Tips and Techniques

Natural Supplements for ADHD: Unveiling What Truly Works for You

An overview of natural supplements that may aid in managing ADHD symptoms, and what to consider before using them.

Written by

Jacqui Walker

Published On:

Oct 23, 2023

Natural Supplements
Natural Supplements
Natural Supplements

If you've been on the hunt for natural solutions to your ADHD symptoms, you're not alone. While traditional prescribed drugs play an essential role in ADHD management, they may come with side effects that some individuals want to avoid.

The world of ADHD supplements is vast and varied, making it tricky to determine which ones could genuinely have a positive impact on your daily life. It's important for you to know what works and what doesn't before plunge into the realm of dietary supplements.

A range of ADHD natural supplements have gained recognition over the years for their potential benefits. However, keep in mind that while some possess evidence backing up their efficacy, others don't hold up under scientific scrutiny. 

Understanding these nuances can help guide your decisions and lead you on a path towards effective symptom management.

Understanding ADHD and Natural Supplements

Understanding ADHD and Natural Supplements

Recognised as one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, ADHD affects both children and adults worldwide. It's characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity that can interfere with daily life.

A deeper look at ADHD reveals three main types: predominately inattentive presentation, predominately hyperactive-impulsive presentation, and combined presentation. 

With symptoms varying from person to person, no two individuals experience this disorder in exactly the same way.

Now let’s talk numbers. The World Health Organization estimates that globally, over 39 million people live with ADHD. 

That's a significant number! It’s important to note that, although commonly diagnosed during childhood, nearly half of those children will carry some symptoms into adulthood.

In terms of treatment for ADHD, traditional methods include medication such as stimulants and non-stimulants, along with behavioural therapy. However, increasingly, there's growing interest in natural treatments for managing ADHD symptoms. Enter natural supplements for ADHD!

Natural supplements have been gaining ground as a complementary approach towards managing ADHD symptoms more holistically. 

From omega-3 fatty acids to zinc and magnesium, these potential 'natural healers' offer an alternative avenue worthy of exploration.

However, before diving headfirst into the world of natural supplements for treating your or your child's ADHD symptoms, bear in mind that not all supplements are created equal! 

It’s important to understand what works best for individual needs based on scientific evidence and professional medical advice.

The Role of Nutrition in ADHD Management

The Role of Nutrition in ADHD Management

It's quite intriguing how the food you consume can have a significant impact on your health. When it comes to ADHD, this holds true as well. 

Let's dive deeper:

Consuming a balanced diet

A balanced diet is essential for everyone, but if you're battling with ADHD, what you eat becomes even more crucial. Consuming certain foods and avoiding others can help manage your symptoms to a great extent. 

For instance, proteins like fish and eggs or complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might help you maintain focus throughout the day.

Limiting intake of certain foods

On the flip side, there are some foods that could potentially worsen your ADHD symptoms. Sugary snacks and drinks that lead to quick blood sugar spikes, followed by a crash, may leave you feeling foggy-headed or lethargic. 

Similarly, preservatives and artificial colourings found in processed food items might exacerbate hyperactivity in some people with ADHD.

Considering the use of supplements

ADHD supplements play an equally important role as part of natural ADHD treatment options too. 

Omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in fish oil are believed to improve brain function and reduce symptoms of ADHD. Iron supplements may also be beneficial since low iron levels are often seen in individuals with ADHD.

Here's a brief look at some of these key nutrients:

Considering the use of supplements

Remember, though, that before diving headfirst into any dietary changes or starting new supplements, consult your healthcare provider. It's important to ensure that your chosen ADHD natural supplements or dietary changes are safe and suitable for you.

Exploring Natural Supplements for ADHD

Diving into the world of natural supplements for ADHD, you'll find a plethora of options. However, it's key to remember that while these remedies might assist in managing symptoms, they aren't standalone cures.

Let's unravel some options that have shown promise:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil, are widely recommended as part of an ADHD natural treatment plan. Research suggests that individuals with ADHD might have lower levels of these essential fats in their bodies. Supplementing your diet with Omega-3s can potentially improve attention and reduce hyperactive and impulsive behaviour.


Next on our list is zinc. Often overlooked, this mineral plays a significant role in maintaining brain health and function. Some studies indicate that people with ADHD may benefit from zinc supplementation alongside traditional medication.


Don't overlook magnesium either; it's known to promote better sleep and reduce restlessness - two common issues faced by those dealing with ADHD symptoms.


Iron also deserves a mention here; iron deficiency has been associated with cognitive impairment and behavioural problems, which can exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD.

As mentioned, it’s important to keep in mind, before embarking on any new supplement regime, always consult your healthcare provider first! They'll guide you through the pros and cons based on your specific situation.

Iron also deserves a mention here; iron deficiency has been associated with cognitive impairment and behavioural problems

It's fascinating to dive into the wide range of natural supplements available as potential aids for managing ADHD symptoms. 

While they're not magic bullets (and certainly don't replace prescribed medication), they could provide additional support when used correctly under professional guidance.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and ADHD: The Connection

Omega-3 fatty acids, often found in oily fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are one of the most recommended ADHD supplements. They're crucial for brain health, with a lack often linked to various mental disorders, including ADHD.

