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Vitamin D supplementation may reduce ADHD symptoms, finds study

Vitamin D supplementation may reduce ADHD symptoms, finds study

Vitamin D supplementation as adjunctive therapy may reduce Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, revealed a study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 

Vitamin D is recognized as a versatile hormone, playing a role in the neurological system, cardiovascular system, immune system, endocrine system, cancer diseases, and psychiatric diseases. Deficiency of vitamin D can cause cerebral dysfunction related to neuropsychiatric disease in humans.

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that typically appears in early childhood, usually before the age of seven. ADHD makes it difficult for children to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness. It is estimated that 5.3%–9.5% of children and 2.5%–5% of adults have ADHD, with increasing incidence and a higher susceptibility in males.

The present study was conducted to assess the benefits and harms of vitamin D supplementation for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients. The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) including four RCTs with 256 children addressing vitamin D supplementation as adjunctive therapy to methylphenidate on ADHD symptoms.

Following the analysis, the authors observed that a small but statistically significant improvement in ADHD total scores, inattention scores, hyperactivity scores, and behavior scores after vitamin D supplimention. The improvement was likely limited due to the low to very low quality of evidence in the literature.

However, there was no statistically significant improvement in oppositional scores. Reported adverse events in the vitamin D group were mild and not significantly different from the control group. Vitamin D supplementation increased serum vitamin D levels and the ratio of patients with sufficient vitamin D levels.

“Vitamin D supplementation as adjunctive therapy to methylphenidate appeared to reduce ADHD symptoms without serious adverse events, associated with improved vitamin D status. However, considering the generally low strength of evidence, well-designed RCTs are needed to determine the efficacy and safety of vitamin D supplementation for both children and adults with ADHD, especially in the setting of a combination of vitamin D and other ADHD treatments.”

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