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ADD & ADHD Center

Are There Natural Supplements for Adult ADHD?

author image Cindy Ell
Cindy Ell began writing professionally in 1990. A former medical librarian, she has written materials for hospitals, medical associations, the "Nashville Scene" and "Coping Magazine." She received her Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Massachusetts and her Master of Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute. She is currently a full-time freelance medical writer.
Are There Natural Supplements for Adult ADHD?
Adults with ADHD often have difficulty with deadlines. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is characterized by Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Many adults with ADHD do not know they have the disorder, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. Adults with ADHD often have trouble with employment, difficulty meeting deadlines and struggle with restlessness. Certain supplements may be helpful in alleviating ADHD symptoms. A qualified health care professional can help you find an ADHD treatment plan that best meets your needs.


According to an article in "Nutrition Reviews," at least nine studies have reported that zinc levels are lower in people diagnosed with ADHD as compared to their non-ADHD counterparts. Clinical trials of zinc supplementation in ADHD patients have found that this mineral improves hyperactivity, socialization and impulsivity. Zinc is involved with brain functioning and the health of the immune system. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University warns that excessive zinc consumption may lead to copper deficiencies.

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S-adenosylmethionine, better known SAMe, is a compound that occurs naturally in body tissues and fluids. A study conducted by the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California found that 75 percent of ADHD patients improved after four weeks on SAMe supplements. Other uses of SAMe include supporting mood and reducing the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Like any other supplement, SAMe has the potential to interact adversely with prescription medicines, herbs and dietary supplements.


In her book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," Phyllis Balch recommends dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, in cases of adult ADHD. Balch writes that DMAE improves the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain, thereby boosting concentration. DMAE is chemically similar to choline, a substance that helps support neurotransmitters involved with memory and learning. DMAE should not be used by children. Balch advises that DMAE should not be used on a daily basis. Consult a qualified health care professional for advice on the use of DMAE for ADHD.

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