Research suggests a strong connection between these vital nutrients and improved cognitive function. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that children who consumed high levels of omega-3 had fewer ADHD symptoms. Specifically:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and ADHD: The Connection

These findings make omega-3 an intriguing option for natural ADHD treatment.

However, it's not just about increasing your intake of omega-3s. You also need to consider their counterparts, omega-6 fatty acids. These are also essential but should be balanced with omega-3s in our diet.

Unfortunately, many modern diets are heavy on omega-6-rich foods (like certain oils and processed meals), leading to an imbalance detrimental to brain health. Correcting this ratio through dietary changes or supplements can aid in managing ADHD symptoms.

Before rushing into any drastic changes, though, remember that this is part of a larger puzzle when it comes to managing ADHD naturally:

All play critical roles alongside natural supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids in handling your ADHD symptoms effectively.

The Impact of Zinc on ADHD Symptoms

Have you ever wondered about the role zinc plays in managing ADHD symptoms? Evidence suggests that zinc, an essential trace element found abundantly in your body, might just hold significant sway over ADHD symptoms.

Zinc's influence on our bodies is multifold. It aids in maintaining brain structure and function, influences neurotransmission, and is crucial to DNA synthesis. 

While it's well established that a deficiency can lead to impaired cognitive function, there's also growing evidence linking lower levels of zinc with increased severity of ADHD symptoms.

A study conducted by Arnold LE et al., published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, was noteworthy for its emphasis on zinc as a possible natural treatment for ADHD. 

This double-blind placebo-controlled study highlighted positive changes in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and impaired socialisation among children taking zinc supplements.

However, keep a few things in mind before rushing out to buy those supplements:

  • Not all individuals with ADHD have low zinc levels.

  • More comprehensive studies are needed to establish definitive links between zinc supplementation and improvements in ADHD symptoms.

  • Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation regimen.

In summary, while there isn't sufficient evidence yet to fully endorse using zinc as one of your go-to natural ADHD supplements, it definitely carries potential worth exploring further under medical guidance.

Iron's Influence on Attention and Hyperactivity

Iron is one mineral that may have a significant impact on attention and hyperactivity. You might wonder, "How does this everyday element influence such complex behaviours?" Well, it has to do with iron’s role in creating dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a signalling chemical in your brain directly linked to attention span and behaviour control. When you're short on iron, your dopamine production can dip too low, setting the stage for symptoms commonly associated with ADHD.

Here are a few statistics to ponder:

Iron's Influence on Attention and Hyperactivity

Though these numbers hint at an essential link between ADHD symptoms and insufficient iron levels, don't rush to stock up on natural ADHD treatment supplements just yet. An overload of this mineral can be harmful as well.

That's why it's crucial before starting any new supplement regime, especially one involving minerals like iron, that you consult a healthcare professional. They'll help you determine if it's right for your specific needs.

So yes, while there is promising research surrounding natural ADHD treatments like iron supplementation, remember that what works best will always depend on each individual case. 

Your journey towards managing ADHD should always start with a proper diagnosis followed by professional guidance.

Probiotics for Gut Health and ADHD Control

Have you ever considered your gut health when thinking about natural ADHD treatments? It might surprise you, but there's a growing body of research suggesting that probiotics could play a role in managing ADHD symptoms.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts, often referred to as 'good' or 'friendly' bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. But how can these microscopic organisms help with something like ADHD?

Well, it all comes down to the intricate link between the brain and the gut, often called the gut-brain axis. This connection means that what happens in your gut can directly influence your brain. 

If your gut is unhealthy, it could potentially impact areas such as mood, behaviour, and even attention span.

Several studies have pointed out a correlation between an imbalance of gut bacteria (dysbiosis) and ADHD. For instance:

Probiotics for Gut Health and ADHD Control

This makes probiotics an interesting avenue for natural ADHD treatment.

Adding probiotics to your diet can be pretty straightforward, too. They're found naturally in fermented foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi, so incorporating more of these into meals could be beneficial.

Alternatively, numerous over-the-counter probiotic supplements are available if you prefer convenience or need higher doses than foods typically provide.

But before diving headfirst into this new world of potential natural remedies for ADHD, remember: every person is unique! What works wonders for one might work better for another. 

Wrapping Up: Balancing Natural Supplements with Traditional ADHD Treatments

Striking the right balance between natural supplements and traditional ADHD treatments is key. It's a journey, an exploration into what works best for your unique needs.

Natural ADHD treatment options like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, and magnesium have shown promise in research studies. However, it's crucial to remember that while these natural supplements can be beneficial, they are not a standalone cure for ADHD.


  • Be patient; benefits from natural supplements may take time to become noticeable.

  • Monitor effects; keep track of changes in behaviour or symptoms.

  • Adjust dosages under supervision; never adjust doses without speaking to your healthcare provider first.

As such, achieving optimal results involves an individualised approach that may include both traditional medicines and natural supplements under the watchful eye of a healthcare professional.