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Role of Diet and Nutrients in ADHD

Diet and nutrition may be important factors in the etiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders. At group level, single nutrients do not appear to play a significant pathogenetic or therapeutic role in ADHD. Benefits of supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals may be confined to individuals deficient in these micronutrients. Dietary pattern may be of greater importance than individual nutrients. Both diet and consumption of certain nutrients may be precursors or consequences of ADHD. The identification of a potential role of food bioactives in ADHD is hindered by the ill-defined nature of the disorder and the lack of biological or neuropsychological markers underpinning its validity.

See also:

Lange KW. Do food bioactives play a role in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? J Food Bioact 2018; 4: 1-7.

Benefits and Harms of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) in ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a frequently diagnosed and treated behavioral disorder in children and adolescents and may persist into adulthood. The core symptoms of ADHD frequently cause significant impairment in academic, social and behavioral functioning over many years in children, adolescents and adults. Currently used treatments, such as pharmacotherapy and behavior therapy, can yield significant short-term benefits for many individuals with ADHD. However, it is unclear whether or not the currently used treatments mitigate the negative impact of non-treatment on the quality of life of individuals with ADHD over an extended time period. Long-term randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard for measuring treatment effects, are largely absent. Long-term administration of methylphenidate may result in a diminution of beneficial effects of the drugs used in ADHD. Scant research has adequately evaluated the long-term safety of drugs for ADHD. Poorly determined long-term beneficial effects of medication need to be carefully weighed against possible over-prescription and a range of potential adverse effects. Treatment of ADHD has no proven beneficial impact on long-term outcomes but may be associated with various adverse effects.

See also:

Lange KW. The treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has no proven long-term benefits but possible adverse effects. Mov Nutr Health Dis 2017; 1: 11-25. DOI: 10.5283/mnhd.4.

Storebo OJ, Faltinsen E, Zwi M, et al. The jury is still out on the benefits and harms of methylphenidate for children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2018.

Swanson JM, Arnold LE, Molina BSG, et al. Young adult outcomes in the follow-up of the multimodal treatment study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: symptom persistence, source discrepancy, and height suppression. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2017; 58: 663-678. DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12684.

  1. Fakultät für Psychologie, Pädagogik und Sportwissenschaft
  2. Institut für Psychologie