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9 Supplements for ADHD

9 Supplements for ADHD
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Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common behavior disorder diagnosed in children and is also a comorbid condition associated with a variety of disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, addiction, anxiety, depression, learning disability, etc. According to the CDC, ADHD diagnoses in the US are on the rise. “The percent of children 4-17 years of age ever diagnosed with ADHD had previously increased, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011-12.” These nine ADHD vitamins or supplements have research to support their efficacy and should be considered to reduce symptoms.

If you are like most parents of a child with an ADHD diagnosis, you are looking for ways to help your child with ADHD but maybe aren't familiar with natural approaches to ADHD such as supplements and neurofeedback, which can be done at-home or do sessions at our center.

You may not even be sure if your child has ADHD or if they executive functioning issues related to another primary issue such as dyslexia, concussion, anxiety, autism or PANS/PANDAS. You can learn more about the signs and symptoms of ADHD here and learn more about how to help them by listening to the best ADHD podcasts.

A Holistic Approach to ADHD Serotonin Deficiencies 

Studies provide evidence that those with ADHD have altered dopamine and serotonin function. Researchers have found that people with ADHD have lower levels of dopamine. Dopamine allows us to regulate our responses and take action to achieve specific rewards, as well as focus and direct our attention. Moreover, studies provide evidence that those with ADHD have altered dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) function.

There are many supplements that support neurotransimitter production in both children and adults and here is what studies suggest might be used to treat ADHD. 

Zinc Supplements for the ADHD Brain


When compared to their neurotypical peers, children with ADHD are often deficient in specific essential nutrients, including zinc.  Zinc, an essential cofactor of more than 100 enzymes used in the body, plays an important role in brain structure and function. As a necessary cofactor for the production of neurotransmitters prostaglandins, and melatonin, it indirectly affects metabolism of dopamine and fatty acids, all of which support attention.

Scientists have found that some children diagnosed with ADHD may have low blood levels of zinc, which may interfere with brain function and result in difficulties with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and socialization.  Melatonin, which zinc helps the body metabolize, plays an important role in the regulation of dopamine which makes it an effective supplement.

Children diagnosed with ADHD may have low blood vessels.

Research demonstrates that ADHD symptoms improve with the use of the dietary supplement zinc sulfate. You can also increase zinc through eating foods high in zinc, including oysters, chicken, beef, pork, tofu, hemp seeds, nuts, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal, and mushrooms.

Magnesium and ADHD


Research has found that children with ADHD are more likely to have a magnesium deficiency than neurotypical children. One of the most prominent supplements for focus, magnesium, is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical and enzymatic reactions within the body. 

Magnesium assists many chemical functions that support the central nervous system in self-regulation and attention. A mineral necessary for sufficient brain energy, it aids in the transmission of communications through the central nervous system, calms the central nervous system, and enables the body to make the neurotransmitter serotonin.

A Magnesium deficiency can lead to neurological disruption that promotes the development of ADHD and a worsening of symptoms. This deficiency also can cause reduced attention span, hyperactivity, irritability, and difficulty thinking clearly.  

Natural supplements for hyperactive child, such as magnesium, can help to calm the brain and reduce a child's symptoms, as well as improve a child's behavior. The research shows that it can lead to a reduction in impulsive behaviors and inattentive symptoms. 

Research finds a link between a healthy immune system and ADHD. Elevated oxidative stress can therefore lead to progressive neuronal damage and deterioration of normal cerebral functions such as attention.

Aside from eating magnesium dense foods like avocados, legumes, or nuts, it can be directly taken in capsule or powder form. Magnesium supplementation can improve symptoms and aide in symptom control. 

Magnesium is considered one of the safest supplements for attention and should be taken to bowel tolerance. There are other ADHD supplements that also have been shown to improve adhd symptoms.

Neurotastic Magnesium Supplement

Combining Magnesium with Other Supplements for ADHD

Magnesium and Vitamin D for ADHD


When considering magnesium for ADHD, it's essential to explore how it works in tandem with vitamin D. Both nutrients play a crucial role in brain health. Magnesium, often regarded as the best magnesium for ADHD due to its calming effects, helps in the synthesis and activity of neurotransmitters, which are vital for attention and cognitive function. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is known to support brain development and neurotransmitter synthesis. 

