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ADHD Natural Remedies: Multivitamin Formulas

A few years ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association – one of the most respected and conservative scientific journals in conventional medicine – published a study that showed that the majority of people in developed countries were deficient in one or more nutrients. The researchers concluded that our food supply today does not allow us to receive all the necessary nutrients, and that everyone should take a daily multivitamin, multimineral supplement.  As I have shown in other articles in this series, there is an important link between nutrient deficiencies and ADHD symptoms. So taking a daily supplement is even more important for people suffering from ADHD.

The following vitamins and minerals are known to benefit children with ADHD. Be sure to watch out for them and their recommended daily allowances when choosing multivitamins for your child. The recommended doses are higher than what most supplements offer, so you might have to complement with specific nutrients.

B Vitamins

B vitamins contain several water-soluble compounds that work together to stimulate neurotransmitter production and synthesize carbohydrates to produce the glucose needed by the brain.  Although B vitamins can be found in meat, green vegetables, legumes, and wheat products, they are sensitive to heat and can be destroyed by cooking or food processing.  Look for at least 25 mg of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6; 800 mcg of B9; and 500 mcg of B12.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C works as a natural antioxidant that helps keep essential fatty acids intact until they reach the brain.  Besides that, vitamin C is important in the formation of red blood cells and blood vessels, and is known to reduce the effects of allergy-inducing substances.  Like the B Vitamins, Vitamin C is also sensitive to heat, so make sure your Vitamin C-rich foods are consumed fresh and raw. The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C for children aged 10 and under is 45 mg, and 60 mg for adults. But this is just to prevent scorbut or scurvy. If you want to function optimally, consider getting at least 500 mg per day.

Vitamin D

There is an epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency, with more than 80% of the population being deficient. New research has shown that vitamin D plays many crucial roles in the body, from controlling inflammation to preventing some cancers. Take 400-800 IU a day. You should take only Vitamin D3 as a supplement (and not Vitamin D2).

Calcium and Magnesium

These two nutrients work together, so make sure you have them in a specific ratio of twice as much calcium as magnesium. Recommended doses are 800 mg of calcium and 400 mg magnesium.

Zinc

This vital mineral is often deficient in children with ADHD. Its primary function is to regulate the production of dopamine, which in turn helps control impulses and behavior. The recommended daily allowance for zinc is 10 mg for children aged 4-10, and 15 mg for children aged 11-14.

Selenium

An important trace mineral, selenium plays an important role in metabolic processes, and contains antioxidants that protect vitamins and minerals from free radical damage. Look for multivitamins containing 70 micrograms of selenium.

Don't fall into the common trap of thinking that just because your child is taking multivitamins, you no longer have to pay attention to his or her diet.  A nutritious diet of fresh, natural foods is still the best source of vitamins and minerals; multivitamins are only there to replenish any vitamins destroyed by heat or food processing.