they help people living with ADHD in other ways.

For example, these vitamins are needed for improving vision. Wandering focus and inattentiveness in ADHD children, especially in the classroom, sometimes occurs because the children's eyesight is not good enough to engage in reading materials or see chalkboards.

Vitamin A is the most important natural nutrient for healthy vision. It bounds to the rods and cones of the eyes where it is responsible for capturing light and triggering signals in the optic nerve.

Vitamin E is also important for eye health. Its deficiency can lead to retinopathy, an eye disease.

Both Vitamins A and E are also antioxidants. Therefore, they are essential for mopping up harmful free radicals in the body. In this way, they are also protective and can prevent structural damages to the neurons of the central nervous system.

Fish oil and cod liver oil, which are common supplements recommended for treating ADHD, contain these two vitamins.

Vitamin E Study Details

The 2014 study was conducted by researchers from universities around the country. The study acknowledged that vitamin E had previously been shown to benefit patients with severe memory loss and Alzheimer's disease in the past, so the goal of this study was to see how the vitamin compared with a common memory-boosting drug (the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor memantine) in mild to moderate Alzheimer's progression. The study examined 561 patients of which the patients were divided into four groups. One group took 2,000 IU of vitamin E, another group took 20 mg of memantine, another group took both vitamin E and memantine, and the last group took a placebo pill only.

The study examined each group for two years. At the end of the study, patients taking vitamin E had their ADCS-ADL Inventory scores declined by 3.15 units and patients taking memantine had their scores decreased by 1.98 units. Strangely enough, there was no difference between the memantine group and the memantine plus vitamin E group. The biggest difference was seen between the vitamin E group and the memantine group.

According to the researchers, the clinical progression of Alzheimer's was slowed by about 19 percent per year. The Benefit of Vitamin E for Memory Researchers are not quite sure how vitamin E boosts memory, but it most certainly does.

A Finnish study from 2013 looked at the role of high vitamin E levels (there are 8 total forms of vitamin E) in boosting memory. All of the participants in the study were elderly persons who had no memory impairment at the start of the study. Over the next 8 years, the researchers tracked their vitamin E serum levels. The participants with the highest vitamin E levels in the varieties of γ-tocopherol, β-tocotrienol, and total tocotrienols had the best chance of keeping a sharp mind as they age.

Why Don't We Have Enough Vitamin E?

According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans are chronically low in vitamin E. This could be one reason why so many Americans face memory loss as they age. Vitamin E is normally considered important for its antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Vitamin E is essential for fighting off invaders and preventing the spread of free radicals in the body. As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E is best absorbed with a source of healthy fat. Much of the foods that Americans eat in large amounts contain high levels of vitamin E. Vegetable oil, in particular, is high in vitamin E content. If we are consuming large amounts of vitamin E, then why are we still deficient in the vitamin?

Oxidation Imbalance

Researchers have not identified a clear link between what causes vitamin E loss, but new studies have shown that an imbalance of fats in the body can lead to reduced absorption of vitamin E. Additionally, certain fats can increase the level of oxidants in the body, which leads to the development of many problems as well as difficulties absorbing vitamin E.

One of the biggest problems in the modern diet is the consumption of vegetable oils. Ordinarily, the vitamin E in vegetables counteracts the Omega 6 fatty acids found in most vegetable oils. However, the processed form of vegetable oils used today is extremely processed forms of vegetable fats, leading to oxidation and high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids in the body. Such high levels of these unhealthy ingredients are simply too much for the vitamin E to counteract. Additionally, processing vegetable oil removes much of the benefit of the vitamins in the first place, making them virtually unusable.

Fat-Free Diets

Vitamin E is a vitamin that requires healthy fats to utilize vitamins. Today's modern diets lack healthy fats that contribute to the absorption of vitamins like vitamin E. Our bodies are made up of about 97 percent monounsaturated and saturated fats. The remaining 3 percent is omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids- with no more than a 50/50 split between omega 3s and 6s.

