Use of non-pharmacological supplementations in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A critical review

Eleonora Rosi, Silvia Grazioli, Filippo Maria Villa, Maddalena Mauri, Erica Gazzola, Marco Pozzi, Massimo Molteni, Maria Nobile

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in children and adolescents, with environmental and biological causal influences. Pharmacological medication is the first choice in ADHD treatment; recently, many studies have concentrated on dietary supplementation approaches to address nutritional deficiencies, to which part of non-responses to medications have been imputed. This review aims to evaluate the efficacy of non-pharmacological supplementations in children or adolescents with ADHD. We reviewed 42 randomized controlled trials comprised of the following supplementation categories: polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), peptides and amino acids derivatives, single micronutrients, micronutrients mix, plant extracts and herbal supplementations, and probiotics. The reviewed studies applied heterogeneous methodologies, thus making it arduous to depict a systematic overview. No clear effect on single cognitive, affective, or behavioral domain was found for any supplementation category. Studies on PUFAs and micronutrients found symptomatology improvements. Peptides and amino acids derivatives, plant extracts, herbal supplementation, and probiotics represent innovative research fields and preliminary results may be promising. In conclusion, such findings, if confirmed through future research, should represent evidence for the efficacy of dietary supplementation as a support to standard pharmacological and psychological therapies in children and adolescents with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1573
Number of pages32
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Children
  • Dietary supplementations
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Non-pharmacological treatment
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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