ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common neuro-developmental disorder that is often diagnosed during childhood and lasts into adulthood. A person with ADHD has altered neurological activities that affect attention, and the ability to sit still or exercise self-control.

The good news is that not only do supplements and vitamins help relieve the symptoms but they also augment the medication to improve the outcomes. So what are the best ADHD supplements and how do they help?

Some of the common symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviour, inability to prioritize, poor time management, low frustration tolerance etc.

Living with these symptoms can be exhausting for patients as well as their family members and loved ones. Fortunately, medication can help manage these symptoms to a large extent. However, all ADHD medications don’t work the same way for each child in managing the symptoms and there may often be side effects. It’s natural to wonder if you can help alleviate ADHD symptoms with supplements.

List of Best ADHD Supplements

1. Zinc

Studies point out that children with ADHD might have lower zinc levels in the body. Some researchers have also pointed out that children with ADHD who took zinc supplements in addition to the prescribed treatment have seen an improvement.

There are many studies correlating a drop in hyperactivity and impulsivity to zinc supplements. Foods that naturally have high levels of zinc include oysters, seafood, red meat, poultry, dairy products, beans, nuts, whole grains, etc.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

60 percent of the human brain is fat. This means the brain relies on a steady supply of dietary fat to function optimally. In particular, it depends on essential fatty acids (EFA), which are the building blocks of fat. Two of the most important fatty acids EPA, and DHA are Omega-3s. Often consumed in the form of fish oil, Omega-3 is probably the best-known and researched supplement for ADHD. The benefits of taking fish oil or Omega-3 supplement include increased attention, focus and better memory. In fact, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University discovered that adding Omega-3s to the diet consistently lessens hyperactivity.

Dietary sources of DHA and other Omega-3s include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, herring, mackerel, anchovies etc.

3. Iron

It is common knowledge that iron is an important mineral for the body as it carries oxygen to the organs and muscles. But it also supports the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.

Low iron levels have been associated with many ADHD symptoms and studies recommend iron supplementation along with zinc for improving symptoms and treatment outcomes. It is easy to test for iron levels in the body with a ferritin test. A ferritin test that reveals low blood ferritin level indicates that the body’s iron stores are low or you have iron deficiency.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is yet another mineral important for brain health. It regulates nerve and muscle function, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Magnesium also has a calming effect on the brain.

Studies have shown a correlation between magnesium deficit and ADHD. Essentially, the lack of magnesium can cause confusion, attention deficit and irritability. The good news is that magnesium can be found easily in foods and supplements.

Dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, beans, fish, whole grains, and dairy are rich sources of dietary magnesium.

5. Vitamin B

B vitamins are important to maintain healthy nervous and digestive systems and regulate various metabolic functions. B vitamins also help reduce fatigue, and improve mood and overall attentiveness.

Multiple types of B vitamins support the brain and body in different ways but all are necessary for optimal nervous system function. This has a direct implication for those with ADHD. For instance, B-6 or Pyridoxine is a vitamin that helps the body produce neurotransmitters that regulate emotions like serotonin, dopamine and gamma aminobutyric acid(GABA). This has a critical role in attention.

Studies have also indicated that a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 as prescribed by the doctor can improve mobility, and behaviour, and reduce anxiety and aggression among ADHD patients.

Ginkgo and Ginseng?

A few studies have shown that Ginkgo Biloba is useful as a memory aid and combined with ginseng reduces impulsivity and distractedness. But a few other studies have shown little or no improvement.

Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist before trying any herbal remedies as they may have a potential health impact. Natural doesn’t equate to safe and many herbs have side effects that may worsen your condition.

ADHD Supplements


There are a range of vitamins and supplements that help in alleviating the symptoms of ADHD. Mindfulness exercises, yoga, and meditation have also been linked to improving some of the behaviours associated with ADHD. As always,  it is important to check with your physician before starting any new supplement or remedies.