Together, they can form an effective natural ADHD treatment. The right magnesium ADHD dosage, particularly when combined with vitamin D, can be a game-changer for those with ADHD, especially in children (magnesium for ADHD child dosage) and adults (magnesium for ADHD adults dosage). When choosing which magnesium is best for ADHD, magnesium glycinate or citrate forms are often recommended due to their high bioavailability and lower side effects.

Natural ADHD Medication Combinations


Combining magnesium supplements for ADHD with other natural substances like zinc supplements and omega-3 fatty acids can enhance the efficacy of ADHD management. Zinc works well with magnesium (best magnesium ADHD combination) to improve brain function and neurotransmitter response. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially found in fish oils like calm magnesium supplements or olly vitamins, contribute to overall brain health and have been shown in studies to improve ADHD symptoms. 

Herbal ADHD medications, such as inositol or phosphatidylserine, also complement magnesium’s effects, making them part of the most effective natural ADHD medication for adults and children alike. Herbal ADHD treatment can include options like calm magnesium gummies (albeit often too small to have enough potency) or myo-inositol, offering a holistic approach to managing ADHD symptoms.

Safety and Side Effects

Side Effects of Magnesium and Vitamin D

While magnesium and vitamin D offer significant benefits for ADHD (does magnesium help ADHD? Yes, studies suggest), they can have side effects. Common side effects from magnesium, depending on the type (magnesium glycinate vs citrate) and dosage (how much magnesium for ADHD is optimal), include gastrointestinal issues and, in rare cases, magnesium toxicity. Vitamin D can also lead to side effects when taken in excessive amounts, which can impact calcium metabolism.

It’s essential to adhere to recommended dosages (magnesium ADHD dosage, magnesium for ADHD child dosage, best magnesium for ADHD adults) and to choose the best type of magnesium for ADHD based on individual tolerance and needs (what is the best magnesium for ADHD).

Interactions with Other Medications


Magnesium supplements, including popular forms like magnesium threonate (known for its brain benefits) and magnesium glycinate gummies, can interact with certain medications. For example, it's important to be cautious about what medications should not be taken with magnesium supplements, such as certain ADHD medications or supplements like COQ10. Inositol side effects should also be considered when combined with other medications. 

Always consult with a healthcare provider before combining magnesium with other medications, especially when using natural remedies for ADHD, to ensure safety and efficacy.

Treating ADHD Vitamin Deficiency 


Vitamins and otc adhd supplements to help focus and concentration can also be used for treating ADHD naturally. If you’re looking for a multivitamin for ADHD or natural supplements for hyperactive child, research is the key. In terms of neurotransmitter function for those with ADHD, vitamin D supports dopamine levels, norepinephrine levels, and serotonin release. 

Vitamin D increases the production of Acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in maintaining focus and concentration. It also facilitates the growth of nerve cells for executive function and memory storage, which can be impaired in those with ADHD. So, what’s the best multivitamin for ADHD? Hese are some ADHD and ADD vitamins that it should contain:  

Vitamin D and Brain Health 


Upwards of 70% of Americans are vitamin D deficient leading to significant medical and psychological consequences. Scientists have noted that low blood serum levels of vitamin D are associated with ADHD. Vitamin D also plays a role in magnesium homeostasis. Since vitamin D is involved in so many functions in the brain and body, it has an important role in supporting attention and impulse control.

Vitamin D₃ is made in your skin through a chemical process called “photolysis” that occurs when you expose your skin to ultraviolet B rays, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it to active form of vitamin D. Every tissue in the body has vitamin D receptors, including the brain, heart, muscles, endocrine system, and immune system, which means vitamin D is needed at every level for the body to function.  

Research has found that with vitamin D supplementation for those with ADHD results in improvement in cognitive function at the conceptual level, inattention, opposition, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Besides regular, short amounts of sun exposure without sun protection, foods such as fish, beef liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms provide small amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin B an Essential Vitamin


The B vitamins are necessary for maintaining healthy nervous and digestive systems and various metabolic functions, as well as play a vital role in attention and executive functioning. The B vitamins are often used to reduce fatigue and boost mood and improve symptoms of attention.

There are several types of B vitamins, and each one supports the brain and body in different ways. They all support proper nervous system function and that has a direct implication for those with ADHD.  For example, B-6 – Pyridoxine helps the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which has a critical role in attention.