Of course, most vegetable oils have a high concentration of omega 6 oils, which is one of the only forms of fat in the modern diet. The body cannot utilize this form of fat as effectively, which leads to a reduction in vitamin absorption in addition to the side effects listed above. The best fats to eat for optimal vitamin absorption include monounsaturated or saturated fats.

Healthy Sources of Useable Fats

Monounsaturated fats: Avocado, nuts, olive oil, high oleic sunflower oil

Saturated fats: Non-hydrogenated versions of – Coconut oil, palm oil, butter, animal fat

The modern diet shuns these types of fats because it was thought that these fats could contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. However, recent studies have uncovered that saturated fat intake has little bearing on heart disease and cholesterol, which are more likely to go up as a result of chronic inflammation.

Ironically, one of the biggest triggers for chronic inflammation in the body is the high consumption of omega-6 fatty acids. Basically, when you consume vegetable oil, you are not only preventing the absorption of vital nutrients like vitamin E, but you are also increasing your risk of getting heart disease and other diseases.

If you want to improve your intake of vitamin E and other fat-soluble vitamins, give your body a source of fat that is easy for it to make use of like saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and omega 3 fatty acids.

What is the Best Form of Vitamin E?

Since there are 8 strains of vitamin E, it can be a challenge to identify the best strain that will protect your memory. Of course, the hard work is already done for you. The studies above have stated that the best strains for memory protection are alpha-tocopherol (the kind that usually comes in supplement form), gamma-tocopherol, beta-tocotrienol, and total tocotrienol levels. You will want to include all of these sources of vitamin E in your diet to protect your memory.

Sourcing Vitamin E Through Food

Of course, food is the best source of vitamin E that you can take. Synthetic forms of vitamins are never as powerful as what you will find in vegetables and fruit. The trouble is, of course, that supplements contain higher levels than what you would normally find in vegetables. You would have to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit to receive 2,000 IU of vitamin E each day. That is why taking both supplements and eating enough foods rich in vitamin E may be the best strategy for protecting your memory.

Where to Find Vitamin E in Foods 

Tocopherol: Leafy greens, nuts, sunflower seeds, avocado, shellfish, fish, olive oil, tomatoes

Tocotrienol: Palm oil, bran, barley, oats, rice

Vitamin D

Unlike the other vitamins treated in this article, the link between Vitamin D and ADHD is not well understood. However, the vitamin is important in certain key body processes that may contribute to the outcome of ADHD.

First, Vitamin D is known to improve the concentration of glutathione in the brain. Glutathione is an antioxidant useful for counteracting harmful free radicals in the central nervous system. Its protective action prevents damage to the neurons and helps in maintaining brain health.

Secondly, Vitamin D is needed for certain steps in the productions of brain chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine. The roles of these two neurotransmitters are already established in the development and treatment of ADHD.

Also, Vitamin D enhances the activity of the enzyme, choline acetyltransferase. This is the enzyme responsible for the final step in the product of acetylcholine, the chief brain chemical of the cholinergic branch of the nervous system.

Acetylcholine is known to improve and increase attention span, and its concentration in the brain is directly correlated with the ability to focus for sustained periods.

Vitamin C

One substance that has received a lot of attention in medical studies is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is known for its immune-protecting abilities, but Vitamin C is so much more than the vitamin you need to fight off colds. Vitamin C also has many other beneficial properties, including the production of energy, the stimulation of cell growth, antioxidant properties, and maybe even memory-protecting abilities.

Some studies have indicated that Vitamin C may help prevent the onset of dementia and other cognitive disorders and protecting mental clarity and memory.

Read on to see how Vitamin C can benefit your memory- if at all.

How Vitamin C Prevents Memory Loss

Dementia and memory loss is a neurodegenerative disease. The changes in the brain occur due to three conditions.

