Whenever I write a new post, I always Twitter about it to let my Twitter friends know. The other day when I tweeted about Vitamins and ADHD, I got a message from someone on Twitter who said it was “vague”.
OK, that’s fair. I appreciate constructive criticism, because it helps me do my job better.
You know, I was so wrapped up in convincing you that vitamins were important that it honestly didn’t occur to me to specify which ones are especially important for ADHD. That’s the way my brain works sometimes.
So for my Twitter friend (you know who you are) and everyone else, here is the vitamin list. Oh, and by the way, the same vitamins are helpful for children with autism.
Zinc Zinc is responsible for cellular metabolism, which includes helping your body absorb and make better use of protein and certain vitamins. Our body does not store zinc, so it is important to take a zinc supplement every day. Decreased levels of zinc can cause problems in growth and development, perception, and brain function. An adequate supply of zinc will also aid vitamin A absorption.
Magensium According to the National Institute of Health, magnesium is “…essential to good health.” Magnesium is important for nerve function as well as protein synthesis. Lowered levels of magnesium can cause many of the same symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity and distractibility.
B Vitamins The B vitamins are important for nerve function and brain health as well as protein synthesis.
Vitamin D New studies are linking vitamin D with cognitive functioning and brain development. There are some additional resources here.
Vitamin E Vitamin E is important for neurological health. Most Americans, while not vitamin E deficient, are only getting marginally enough vitamin E.
I would like to make a few points about the list above:
I have not listed amounts to take, partly because they vary depending on age and sex and partly because I would like to do further research first. This chart was the best one I could find, but it recommends 400 IU of vitamin D for women, and my doctor has me on 2000 IU. I think following the RDA guidelines would be a good place to start.
The chart above links to a vitamin site. I know nothing about their products, so that was not an endorsement. In general, I would say to buy the best quality you can afford.
Protein was mentioned in reference to some of the vitamins. If you have read The Natural ADHD Diet, you will know why I believe that protein is so important to the ADHD brain.