Relief for children dealing with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) could be easier to attain, thanks to new research on micronutrients.
A University of Otago study has found children given a specific vitamin and mineral supplement (Daily Essential Nutrients) had dramatically less of the microbiome bacteria linked with ADHD. They also had better moods, were more focused, and had better attention.
Using the latest DNA technology, University of Otago, Christchurch geneticist Dr. Aaron Stevens analyzed the gut bacteria of children given micronutrients over a 10-week period. "[This study] was the first of its kind to investigate how the microbiome in children with ADHD could actually change in relation to a micro-nutrient treatment," Dr. Stevens said.
He found the bacteria Bifidobacterium associated with ADHD was dramatically reduced in those children.
University of Canterbury psychology professor Dr. Julia Rucklidge says it's an important breakthrough in establishing a connection between the gut and brain disorders. "Those people who were assigned to the micronutrient intervention were identified as having much lower rates of aggression. Their mood was more stable and we also saw improvements in attention," Dr. Rucklidge said.
One study participant's mother wants to see the micronutrients publicly funded for ADHD sufferers like her daughter, Arianna.
The disorder has made school life tough. The 13-year-old has been suspended multiple times.
"Physical aggression. Arianna made lots of holes in our old house. She threw some chairs into kids," Anya Armstrong said.
Government-funded medication Ritalin made Arianna feel like a zombie.
But when they tried the micronutrients everything changed.
"She was just a normal kid," Ms. Armstrong said.