Causes of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
  • Amyloid-beta-plaque build-up
  • Reduction in brain synapses
  • Deterioration of fibrilla

Most researchers believe that these symptoms are caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most compelling causes appears to be oxidation in the brain. Oxidative stress restricts the use of oxygen in the body.

Basically, this means that your body slowly suffocates to death. Oxidative stress causes the formation of amyloid plaque lumps, which contribute to nerve-cell death. The first center of the brain to deteriorate when this occurs is the memory center of the brain. Vitamin C can prevent this issue from occurring in two ways.

Antioxidant Powers

Although most people typically think about red fruits and vegetables as high in antioxidants, Vitamin C is actually quite high in antioxidants as well. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health in 2003 looked at the role of Vitamin C and antioxidant power.

Although the study found nothing definitive about Vitamin C, it contains high levels of antioxidants that can be beneficial for a variety of health conditions. The researchers found that Vitamin C is an electron donor, meaning that it can give one of its electrons to another compound, stabilizing it and preventing oxidation. When the electron is donated to another compound, energy is released, which boosts cellular function at all levels.

Plaque-Destroying Ability

The study on mice from 2011 found that Vitamin C was particularly effective in destroying the plaque build-up in the brain. This may be related to the antioxidant features of Vitamin C, but more research is necessary to discover exactly how Vitamin C can benefit memory and patients with Alzheimer's and dementia.

Vitamin C Dosage

Studies have shown that taking excessively high doses of Vitamin C is probably not necessary for protecting the brain and preserving cognitive function. Studies on high doses of Vitamin C (500 mg or more daily) have shown no serious health risks (except for study participants with health problems like hemochromatosis).

In fact, a study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that taking 500 mg of Vitamin C daily for 6 years along with a few other minerals and Vitamins was able to reduce eye Age-related macular degeneration by about 28 percent.

Most studies have found that doses between 75 and 100 mg daily can provide protective benefits on the brain. It is up to you to decide if you want to experiment with higher doses to protect your memory.

Possible Risks and Side Effects

There are a few potential risks and side effects of taking high doses of Vitamin C supplements. You may want to monitor your Vitamin C intake carefully or discuss your dosage with a doctor if you have the following conditions:


According to a study from 2004 conducted by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that women with diabetes who took high doses of Vitamin C in supplement form (more than 300 mg daily) were more likely to have cardiovascular disease and increased mortality endpoints. The same risks were not seen in women who ate Vitamin C from natural food sources.


Hemochromatosis is simply iron overload. This condition causes your body to absorb abnormal levels of iron. Vitamin C also boosts iron intake, which could mean that individuals with Hemochromatosis could quickly see iron toxicity with high doses of Vitamin C.


There is some evidence that states that high doses of Vitamin C (over 1000 mg daily) could result in a suppression of the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is necessary for supporting the life of a fetus before the placenta is developed. In rats, high doses of Vitamin C were able to abort babies in the early stages of pregnancy.

A study on human women of high-risk pregnancies from 1943 found that giving women supplements of Vitamin C and Vitamin K was able to help high-risk women maintain the pregnancy. The exact dosage is unknown since the study is so old. If you are concerned, stay away from high doses of Vitamin C until the second trimester of pregnancy.

Other Possible Side Effects
  • Kidney stones
  • Indigestion
  • Iron poisoning
  • Possible triggering of hexavalent chromium (a cancer-causing compound)

How Helpful is Vitamin C for Memory?

Researchers are unsure how helpful Vitamin C is for preserving memory function. Many studies show that Vitamin C can provide antioxidant benefits in the brain as well as help destroy plaque in the brain that can contribute to memory loss.

However, other studies show that individuals with a higher intake of Vitamin C are no more or less likely to have memory problems than anyone else. In general, it appears that a regular intake of less than 300 mg, but more than 75 mg of Vitamin C has protective and healing effects on the brain.

However, if you are looking for a supplement that will definitively prevent and heal dementia and other degenerative brain diseases, Vitamin C is not it. If you do choose to supplement with Vitamin C, the healthiest sources come from food.

