New research into attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is yielding positive results for treatment without the use of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall. These stimulant type drugs work when they “activate brain circuits that support attention and focused behavior, thus reducing hyperactivity,” according to the National Institutes of Health. For people who have not responded well to the most commonly prescribed drugs or those who prefer not to take pharmaceuticals, alternative treatments are needed.

Vitamin and mineral supplements may be just as effective as the use of pharmaceuticals to help control symptoms of ADHD. However, without scientific evidence, most doctors will automatically prescribe the pharmaceuticals without considering other options. 

Julia Rucklidge of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and lead author of a study on micronutrients and ADHD said, 

“Although some practitioners have been using micronutrients to treat mental illness for many decades, the research has been scant or non-existent”.

Rucklidge and her research team studied 80 adults over an eight- week period.  Half of the group took a placebo and the other half took a capsule containing over 30 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. The people in the trial that received the micronutrients observed that their impulses and hyperactivity were reduced and they were more attentive. The participants’ family members and friends, when asked after the study also observed these improvements. It should be noted that the manufacturer of the supplements did not fund the study. This has provided evidence that treatment for ADHD is possible in adults without the use of pharmaceutical intervention.

The proven benefits on the mind and body to vitamins and minerals are well known.  Different studies have shown how deficiencies of a variety of these important substances have negative impacts on the human body and can influence certain diseases, like diabetes. Micronutrients in personalized or custom formulas may be in the future of successful medical treatments.

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