Zukier et al. (2010) The Role of Nutrition and Mental Health - ADHD
ABSTRACT -- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental illness that is on the rise. Every year, an increasing number of individuals (children and adults) are diagnosed with ADHD. The etiology of ADHD is complex, and conventional treatment is pharmacological intervention. A comprehensive search was conducted using various databases such as Pubmed, Medline (Ovid), and Google Scholar to investigate the relationship between nutrition and ADHD. The following report is an up-to-date review of a sample of epidemiological studies and intervention trials specifically focusing on the role of nutrition in children and adults clinically diagnosed with ADHD. The findings suggest a link between artificial food coloring and ADHD severity. In addition, the epidemiological studies showed that individuals diagnosed with ADHD were found to be deficient in several micronutrients including polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), zinc, magnesium, and iron. Supplementation trials for these micronutrient deficiencies were very promising in reducing ADHD severity, especially following magnesium and iron supplementation. These results suggest that a change in diet consisting of foods free of artificial food colorings and high in these micronutrients may help to alleviate the severity of ADHD.