Foods High in Vitamin C
  • Red peppers
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Studies on ADHD and Vitamins

Just how effective are vitamins in treating ADHD symptoms? Several studies have found that adding more of the above vitamins to the diet of a person with ADHD could reduce symptoms of ADHD and improve focus.


In one study, adult patients with ADHD were given general vitamin supplements for two months. After that time, they had modest improvements in hyperactivity, concentration, and other symptoms of ADHD.

Another study found that when men with ADHD took vitamin supplements, they were less likely to get into a road accident.

In these studies, patients were given a mix of vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate, magnesium, ferritin, iron, calcium, zinc, and copper.

Adults with ADHD that were given supplements for eight weeks had a "modest" improvement in concentration span, hyperactivity, and other symptoms, a small-scale study found.

A wide range of nutrients, including vitamin D, iron, and calcium, may improve brain functioning, said psychologists in New Zealand.

Another study found medication reduced road accidents in men with ADHD. The study authors had first noted that men with ADHD were more likely to get into road accidents, likely due to impulsive behavior (women with ADHD are not more likely to get into car accidents).

"Our study provides preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of micronutrients in the treatment of ADHD symptoms in adults," the study authors stated.

"This could open up treatment options for people with ADHD who may not tolerate medications, or do not respond to first-line treatments."

Other Supplements to Consider in ADHD Therapy

Although vitamins for ADHD are effective at reducing the symptoms of ADHD, other nutrients are equally important. The following nutrients are as beneficial in preventing symptoms as vitamins for ADHD.


As per a study published in Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, taking zinc supplements can alleviate the symptoms of ADHD or attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder in children.

Zinc is known to regulate the activity of brain chemicals, melatonin, and fatty acids, all of which are connected to behavior.

Higher doses of zinc can be unsafe, so talk to your healthcare practitioner before giving zinc supplements to a child or taking it yourself.


Children with ADHD usually have lower magnesium levels, hence it makes sense that taking magnesium supplements can help in alleviating the hyperactive behavior and improve focus and attention.

Magnesium calms the central nervous system, which is essential in children with hyperactivity symptoms. It is a key factor in the production of serotonin, which an important neurotransmitter that promotes the feeling of calm and well-being.

Essential  Fatty Acids

Fatty acids, primarily omega-3 fatty acids and evening primrose oil, are known as good fats. They play a key role in promoting normal brain function.

Experts have recommended using omega-3 fatty acids as a herbal remedy for ADHD. However, you must consult your doctor to find out if it is suitable for you.


L-carnitine is produced from an amino acid and it helps body cells generate energy. A study involving a group of boys with ADHD found that 54% of them showed development in behavior when taking L-carnitine.

L-carnitine has not been studied for safety in children, so talk to your healthcare practitioner before giving L-carnitine to a child.

If you are looking for a safe and alternative treatment for ADHD, then consider using Listol which contains these ingredients: Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, and Zinc.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is an herb that is often used to treat anxiety and mild depression. The herb has been shown to benefit cognitive reasoning, memory, focus, and many of the other common side effects of ADHD. The anxiety-relieving effects of the herb may eliminate some of the stress that individuals with ADHD feel, allowing them to relax and make better choices about behavior and focus on the problem at hand.


Studies have found that about 40 percent of individuals with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder, or suffer from generalized anxiety. Constant anxiety presents with many of the same concentration problems as anxiety.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is another supportive herb that soothes anxiety and depression. It also has positive effects on irritability and nervousness. Many individuals with ADHD suffer from these co-existing conditions, and supplementing with lemon balm can have a positive effect on these conditions.


Ginseng is included in many energy drinks for its purported boosting powers for memory and concentration. The herb is also known for its soothing irritability and nervousness. In one study on children with ADHD who took ginseng supplements, the children taking the supplements had reduced hyperactivity and better behavior and performance at school and work.

