Supplements for ADD
With so many natural supplements for ADD on the market, it is
difficult at first glance to select the best product. How do you
to know which natural supplements for ADD are quality and which
The best way to judge natural supplements for ADD is to read the
ingredients. If the formula contains ingredients proven to help
reduce the symptoms of ADD, it is safe to assume that the
product will provide benefit.
To help you in your search for a quality supplement, read this
list of nutrients and herbs proven effective for Attention
Deficit Disorder. Note that the nutrients listed are proven
effective based on published studies, not thought to be
Key Ingredients in Natural Supplements for ADD
A zinc deficiency often mimics symptoms of ADHD. Studies also
suggest the ADHD population may have a higher prevalence of zinc
deficiency. A 1996 study found that ADHD children had low zinc
levels that were only two-thirds that of the non-ADHD
population. A 2005 study showed zinc as a beneficial treatment
for many children with ADHD. In this study, subjects taking zinc
showed significant improvements in hyperactivity, impulsivity
and socialization scores.
Zinc is integral to the production of serotonin, and low
serotonin is linked to a wide range of behavior problems.
Additionally, zinc is needed for the production of melatonin,
which helps regulate dopamine function. ADD has been strongly
linked to low dopamine levels.
A 1997 study of 116 children with ADHD found that 95% were
deficient in magnesium. In a 1988 study, 75 magnesium-deficient
children with ADHD were assigned to receive either magnesium
supplements with their standard treatment or just standard
treatment. The group of children who received magnesium showed
significant improvements in behavior. The behavior of those who
received only standard therapy actually worsened.
The trace mineral magnesium is important for every organ in the
body and is required for hundreds of different body function.
Most importantly, magnesium activates enzymes, contributes to
energy production and helps regulate a number of nutrients in
the body. In addition to ADD, migraines, asthma and allergies
have all been linked to a magnesium deficiency.
DHA and other Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
DHA is essential for the proper brain growth and development,
and is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. A 1994 Purdue
University study found that boys diagnosed with ADHD had lower
levels of the omega-3 essential fatty acid DHA. Although the
Purdue study specifically looked at DHA, all Omega-3 essential
fatty acids provide powerful brain benefits.
Essential fatty acids support and promote the building of neural
pathways needed for learning and sustained attention. Essential
fatty acids are especially needed in those who are easily
distracted and find it difficult to sustain and direct
attention. Quality natural supplements for ADD will contain
Omega-3 fatty acids.
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein in the body, quite
literally feed the brain. Amino acids promote the production of
various neurotransmitters and enzymes critically needed in the
brain for communication between brain cells, smooth and balanced
cognition and fluid transition from thought to disciplined
action. The following amino acids are found especially
beneficial as natural supplements for ADD.
DMAE, dimethylaminoethanol, is shown to be a real brain
booster. DMAE is exceptionally beneficial in helping to
eliminate brain toxins and increase the brain's potential to
make neurotransmitters. DMAE also helps with mood elevation,
improved memory and learning. DMAE is shown to relieve
disruptive behavior, hyperactivity, impulsiveness and
inattention as effectively as Ritalin.
5-HTP, 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan, is a compound synthesized
in the body from the amino acid Tryptophan. 5-HTP is more active
than Tryptophan and is the immediate precursor to serotonin, a
brain neurotransmitter responsible for natural feelings of well
being. 5-HTP is also commonly used as a natural remedy for
depression, fear and anxiety.
GABA, gamma-amino butyric acid, is the anti-anxiety amino
acid. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter produced in the
brain and found throughout the central nervous system and is
widely referred to as the "body’s natural tranquilizer." As a
neurotransmitter, GABA helps keep stress-related nerve impulses
Glutamine, the third most abundant amino acid in the
blood and brain, is rapidly gaining a reputation as an important
therapeutic amino acid. In addition to GABA, glutamine is also
shown to be vital for energy and the smooth running of brain
functions. Glutamine is found in the memory center of the brain,
in cranial nerves and many other areas of the brain. Glutamine
is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and is the precursor for GABA.
Glutamine also provides an alternative fuel source for the brain
when blood sugar levels are low.
Taurine is the second-most important inhibitory
transmitter in the brain. Taurine contains anti-convulsant and
anti-anxiety properties and its inhibitory action in the brain
equals that of GABA and glycine.
Tyrosine is the amino acid and inhibitory
neurotransmitter that often helps overcome depression and
anxiety. Children given tyrosine supplements in a 1980 study
demonstrated a marked improvement in mental performance and mood
stability. Because of its role in assisting the body to cope
physiologically with stress, Tyrosine deserves to be called the
stress amino acid. During periods of stress the brain requires
additional tyrosine. Tyrosine also aids children, young teens
and adults, with recurrent depression and mood disorders.
Glycine calms aggression in children and adults. When
combined with GABA and glutamine, glycine influences brain
function by slowing down anxiety-related messages.
B6 is needed by the body to help metabolize amino acids.
Natural supplements for ADD that contain amino acids should also
contain Vitamin B6. In addition to helping metabolize the
beneficial amino acids, B6 also provides direct benefit for
people with ADD and ADHD. B6 increases seritonin levels in the
brain and improves energy production in the body. B6 is also
shown to enhance cognitive performance.
Ginko Biloba is one of the better known natural
supplements for ADD. Ginko Biloba increases neurotransmitter
levels and also improves blood flow to the brain. These two
actions, in turn, aid the brain's ability to focus. Ginko Biloba
also enhances memory.
Gotu Kola heightens mental function, improves memory and
enhances learning capabilities. This popular herb also helps
keep blood vessels strong and assists in producing
neurotransmitters. Many natural supplements for ADD contain gotu
Not all natural supplements for ADD will contain every single
ingredient listed here. When comparing formulas, select the
product that contains the most ingredients and you will be
assured that you have a quality product.
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