Research Suggests Using Zinc to Treat ADD
Alternative ADHD therapies are a big area of interest for many adults with ADD and parents of children with ADD who, for one reason or another, wonder about natural ADD treatments that might be used rather than prescription ADD medications.
As someone who accidentally went off of Adderall for a while and found out that I actually do not have insomnia, I watch with considerable interest the current research on ADHD treatments and potential natural therapies for ADD symptoms.
As is almost always the case with any alternative therapy or herbal supplement, there is no conclusive evidence that any natural ADD treatment works. That being said, the bar for saying that is very high, and only really achievable by a major company willing to pump millions of dollars into ongoing clinical trials and research efforts.
Use Zinc to Treat ADD in Children
There are several governmental websites that provide the results of scientific research. One of those is PubMed.gov which does a good job of providing the abstract, or summary, of medical research papers on ADD and other conditions.
While procrastinating with my ADD instead of working through it today, I came across an interesting tidbit of information that had escaped my attention before now. (Please excuse this article if it is a bit rough. I am tired, my work day is coming to an end, and I am really, really apathetic today, which is why I started doing medical research in the first place. However, I wanted to get this out there so that I would not forget, and so that if it might help someone, they could find it.)
It seems that a 2009 study suggests that zinc deficiency may be one issue in children with ADD. The study used a dose of 55 mg/day of zinc sulfate, which equates to 15 mg of zinc, to treat kids with ADHD. Over the course of the trial researchers observed statistically significant improvement in ADD symptoms of the children, before coming to the conclusion that zinc deficiency has a role in the etiopathogenesis of ADHD. (Yeah, my spell-checker just threw up too. I’ll look it up later…)
Furthermore, a new study started in 2010 aims to investigate whether zinc supplementation may be beneficial either in conjunction with prescription ADD drugs, or as a replacement.
This study offers some very important items about the current state of ADD research that I will need to catch up on when my mental state is in a better place.
- A dysfunction of the dopamine transporter is involved in the "pathogenesis" of ADHD (Last I checked we were still at that, maybe, maybe not, phase.)
- Some, but not all, ADHD patients may be zinc deficient. (That means that this treatment would only be useful for some.)
- The human dopamine transporter has a high-affinity zinc binding site. (This is just interesting.)
Alternative ADHD Treatment in Adults with Zinc
I don’t have a dosage for zinc supplements being used in ADD research for adults. The only reference I have so so far is the study on children which used 55 mg/day of zinc sulfate. I’m guessing that the number for adults might be higher, but I’m no doctor. The recommended daily allowance (that percentage you find on vitamin bottles) is 15 mg, which I would assume corresponds to the 55 mg/day of zinc sulfate = 15 mg of zinc in the ADD in children research study referenced above. That makes as good of starting place as any.
Of course, your average multi-vitamin has 100 percent RDA of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, so if you are already taking a multi-vitamin, you are getting your 15 mg of zinc already.
Anyone have any other research or studies regarding zinc that they want offer up?
I’ll be back with more extensive research soon…