Gotu Kola

Gotu kola is an herb that contains many vitamins and nutrients, including B vitamins and nerve-calming compounds. The herb is considered one of the most beneficial in traditional Indian medication. The herb is linked with soothing many common side effects of ADHD, including poor memory, anxiety, depression, and short attention spans.

Gotu Kola includes many of the nutrients the human body needs, including B vitamins.


Iron deficiencies are common in adults and children with ADHD. It is not clear if a lack of iron contributes to ADHD or if individuals with ADHD have a harder time absorbing iron, but individuals who are low in iron are more likely to show symptoms of irritability and cognitive impairment. Additionally, many individuals with low iron also show symptoms of learning disabilities.


Some research suggests that children and adults with ADHD have a high level of yeast and unhealthy bacteria in their guts. In one study, study authors found that a third of children with ADHD tested were found to have harmful bacteria in their intestines. This harmful bacteria can cause a wide range of symptoms in the brain. Scientists are not yet sure why intestinal bacteria play such a crucial role in mental health, but some evidence and studies have found that when individuals with ADHD supplement with probiotics, their symptoms recede somewhat.


Protein is essential for healthy brain function. Without enough protein, the brain starves. A lack of protein also causes higher surges in blood sugar, which can cause hyperactivity. Children and adults with ADHD should add beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, and dairy to the diet regularly for benefits on hyperactivity and concentration. Try to add a source of protein to every meal for the biggest benefits.


Pycnogenol is an extract made from pine bark. This extract was found to improve concentration, sharpen attention, lessen hyperactivity, and improve visual-motor coordination after supplementing with the extract for one month in a double-blind study from 2006.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a plant native to the Arctic. The herb was found in some studies to boost alertness, accuracy, and attention in children with ADHD. Some evidence suggests that this herb is too strong for young children and should not be used for children younger than 12. The best application for the herb is older children and adults who must concentrate for extended periods, such as for students who have to complete a term paper.


Tyrosine is an amino acid that can improve motivation and prevent distraction. Tyrosine is necessary to synthesize neurotransmitters in the brain associated with mood and motivation. This amino acid is found naturally in foods like nuts, cheese, turkey, and fish, but it is most useful in larger concentrations found in supplement form.

Foods to Avoid for ADHD

If you have ADHD, there is an equal number of foods that have been linked to making ADHD symptoms worse. If you wish to go the natural route and avoid the need for medication, take a careful look at this list and try to avoid the foods on this list the majority of the time. Occasional splurges are fine, but if these foods are in the diet constantly, they will make ADHD symptoms worse and may negate some of the positive influences of the best vitamins for ADHD.


Sugar is not healthy for anyone. Some studies have suggested that it makes hyperactivity worse in children with ADHD (some have also shown the opposite). Regardless of whether sugar makes a person more likely to be hyperactive, it isn't healthy in large doses. Children who eat a lot of sugar usually do not get enough quality nutrients, and that can have effects on behavior.


Some individuals with ADHD are also sensitive to gluten or have a gluten allergy. Some parents have found that eliminating gluten from their child's diet improved behavior. If you notice worse ADHD symptoms when gluten is consumed, try eliminating it for a few months and see if symptoms of ADHD improve.

Conventional Dairy

Not all dairy is bad, but cow's milk may be a trigger for some children and adults with ADHD. Cow's milk contains A1 casein protein, which may cause a reaction and increased hyperactivity. Try eliminating dairy from the diet for a few weeks and see if symptoms improve.

Food Additives and Dyes

Some individuals with ADHD are more sensitive to food additives. Studies have found that about 10-30 percent of children with ADHD are sensitive to food additives. These additives can trigger hyperactivity and behavior problems. If you notice that symptoms of ADHD increase after food dyes are consumed, try eliminating them from the diet for a few weeks. Look carefully for added dyes in processed foods, snacks, and toothpaste.

