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  • Writer's picturemichellepick5andpr

Can’t Think? 5 Supplements to help with ADD/ADHD

~Michelle Tonkin ND

What is ADD? ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are categorized as disorders of the brain which can either be accompanied with or without hyperactivity. Some people can also have a combination of both. In fact, ADD is now normally referred to as ADHD. This disorder is said to affect about 6 million kids or 9.4% in the US alone.


While the exact cause of ADD is claimed to be unknown. Certain factors such as Genetics (its in the family) Environment (heavy metal exposure like lead) and Development (CNS development issues during growth) can be contributors.

Other possible factors could include:

  • Brain injury

  • Exposure to environmental risks (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age

  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy.

  • Premature delivery

  • Low birth weight

~List from:


Symptoms of the type of ADD in which one has a hard time concentrating can consist of:

  • easy distractibility

  • frequent forgetfulness in daily life

  • trouble paying attention to details or listening when other people speak.

  • difficulty concentrating on tasks or activities.

  • trouble following instructions and completing tasks as directed.

  • a tendency to lose focus or get sidetracked easily.

  • difficulty staying organized or managing time.

  • a tendency to put off or avoid tasks that require long periods of mental effort, such as homework or work projects.

  • a habit of losing vital things needed for daily routines and activities.

  • have trouble keeping track of special dates like birthdays and anniversaries along with due dates for work assignments and bill payments.

  • find it difficult to complete tasks on time, and procrastinate on schoolwork, chores, or even projects you enjoy.

  • have a hard time paying attention, even to things that interest you, like the latest book in a favorite series or a friend’s description of a recent trip.

  • make frequent mistakes in your work.

With the Hyperactive type of ADD Symptoms can include:

  • difficulty sitting quietly, remaining still, or staying in one place.

  • excessive talking

  • difficulty waiting patiently or taking turns.

  • frequent fidgeting, squirming, or tapping hands and feet.

  • trouble staying seated in school, work, or other situations.

  • persistent feelings of restlessness, which might show up as a tendency to run or climb in inappropriate situations.

  • trouble playing quietly or participating in relaxing activities.

  • a habit of finishing others’ sentences or giving an answer before someone finishes asking a question.

  • a habit of interrupting others, intruding on conversations and activities, or using others’ belongings without permission

  • need to pace the room or move around a lot or feel as if you can’t stop moving.

  • have trouble waiting in long lines, traffic, or for appointments.

  • jump in with your own thoughts and ideas when others are talking.

  • make decisions or shop impulsively.

  • have emotional outbursts or find it hard to manage extreme or intense emotions.

Those who have combined both hyper and inattentive, can have a combination of the above symptoms.

List of symptoms from:

Diagnosing of ADD/ADHD has certain criteria. For instance, those who under 17 years of age need to have around six symptoms from each of the sections we mentioned. Adults only need five. It is believed that adults are more likely to have the combination of inattentive and hyperactivity and that this type of ADD/ADHD is also the most common when compared with the other two.

There was a study done with adults who had ADHD (107). The results were:

  • 62 percent of adults with ADHD had the combined type.

  • 31 percent had the predominantly inattentive type.

  • 7 percent had the hyperactive-impulsive type.



It is suggested to treat the symptoms of ADD/ADHD by incorporating a healthy diet, plenty of physical activity, getting good sleep along with behavioral therapy and medication.

While these suggestions can definitely be lifechanging for both children and adults, certain supplements can also prove to be beneficial.

1.) Fish Oil’s (Omega 3’s)

Our brain is said to be composed of a ratio of 60% of fat and omega 3’s such as those found in plants and fish can be helpful in assisting the body in elevating how the body processes dopamine. Dopamine can be affected by ADHA medication. Omega three also contains something known as Docosahexaenoic acid otherwise known as DHA which those who have ADHD are shown to have lower levels in. DHA is important for our brain’s health. And according to the Transactional Psychiatry online it was found that Omega 3’s worked as well as drugs used to help those with attention issues in ADHD, all without the harmful side effects.

2.) Iron (Whole Food Based)

When you think of Iron, you may think of green veggies or a nice slab of steak, but what you may not realize is how important iron

“in the production and metabolism of neurotransmitters”


In fact, those who suffer from an iron deficit can have issues with dopamine being metabolized by the body. Without the proper amt of dopamine, symptoms can result such as: RSL, fatigue, sleep issues, and even tachycardia.

Info found: It has been shown that those children with sleep issues and ADHD are often found to have low levels of ferritin. Ferritin is “a protein that stores iron the body and releases it” ~

Unfortunately ADHD meds can have an adverse effect on hunger (appetite suppressant) which can in turn cause the child to not get all the nutrients they would normally get from their food. Besides a good diet, it is suggested to get a good whole food based iron as it is gentler on the stomach and has less of a chance of becoming toxic to the body. Greens such as powder greens are also great to get a good source of iron and can be added to protein shakes etc. Especially good if kids/adults aren’t fans of veggies.

3.) Magnesium

Did you know that an estimated 85% of Americans have a magnesium deficiency? Magnesium plays an important role in our body’s health involved in over “300 enzymatic reactions” ~

and is essential for helping our body to relax as well as our muscles. In fact stress will have an adverse on our magnesium levels. Those with ADD/ADHD whose bodies are in a perpetual state of stress benefit greatly with added Magnesium to their diets.

Studies show that “children with ADHD who were deficient in magnesium showed significant improvement in hyperactivity after taking magnesium supplements (3), (10).” ~

Magnesium is not only important for stress reduction but is also “essential for energy production, cell replication and integrity, detoxification, glutathione synthesis, muscular/neurological function, and maintaining body pH balance”

4.) Multivitamin w B Complex (Whole Foods based)

The B vitamins all play an important role in the health and functioning of the body and are essential for brain, CNS, and neurotransmitter health. Each B vitamin from B6, B1, B2, B3, and B12 all go hand in hand in order to lend a helping hand. In fact they “are co-factors to each other” ~ enabling proper absorption and use for the body. Studies show decline of symptoms in those who have the hyperactive symptoms of ADHD “and increase in serotonin in children with ADHD. A multivitamin with B complex from a whole food source is one of the best ways to get this B-complex. A great brand is Garden of Life.

5.) Vitamin D

Vitamin D has long been known as a great vitamin to help support the immune system. But did you know that it can also help those with ADHD?

Vitamin D the sunshine vitamin, has had studies done on it in connection with those suffering from ADHD. In 2019, eight studies were all reviewed and of those 11,000 children (2,655 had ADHD) those who had ADHD were shown to have much lower levels of this vitamin D. Another study done in 2016, gave all the participants (children) medication while one of the groups also was given a daily dosage of Vitamin D (2000 IU). In a period of eight weeks, those that received this supplement had a decline in their symptoms throughout the entire day, while those who only received the medication only had a decline in the day.

ADD/ADHD can be hard to deal with for those who struggle with its symptoms on a consistent basis. However, adding these 5 Supplements to one's daily regime could be one effective tool in helping manage the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.


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