The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - State-of-the-Art Review Article in Pediatrics

Diets that were tried in attempt to reduce symptoms associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include:

- sugar-restricted
- additive/preservative-free
- oligoantigenic/elimination
- 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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1 comment:

  1. diet is important, but there is whole world of alternative treatments, some so simple they have a child balance on a narrow beam and pretend he/she is tightrope walker. some switch footwear and get good results without any drugs. I know it looks crazy, and I did not believe it myself until I saw proof of all this. unconventional methods appear out of this world, but they are no less effective than other methods, they just take longer to convince someone to try. alexander nestoiter-gravity