Recent studies have suggested a relationship between low vitamin D levels, autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A recent review of the literature adds some interesting information on this connection between vitamin D and ADHD. From thousands of articles (up to June 2017), the authors eventually settled on 13 studies that examined “the association between vitamin D concentration and the risk of ADHD.”
The researchers concluded that: “The present review provides evidence supporting the relation between vitamin D deficiency and ADHD.”
But wait there is more!
The study authors also looked at prospective studies where vitamin D was measured in maternal serum or umbilical cord blood and then mapped onto risk of ADHD in offspring. With this type of study in mind, they observed that: “lower maternal or cord serum vitamin D concentrations increase the risk of developing ADHD in childhood or adolescence by 40%.”
The authors hypothesise how vitamin D may influence the pathophysiology of ADHD. They mention an enzyme – tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) – and how the gene for this enzyme has been linked to ADHD in some studies. Of interest is that: “The TPH2 gene is activated by vitamin D hormone through its vitamin D response element.”
The Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation on ADHD A recent study evaluated the serum vitamin D levels in children with a diagnosis of ADHD. Further they evaluated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on cognitive function in those with vitamin D deficiency.
The authors noted that vitamin D levels were significantly lower in the ADHD group than in controls. More importantly “The group receiving vitamin D supplementation demonstrated improvement in cognitive function in the conceptual level, inattention, opposition, hyperactivity, and impulsivity domains.”
The evidence is accumulating that a simple intervention like increasing vitamin D levels in children, can have profound effects on their behaviour. Add in omega-3, zinc and magnesium, and the synergistic effect is even more significant.