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Nutrition

ADHD supplements and vitamins for focus and concentration

Dozens of studies have linked ADHD risks and ADHD symptoms with specific nutritional deficiencies.

Heights
Heights
July 04, 2021
5 min read

In the United Kingdom and around the world, one out of every 20 children has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). [1] The rates of diagnosed ADHD have risen significantly over the past two decades, [2] causing many researchers to sound the alarm of a growing ADHD epidemic. [3] 

While the exact reasons for this rise in ADHD cases continue to be studied, a growing body of research has highlighted a profound link between ADHD and nutritional deficiencies. [4] If you or someone you know struggles with ADHD and difficulty focusing, concentrating, or remembering things, vitamins for concentration and supplements for focus can help.

Best ADHD supplements for focus and concentration

1. Zinc

An estimated 17.3% of us are deficient in zinc. [5] But the picture shifts dramatically when it comes to ADHD. In one study, 52% of participants who had ADHD also had a zinc deficiency. [6] In a related study, researchers gave zinc supplements to children who tested low for zinc and were diagnosed with ADHD. After just over two months of taking a zinc supplement, the children showed improvements in working memory and reduced symptoms of ADHD.

This may be due to zinc's important role in numerous processes in your body, including the growth and development of children. [8] Your body also needs zinc for DNA synthesis, enzymatic reactions, and gene expression, which are all potential factors in the development of ADHD and the way that ADHD symptoms present themselves.

Daily nutrient reference values (NRV) for zinc:

  • 9.5mg a day for men (aged 19 to 64 years)

  • 7mg a day for women

Top sources for zinc:

  • eggs¬†

  • shellfish¬†

  • fish¬†

  • chickpeas, kidney beans, and other legumes¬†

  • hemp, pecans, walnuts, and other seeds and nuts¬†

  • milk, yoghurt, and other dairy products¬†

  • asparagus¬†

  • kale

2. Magnesium

In a meta-analysis of 12 different ADHD studies, researchers found that children with ADHD have significantly lower levels of magnesium across the board. [9] 

These deficiencies may have a major impact on rising ADHD rates, since magnesium plays such a key role in your brain function and your central nervous system. [10] For example, you need magnesium for nervous system regulation. This essential mineral also assists the many processes involved in maintaining healthy neurotransmitter levels and how your brain and nervous system communicate.

Multiple studies [11] have shown that magnesium can reduce hyperactivity in those with ADHD. Those same studies also linked magnesium supplementation with significant reductions in the clinical symptoms of ADHD, such as aggression and poor school attention. 

Daily nutrient reference values (NRV) for magnesium:

  • 300mg a day for men (19 to 64 years)

  • 270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years)

Top sources for magnesium:

  • quinoa

  • avocado

  • pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, and other nuts and seeds

  • salmon

3. Omega 3 fats

Omega 3 fatty acids have a wide array of health benefits when it comes to braincare and cognitive performance, and especially as a natural ADHD supplement. 

A meta-analysis of more than two dozen research studies found that adults and children with ADHD also had significantly lower blood levels of omega 3s compared to individuals who don't have ADHD. [12] That same review of the different studies noted that ADHD symptoms underwent "modest improvements" when people took an omega 3 supplement.

Another study reviewed ten clinical trials involving nearly 700 children diagnosed with ADHD. [13] The researchers found that omega-3 supplements worked just as effectively in managing ADHD symptoms as some commonly prescribed ADHD medications.

Daily nutrient reference values (NRV) for omega 3s:

  • Men: 160mg

  • Women: 90mg

Top sources for B vitamins:

  • salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish

  • shellfish, such as crab, clams oysters

  • seeds like chia seeds and flax seeds (note: these are sources of ALA, which your body then converts into EPA and DHA)

  • seaweed and sea vegetables

4. Iron

Low iron levels are highly associated with ADHD rates, [14] with iron deficiency anaemia increasing your risks of ADHD by nearly 400%. Another study suggested that taking iron supplements for 12 weeks improved ADHD symptoms in children. [15]

However, the exact mechanisms for how or why iron influences ADHD is still unclear. For instance, some researchers [16] believe that it has less to do with overall iron deficiencies, and more to do with how well your brain stores the iron you consume. Until more research is completed, anyone struggling with ADHD or worried about their ADHD risks may want to consider proactively taking iron as a preventative measure. 

Daily nutrient reference values (NRV) for iron:

  • 8.7mg a day for men over 18

  • 14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50

  • 8.7mg a day for women over 50

Top sources for iron:

  • dried apricots and other dried fruit¬†

  • kidney beans, chickpeas, and other beans¬†

  • red meat¬†

  • soy products

The Heights Smart Supplement offers a proven formula for improving ADHD symptoms, including increased focus, concentration, and working memory. The Smart Supplement also contains all of the omega-3s, iron, zinc and magnesium your brain needs for optimal functioning. Best of all, you’ll support your journey with ADHD in a single, simple dose with no need for complex supplementation schedules or rows and rows of different vitamins or minerals.  


Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1525089/

  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2698633

  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/adhd-numbers-are-rising-and-scientists-are-trying-to-understand-why/2018/09/07/a918d0f4-b07e-11e8-a20b-5f4f84429666_story.html

  4. https://scholar.utc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1326&context=mps

  5. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/micronutrient-malnutrition/micronutrients/index.html

  6. https://new.ejpsy.eg.net/article.asp?issn=1110-1105;year=2019;volume=40;issue=2;spage=95;epage=103;aulast=El-Bakry

  7. https://new.ejpsy.eg.net/article.asp?issn=1110-1105;year=2019;volume=40;issue=2;spage=86;epage=94;aulast=El%2DBakry

  8. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/%20Zinc-HealthProfessional/

  9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.11.012

  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25540137/

  11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110863015000555

  12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.05.005

  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21961774/

  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5914242/

  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18054688/

  16. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/79/5/615/5911250

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