Several studies have demonstrated that the combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 improved behavior, decreased anxiety and aggression, and improved mobility among children with ADHD. The B vitamins include (B1) Thiamine,(B2) Riboflavin, (B3) Niacin, (B5) Pantothenate, (B6) Pyridoxine, (B9) Folate, and (B12) Cobalamin. Many individuals take a B complex that contains all of the B vitamins. So, if you need help in controlling obnoxious behavior in your child, try Vitamin B supplements. 

Folic acid and ADHD are also linked. A common mutation called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) impacts how folate is used in the body and brain. It effects upwards of 40 percent of the US population, as well as is implicated in a variety of physical and mental health conditions, including, ADHD.  This gene mutation can lead to high levels of homocysteine in the blood and low levels of folate and other vitamins. There are two MTHFR mutations –  C677T and A1298C and a person can have one or both and they impact the bioavailability of folate. Folate (B-9) is important in the detoxification process and necessary maintaining DNA integrity as well as neurotransmission and supporting CNS regulation. When CNS dysregulation occurs, conditions such as ADHD can result.

B vitamins come from food sources, such as, whole grains, rice, meat, eggs, dark leafy vegetables, fruit, and legumes and can also be taken via a supplement. The body does not store B vitamins well, and the need for them is increased by stress and illness.

Natural ADHD Supplements for a Healthy Nervous System


Let’s now embark on a journey to support a healthy nervous system for children and teens. Delving into the wonders of natural remedies can enhance focus, promote calmness, and nurture neurocognitive functioning. You may have heard about Inspiracell or similar medications. But are they worth it?

By exploring supplements, we open the door to a holistic approach in managing ADHD symptoms. Let’s navigate this realm and uncover the potential of natural interventions that can empower our children with ADHD to thrive.

Essential Fatty Acid (EPA) Nutritional Supplemements


Omega 3 is the name given to a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids, of which, Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are essential for brain health, specifically attention and impulse control. Following consumption, omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into body tissue cell membranes and have powerful anti-inflammatory functions within the body. Research supports that at the cellular level, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils can directly or indirectly modulate a number of cellular activities associated with inflammation. Inflammation is associated with ADHD, specifically, problems with focus, attention, and impulse control.

Omega 3 is “essential” because it is not made in the body and must be supplied through consumption of foods such as salmon, tuna, sardines, wild game, and walnuts or as a dietary supplement. The other essential fatty acid is omega-6, which can be found in corn, eggs, poultry, and soybean oil. Omega-6 contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are critical for normal brain function and development. Omega-3 can affect the functionality of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a critical role in attention. Omega-3 helps with prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens function, which are the brain regions involved in selective attention, attentional switching and emotional regulation. DHA is a critical structural component of the cerebral cortex, which is the area of the brain responsible for attention.

Research supports that individuals with ADHD have lower levels of essential fatty acids than controls and that when given direct supplementation, their ADHD symptoms improve. ADHD symptoms including improvements in hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention, visual learning, word reading, and working/short-term memory were specifically found.

Individuals with ADHD have lower levels of fatty acids.

Melatonin Supplement for Sleep


Many children and adults who have ADHD also have sleep problems and disorders, so the use of supplements to support sleep, such as melatonin, can be very helpful. Proper sleep of an adequate length of time and regulation through the sleep cycles, aids in focus and detoxification. Research supports that a  good night's sleep allows the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. Without proper sleep, toxic molecules involved in neurodegenerative disorders accumulate in the space between brain cells. Several studies have shown that melatonin supports the central nervous system through its ability to reduce chronic and acute inflammation.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted at night by the pineal gland and is needed for the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. It is estimated that 15 to 25 percent of children and adolescents have problems getting to or staying asleep. A trend toward overall poor sleep hygiene and more specifically, increased exposure to electronics prior to sleep may be a factor in the significant frequency of sleep disorders.

Despite a high incidence of sleep disorders in children and adolescents, research has found that dietary supplement melatonin can improve the sleep of those with ADHD. Long-term research demonstrates that melatonin continues to work over time. Simply put, without adequate sleep, one can’t focus, so good quality sleep is needed for focus.

