31 Jan What supplements does an ADHD Coach and an RN take for ADHD?
It’s easy to spend a small fortune on supplements, so you want to make sure they’re worthwhile. The good news is, there’s some robust evidence that certain supplements can reduce ADHD symptoms and other health problems we experience.
Despite this, few doctors recommend them and it’s not easy to make sense of the research unless you have a health background – and even then it’s complicated!.
Naturally, as a scientific info junkie, I’ve deep-dived into which supplements my son and I should take. Please remember that your needs may be different to ours. While it’s good to do your own research, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor to work out the best plan for you and your family.
In a nutshell, we take:
• Omega 3’s
• Vitamin D
• Iron (when needed)
• Maritime Pine
I know, it’s a lot… This is why we take these supplements.
There’s clear, high quality evidence that Omega 3 supplements can lead to small-to-medium improvements in ADHD symptoms.
It’s well established that vitamin D plays a role in a range of illnesses that people with ADHD are more at risk of. Low vitamin D is common , especially during cooler months, and there’s evidence that it’s even more common for people with ADHD so it’s a good idea to get it checked. There’s also some evidence that vitamin D supplements may improve ADHD symptoms.
There’s some evidence that people with ADHD are more likely to have low zinc levels. While there isn’t clear evidence that supplements improve symptoms at this point in time, it’s still worth checking as it’s well established that zinc is important for cognitive function.
Evidence suggests that people with ADHD are more likely to have an iron deficiency so add that to your list of blood tests to discuss this with your doctor.
After a lot of research into promoting brain health, another supplement that I’ve been having for a while is a blend called Mem Food from California Gold Nutrition. It contains a number of supplements that appear to improve cognitive function including a potent antioxidant called maritime pine (also called pycnogenol). This randomised controlled trial is one of two that have shown that it significantly improves ADHD symptoms.
Maritime pine has also been shown to reduce ‘oxidative stress’ – an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body – which is related to inflammation all over the body including neuroinflammation. And you guessed it, people with ADHD have higher levels of oxidative stress… FFS! Well at least we have this info and these strong antioxidants can help! While it’s hard to be sure, I do think my memory has improved since commencing Mem Food.
I have terrible memory problems caused by a combination of four factors; ADHD, peri-menopause, another medical condition called dysautonomia (or autonomic nervous system dysfunction) and the crazy mental load of being a solo parent. And as my dad had Alzheimer’s, not to mention that it makes life really bloody hard every day, I’m throwing everything at it.
Amazingly, I’m 100% certain that my 8 yo son, Harry, (who is autistic as well as having ADHD and dyspraxia) is benefitting enormously from another supplement with maritime pine in it called Arborvitae. There was the most incredible positive change in his mood and ‘tolerance window’ when he started taking it. He’s never been happier and he can let things go when he gets stuck way better than ever.
I really hope that this info is super helpful and if you decide to give maritime pine a go (it has a tonne of other health benefits proven by high quality research as well), do let me know how it goes.
All the best getting your supplements sorted!
(FYI I get all my supplements from iHerb as I am pretty sure it’s the best value around (except for the Arborvitae as they don’t stock it). My GP, who specialises in ADHD also recommends it).