Diets that were tried in attempt to reduce symptoms associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include:
- fatty acid supplements
Omega−3 supplement is the latest dietary treatment with positive reports of efficacy. Interest in the additive-free diet of the 1970s is occasionally revived.
Provocative reports have drawn attention to the ADHD-associated “Western-style” diet, high in fat and refined sugars, and the ADHD-free “healthy” diet, containing fiber, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Indications for dietary therapy include:
- medication failure
- parental or patient preference
- iron deficiency
- change from an ADHD-linked Western diet to an ADHD-free healthy diet, when appropriate
In practice, additive-free and oligoantigenic/elimination diets are time-consuming and disruptive to the household; they are indicated only in selected patients.
Iron and zinc are supplemented in patients with known deficiencies; they may also enhance the effectiveness of stimulant therapy.
In patients failing to respond or with parents opposed to medication, omega-3 supplements may warrant a trial.
The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J. Gordon Millichap, MD and Michelle M. Yee, CPNP. PEDIATRICS Vol. 129 No. 2 February 1, 2012, pp. 330 -337, (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2199)
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