According to a recent study researchers say zinc supplements may increase the effectiveness of stimulants for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) . Zinc is basic for the production and modulation of melatonin, which helps regulate dopamine function, supposed to be an important factor in ADHD and its treatment and researchers say dopamine, a neurotransmittor, helps the brain register feelings of reward and pleasure.
Zinc is a mineral that helps the body form proteins, and it assists in wound healing, blood formation, and growth and maintenance of all tissues. Oysters are known to be an excellent source of zinc. Other sources include meat, seafood, and liver. Eggs and other dairy products supply zinc, but in smaller amounts. Some vegetables also contain zinc, but nutritionists say it not absorbed as well by the body.
The study included children who had recently been diagnosed with ADHD but who had never taken any medication for their condition. For six weeks, half of the children were given the standard treatment of stimulants along with zinc supplements and half were given stimulants along with a placebo. Researchers say the children taking zinc improved much faster than the others.
Specialists say, behavior improved in both groups of children, but the kids taking zinc showed a more marked improvement in their condition after six weeks. Kids taking zinc were three-times more likely to complain of nausea, but the frequency of other side effects did not differ between the two groups. Nearly all of the kids taking zinc complained of the metallic taste of the supplements.
Thus researchers conclude that ADHD children with zinc deficiency might benefit form a change in diet or from therapeutic trial with zinc supplementation. However they feel that further research is needed to confirm the positive effects of zinc supplements on children with ADHD.