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Vitamins for ADHD

For many parents, the risks of using stimulant medications to treat their children's ADHD are not worth taking.  If you'd like to explore using natural remedies for ADHD, a good starting point would be to improve the nutrition of your kids through healthy meals, multivitamins, and supplements.  Contrary to what a medical doctor might say, the symptoms of ADHD are not always caused by a deficiency in neurotransmitters. For many children, hyperactivity and inattention are actually symptoms of a deficiency in the following key nutrients. 

Zinc

Zinc is responsible for improving brain wave processes, boosting serotonin production, and regulating thyroid functions. It is also used as a natural antioxidant to protect fragile nutrients like omega-3 essential fatty acids.  Zinc is typically found in pork, beef, nuts, shellfish, and .the dark meat of chicken.  You can also give absorbable zinc supplements like zinc sulfate.  Nutritionists recommend a daily dose of 10 -20mg for children, but studies have used twice this amount.

Calcium

Calcium is more known for its role in healthy bone structure, but did you know that it is also used for important processes like neurotransmitter production, vitamin absorption, and enzyme digestion?  99% of the calcium we consume is stored in the bones, which leaves the body with only 1% for these other processes.  It seems really easy to treat a calcium deficiency when there are so many calcium-rich foods on the supermarket shelves.  But don't give your kids more dairy products just yet.  Milk contains a complex protein called casein, which can produce harmful peptides that aggravate ADHD. Instead of milk, serve more leafy green vegetables, nuts, and deep sea fish. You can also give your kids a calcium citrate supplement. The recommended daily allowance of calcium is 800 – 1,000 for kids under 10, and 1,200 mg for adolescents and teens.

Magnesium

If you intend to give calcium supplements to your child, you will have to complement them with magnesium. Without magnesium, the body won't be able to use the calcium as efficiently as it should. Boosting calcium's abilities is not the only reason to use magnesium supplements. This important mineral participates in over 300 chemical processes, including blood pressure regulation, maintaining normal muscle functions, and immune system support. Most importantly, magnesium is also the "relaxation" mineral – it can calm down a hyperactive kid without causing lethargy.   The best magnesium supplements to take are magnesium glycinate or magnesium glycerophosphate, because these are very absorbable.  

Iron

Calcium is to the bones as iron is to the blood. However, iron's functions go beyond hemoglobin formation.  It is also responsible for regulating the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine and for boosting neurotransmitter production.  Although you can serve iron-rich foods like meat, poultry, and nuts, do not give your kids any iron supplements until a physician has confirmed a deficiency.  Excess iron can be poisonous to the body, and its effects may stay for a long time because it cannot be easily excreted.