Can Multi-Nutrients Help with ADHD? - Chromatography Investigates
Jun 27 2020
It is common for kids to be very active, never sitting still and always on the go. Part of growing up. Usually, this is normal, and children will grow out of the hyperactive behaviour. But for a small proportion of children there could be an underlying medical condition causing the behaviour – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.
Currently there is no cure for ADHD, educational support and coping strategies are the usual ways to manage the condition. A recent paper published by researchers in the US in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition report on work that studied the effects of multi-nutrient supplementation on the symptoms of ADHD in 74 children. Chromatography was used to analyse the plasma nutrient and metabolite concentrations.
ADHD – more than a handful
The main symptoms of ADHD include difficulty in concentrating, hyperactivity and acting impulsively or without thinking through the consequences of your actions. Attention deficit hyperactive disorder is classed as a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be spotted and diagnosed at a young age and may continue into adolescence and even adulthood. ADHD can impact school and friendships; it can also lead to low self-esteem.
Doctors are not sure what causes ADHD. It tends to run on families, the genes you get from your parents are thought to be a significant factor in whether a child develops ADHD – if parents and siblings have ADHD then a child is more likely to develop ADHD. However, the genetic link is complex and there is not one gene that causes ADHD on its own. Environmental and structural brain differences are also likely to play in a role in a child’s predisposition to ADHD. And with no cure, researchers are looking for treatments that can help stressed parents cope with a hyperactive child.
Chromatography measures the nutrients
A broad-spectrum multi-nutrient formula had shown some promise in children with ADHD. In the study referenced above, researchers enrolled 74 children in a double-blind randomized trial looking at the effect of a multi-nutrient supplement on children with ADHD. Blood samples were taken before the study began and after 8 weeks. The symptoms of ADHD were assessed using a standard child behaviour rating scale.
The researchers used liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyse the plasma nutrient and metabolite concentrations. The analysis of difficult samples using LC-MS is discussed in the article, Separation of the 4 Enantiomers of the Fungicide Spiroxamine by LC-MS/MS. The team behind the paper report: preliminary findings indicate improvements of ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, ODD and DMDD following 8 weeks of open label multi-nutrient supplementation. Further work is needed, but parents could soon have a way to mitigate some of the symptoms of ADHD in their children.
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