Herbs for Treating ADHD Naturally


Treating ADHD with diet to supplement vitamin and mineral deficiencies is the first step to overcoming ADHD without medication, herbal remedies can increase the efficacy of dietary choices. The combination of the herbs, Ginko and Ginseng, have been studied for its ability to improve symptoms among patients with ADHD.

Ginkgo Biloba for Cognitive Function

Ginkgo biloba is an herb known to improve memory and increasing mental sharpness, as well as support brain functioning. Research has also found to improve inattention.

The antioxidant activity of ginkgo flavonol glycosides reduces oxidative stress, which contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD by causing membrane damage, changes in protein structure and function, lipid denaturation, and DNA damage. In addition, components isolated from ginkgo biloba contain terpene trilactones, which neuroprotective properties and supports the brain activity of those with ADHD.

Ginkgo biloba may be taken as tea, herbal tincture, capsules or tablets. Although considered generally safe, Ginkgo biloba is contraindicated in seizure disorders. It may interact with, or heighten the effects of, other drugs you may be taking.

Ginseng for Memory


Ginseng is and herb that is also regarded for its ability to increase energy, stimulate brain function, and  memory boosting capabilities. Ginseng extracts have been found to improve a number of cognitive functions, including attention, sensory-motor function and auditory reaction time. As noted previously, the combination of the herbs, Ginko and Ginseng, have been studied for its synergistic effect to improve symptoms among patients with ADHD.

Ginseng supports the Central Nervous System in a variety of cognitive processing factors. It has been found that ginsenosides, a ginseng constituent, increased dopamine and norepinephrine concentrations in the cerebral cortex. These effects suggest that long-term administration of ginseng extract may result in positive growth in the neurodevelopment of an immature brain. Ginseng components are also researched and noted to have neuroprotective properties. These factors contribute to Ginseng’s ability to support inattention, hyperactive, and impulsive behaviors. When you really thing about it, ginseng can actually help in encouraging good behavior among children and kids. 

Ginseng may be taken as tea, herbal tincture, capsules or tablets.

L-Theanine for ADHD Symptoms


L-Theanine is another valuable amino acid that can provide support for children and teens dealing with ADHD. This remarkable compound, found abundantly in green tea, offers a range of benefits to help ease symptoms associated with ADHD. L-Theanine is known for its calming and focusing properties, making it a promising natural solution for individuals with ADHD.

By promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety, L-Theanine can help create a more tranquil mental state. It’s one of the best amino acids for ADHD that support healthy brainwave activities and neurocognitive functioning by promoting a state of calm and reducing overstimulation. It achieves this without causing drowsiness or impairing motor skills, making it an ideal option for children with ADHD.

The  L-Theanine ADHD impact is on neurotransmitters. It increases the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter known for its calming effects. This helps to balance brain activity and reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity commonly associated with ADHD. Additionally, L-Theanine inhibits the action of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that can contribute to overstimulation. By moderating glutamate activity, L-Theanine helps promote a more focused and attentive state of mind.

Rhodiola Rosea for Emotional Regulation 


Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb with neuroprotective properties that supports brain functioning and focus. Adaptogens are known for their capacity to protect organisms from numerous kinds of stressors.

It is known that those with ADHD are deficient in dopamine and norepinephrine. Rhodiola Rosea supports brain function by stimulating the reticular activating system and elevating levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. For most it enhances alertness, which is often lacking in those with ADHD.

Scientists have discovered that Rhodiola Rosea supports many aspects of cognitive processing and attention including, learning, cognitive functioning, stress and fatigue, and attention.

Dopamine and ADHD: Boosting Dopamine Levels Naturally

ADHD, a condition intricately linked with the brain's reward system, has spurred interest in the role of dopamine—a crucial neurotransmitter in attention and focus. Discrepancies in dopamine receptors, release, and production might play a pivotal role in ADHD symptoms. 

Many seek solutions to boost dopamine levels naturally to improve focus, motivation, and mood. Among these solutions, homeopathic ADHD supplements are emerging as potential aids. One compound of interest is 5HTP, a precursor to serotonin, which plays a role in mood regulation. Some believe it could help balance the mood swings associated with ADHD. 

Magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D, ginkgo, ginseng and probiotics boost dopamine levels naturally.


