Check with your doctor before you give your child any supplement. Taking too much iron, for instance, can be toxic – even deadly.
Also check with the doctor before you use any natural supplement. That includes mega-doses of vitamins or minerals. There’s a chance they could do more harm than good, and they may cause problems with prescribed medications.
Several studies have shown a drop in hyperactivity and impulsivity with zinc supplements. The same research, though, reports no change in inattentiveness, which is another key symptom of ADHD. A 2005 study in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, though, did show a link between zinc levels and teacher- and parent-rated inattention in children.
Foods high in zinc include oysters and other seafood, red meat, poultry, dairy products, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals.
There is some evidence that fish oil can help improve ADHD symptoms. It contains omega-3 fatty acids. Some findings suggest that fish oil supplements may improve the mental skills of children with the disorder who are 8 to 12 years old. For instance, it may help improve a child’s ability to organize activities.
The FDA has approved a prescription-strength omega-3 compound for ADHD. This compound is not technically a medication. It’s considered a “medical food.”
A specific supplement of fish oil and evening primrose oil was used in one study. The results showed improvements with hyperactivity, inattentiveness, ability to think clearly, and overall behavior in children with ADHD who were 7 to 12 years old.
Fish high in omega-3s include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, and sardines.