A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that children with ADHD and emotional regulation randomized to take micronutrient formula were three times more likely to show symptomatic improvement on blinded clinician ratings, compared to those in the group. placebo (54% versus 18%) . The micronutrient formula, made up of all known essential vitamins and minerals, was given for eight weeks.
“Supplementation with all known essential vitamins and minerals, at doses between the recommended daily allowance and the tolerable upper limit, may improve mood and concentration in children with ADHD and emotional dysregulation,” said lead author Jeanette Johnstone, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Childhood and Health. Adolescent Psychiatry, Oregon Health and Science University and Helfgott Research Institute, National University of Natural Medicine.
“These results, replicating the results of a previous randomized trial of micronutrients in children with ADHD conducted in New Zealand, confirm that supplementation with a wide range of nutrients may benefit some children. These results may guide physicians and families seeking integrative treatments for their children with ADHD and related emotional dysregulation,” noted Dr. Johnstone.
The triple-blind study recruited 135 drug-free children and their parents at three sites (Portland, Oregon; Columbus, Ohio; Alberta, Canada) and randomized participants to receive micronutrient capsules or placebo for eight weeks. Three quarters of the participants adhered to the study protocol. The intervention was well tolerated, with no significant differences in adverse events between the micronutrient and placebo groups, or safety issues based on blood and urine tests. Parents, children, and clinicians did not know the treatment attribution and were unable to guess the attribution better than chance.
In addition to behavioral and emotional benefits, children taking micronutrients grew 6mm taller than those taking placebo after adjusting for baseline height. “The growth finding, also a replication of the previous micronutrient study in children, is particularly encouraging, as height suppression is a concern with first-line ADHD medications,” added the Dr Johnstone.
Contrary to clinician ratings, parents, who were also blinded to their child’s treatment attribution, reported significant behavioral improvement that was equal in the micronutrient and placebo groups, with no significant differences between the groups. emphasizing the importance of blinded clinician assessments.
“No treatment is 100% effective for everyone with ADHD,” commented L. Eugene Arnold, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral health at Ohio State University and one of the co-authors. main. “For example, about 2/3 respond to the first stimulant drug tried, which is an established first-line treatment for ADHD despite the emotional, appetite and growth side effects. It is therefore encouraging that a full half of the children have responded to this treatment as a relatively safe treatment.”
“Future studies will focus on micronutrient mechanisms of action and subgroup responses to understand for whom and why this intervention works. Mechanistic hypotheses to be tested include changes in the gut microbiome and its metabolome, reductions in inflammatory markers (e.g. of minerals and optimization of neurotransmission. In order to increase parents’ sensitivity to changes in behavior of the child, we plan to use real-time data communication methods such as “assessment ecological momentary” using a phone or other device to capture behaviors as they occur,” Dr. Johnstone added.