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Nutr Rev. 2008 Oct;66(10):558-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00107.x.

Nutritional and dietary influences on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia.


An abundance of research has investigated causes and treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research includes identification of suboptimal levels of nutrients and sensitivities to certain foods and food additives. This review gives an overview of this research and provides an up-to-date account of clinical trials that have been conducted with zinc, iron, magnesium, Pycnogenol, omega-3 fatty acids, and food sensitivities. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge, and Google Scholar and included studies published before April 2008. Although further research is required, the current evidence supports indications of nutritional and dietary influences on behavior and learning in these children, with the strongest support to date reported for omega-3s and behavioral food reactions.

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