MSG and HVP are two food additives commonly associated with worsening ADHD symptoms. These additives are suggested as decreasing dopamine levels and leading to low mood, irritability, and depression.

Nitrates are linked to a wide variety of health problems, including cancer, IBS, and difficulty breathing. Restlessness, another common side effect, is attributed to a side effect of nitrates and can make ADHD worse.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are not good for you, but in addition to simply being unhealthy, they may also make ADHD symptoms worse. The sweeteners can cause biochemical changes in the body, which can upset the emotional balance and hurt cognitive function.


Soy is a known hormone disruptor. Soy is linked with causing too-high estrogen production in boys and can also upset the hormonal balance of girls and women. Soy can also disrupt hormones that make ADHD symptoms worse.

Other Allergens

It is possible to be allergic to food and not know it. Common allergens include shellfish, nuts, peanuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten, corn, and soy. Some fruit and vegetables can also cause an allergic reaction in some people (such as pineapple and strawberries). If you are allergic to food without knowing it, it may be causing ADHD symptoms without you knowing it. The best way to test for hidden allergies is to get an official allergy test.

Lifestyle Changes that Could Reduce ADHD Symptoms

In addition to vitamins for ADHD and other helpful supplements, some lifestyle changes could be effective at reducing the symptoms of ADHD. Try implementing these lifestyle changes for ADHD in addition to adding vitamins for ADHD to your diet and watch your symptoms lessen.

Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet can help prevent some of the symptoms of ADHD that occur due to imbalances in hormones or blood sugar spikes. Try filling half the plate with fruit and vegetables, a quarter with protein, and the last quarter with whole-grain, complex carbs like whole-grain bread or whole wheat pasta. Filling your plate in this way will ensure you receive the right balance of nutrients for a healthy diet and that will ensure you are getting enough vitamins for ADHD.

Essential Oils For ADHD

Some studies have found that essential oils applied topically or diffused into the air can have big benefits on concentration and focus. A study published in the American Medical Association Journal found that cedarwood and vetiver oil were the most effective at calming and providing focus to children with ADHD. Peppermint oil is linked to improving concentration, memory, and alertness. Ylang-ylang and lavender provide a calming agent and frankincense improves cognitive function and clarity, according to the study authors.

Show Affection

It can be hard for a parent of a child with ADHD to not respond negatively to poor behavior. However, it is important to focus on what the child is doing right. Instead of looking for ways to punish bad behavior, look for ways to praise and reward the good behavior you see. Try to give the child tasks that you know they will succeed in.

Get Organized

One of the biggest side effects of ADHD is disorganization. It is difficult for a person with ADHD to stay organized, but there are solutions. For a child, try having a specific place for homework, shoes, clothes, etc. so they are harder to lose. Adults can use phone reminders or written to-do lists to keep track of important events and deadlines.


Exercise is good for the body on multiple levels. It can help relieve stress, reduce anxiety, focus the mind, and balance hormones. A person with ADHD should try to exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes per session.

Get More Sleep

Children and adults with ADHD may need more sleep than their counterparts because it can often take a while to fall asleep at night. A rested mind is easier to focus and it is much easier for a person with ADHD to avoid impulsive and irritable responses if they are well-rested. Aim for between 8 and 10 hours a night. Some children may benefit from nearly 12 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age. Diffusing a relaxing, anti-anxiety oil, like lavender, in the room can help calm a person with ADHD and promote restful sleep.

Vitamins for ADHD are Effective

If you or a person you love has ADHD, you don't have to take medication. While thousands of people find that medication is helpful and the right treatment option, others do not want the side effects of medication and prefer natural treatments. Luckily, vitamins for ADHD do work as well as the other herbal supplements and lifestyle changes outlined in this article. If you don't want to medicate ADHD, you don't have to suffer from the full effect of the condition. Herbal remedies and vitamins for ADHD can make a positive difference.





[+] Show All
Next Article: ADHD & GABA - Will it Help?