Next Steps For ADHD Supplements For Treating ADHD

Many parents seek alternative ways to treat their children’s ADHD without drugs because certain ADHD medications, including ADHD stimulants, can have serious side effects. For many children, a natural supplement for focus and concentration can lessen the impact of ADHD in daily life. 

Whether you’re a parent with a newly diagnosed child or one who has been working to aid your child for years or looking for natural treatments for ADHD for yourself, you need to understand the benefits and limitations of all treatment options to make the best decision for your family. 

Searching for adhd gummies, adhd gummies for adults, brilla homeopathic, or is olly chillax good for adhd isn't getting you the answers you need but holistics solutions can help your child be more focused. 

The use of holisitic ADHD treatments may even help improve your parent child relationship in so many ways. As these treatments encourage good behavior in your kids, there will be more peace in your home. They may even help your child child establish positive bedtime routines.

Considering all the available treatment options, including science-backed natural approaches is something more and more parents are discovering as they are seeking safe and effective approaches that not only get to root causes but create lasting change. 

Not quite sure if your child's struggles are linked to ADHD or something else? Fear not, dear parents, for I have a little something to guide you on this perplexing journey. Take this ADHD quiz

My ADHD quiz aims to shed light on the underlying reasons behind your child's difficulties, helping you unravel the mysteries and gain a deeper understanding of their unique needs. So, let us embark on this enlightening adventure and find the answers you seek. Together, we shall unlock the door to clarity and pave the way for your child's future success. 

Parent Action Steps

147 Self-regulation strategies for children

  • Explore natural approaches like supplements and neurofeedback
  • Seek professional assessment for accurate diagnosis
  • Educate yourself more with my ADHD podcast episodes
  • Explore essential nutrients for brain support and natural remedies like magnesium
  • Customize a treatment plan for your child's needs


Chang, J.PC., Su, KP., Mondelli, V. et al. High-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) improves attention and vigilance in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and low endogenous EPA levels. Transl Psychiatry 9, 303 (2019).

Elbaz, F., Zahra, S., & Hanafy, H. (2017). Magnesium, zinc and copper estimation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, 18(2), 153–163.

Ma, G.-P., Zheng, Q., Xu, M.-B., Zhou, X.-L., Lu, L., Li, Z.-X., & Zheng, G.-Q. (2018). Rhodiola rosea L. Improves Learning and Memory Function: Preclinical Evidence and Possible Mechanisms. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9, 1415.

Slutsky, I., Abumaria, N., Wu, L.-J., Huang, C., Zhang, L., Li, B., Zhao, X., Govindarajan, A., Zhao, M.-G., Zhuo, M., Tonegawa, S., & Liu, G. (2010). Enhancement of Learning and Memory by Elevating Brain Magnesium. Neuron, 65(2), 165–177.

Stough, C., Lloyd, J., Clarke, J. et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 156, 481–484 (2001).

Villagomez, A., & Ramtekkar, U. (2014). Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Zinc Deficiencies  in Children Presenting with Symptoms of  Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Children, 1(3), 261–279.

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge is an ADHD Expert and featured in the media: 

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Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Licensed Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of media outlets including The Mel Robbins Show, CBS, NBC, PIX11 NYC, Today, FORBES, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Insider, Women’s Day, Healthline, CNET, Parade Magazine and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.

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She coined the terms, “Re-entry panic syndrome” and “eco-anxiety” and is a frequent contributor to media on mental health. 

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge has three decades of experience in working with children, teens and their families with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, concussion, dyslexia and learning disability, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression and mood disorder, Lyme Disease, and PANS/PANDAS using science-backed natural mental health solutions such as supplements, magnesium, nutrition, QEEG Brain maps, neurofeedback, PEMF, psychotherapy and other non-medication approaches. 

She is the author of three bestselling books, It’s Gonna Be OK!: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child's Mental Health, The Teletherapy Toolkit, and Brain Under Attack. Dr. Roseann is known for offering a message of hope through science-endorsed methods that promote a calm brain. 

Her trademarked BrainBehaviorResetⓇ Program and It’s Gonna be OK!Ⓡ Podcast has been a cornerstone for thousands of parents facing mental health, behavioral or neurodevelopmental challenges.

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health, Neurotastic™Brain Formulas and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional (CIMHP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2023

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

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