Nutrients & Herbs That Help

Nutrient

What it does

Whole food sources

Supplement dose

Essential fatty acids

Several studies have suggested that ADD sufferers are often deficient in EFAs. EFAs protect the cells’ genetic information (DNA) as well as regulate the central nervous system, which may help reduce ADD symptoms.

Game meats, fish, eggs, raw nuts, raw seeds, and green vegetables.

Take 1.5–1.8 grams/day of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

Ginseng (Panax ginseng) and ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Both herbs are known to improve cognitive function; results when taken together seem to be even greater than when taken alone. Memory is sharpened and the ability to store and retrieve information is improved (Nutritional Neuroscience, 2001, vol. 4, no. 5).

None.

Take 40–60 mg 2–3x/day of ginkgo, standardized to contain 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides, and 200 mg 2x/day of ginseng extract. Note: Ginkgo is a mild blood thinner and should be discontinued three days before and after surgery. Do not use with other blood thinners. Ginkgo should not be taken by people with seizure disorders.

Magnesium

Several studies have shown a connection between low magnesium levels and ADD development. A Polish study, for example, showed that magnesium shortage occurs more often among hyperactive children than among healthy children (Annales Academiae Medicae Stetinensis, 1998, vol. 44).

Dark green vegetables, chlorella, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Take 320 mg/day in divided doses with meals, preferably in chelated form, such as magnesium aspartate or glycinate.

Zinc

Many ADD subjects are deficient in zinc.

Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

Take 10–50 mg/day.

Sources: Emily Kane, ND, LAc, and Robert Rountree, MD.