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Do You Get Enough of the "Sunshine Vitamin"? How Vitamin D Helps ADHD

We used to only associate Vitamin D with bone health.  However, we now know that Vitamin D plays a much larger role in our overall health.  Shutterstock 570151708

Vitamin D levels are commonly low in the general population due to the increased use of sunscreen since the 1980s. However, Vitamin D is essential to our mental and physical health. We have receptors in every tissue of the body for this vitamin and we need to maintain optimal levels to function at our best. It can help protect us against many illnesses, flu, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.  

Now there is evidence to suggest Vitamin D supplements may also reduce ADHD symptoms. A systematic review that was published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology looked at four randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) which included 256 ADHD children. The children that were taking Vitamin D supplements in conjunction with methylphenidate-based medication, appeared to have a greater reduction of ADHD symptoms compared to children who took a Vitamin D placebo. However, the study authors concluded that this is still low-strength evidence and additional RCT’s are needed to truly determine the efficacy and safety of Vitamin D supplements in conjunction with other ADHD treatments.

There have been other studies that show Vitamin D levels tend to be lower in children with ADHD. The evidence suggests that Vitamin D levels in these children should be regularly monitored and treated in cases of deficiency. Adults should also be monitoring their Vitamin D levels since it has been associated with improving executive function as we age. The data is pointing to just how important this vitamin is to our physiological well-being. Check your Vitamin D levels with your doctor and talk to them about a plan of action so you can make certain to avoid low levels and a deficiency. 

At Play Attention®, we address all of your needs from ADHD assessment, neurocognitive training, to life management. The combination of a healthy lifestyle and neurocognitive training can help you strengthen neural networks that support executive functioning. Call 800-788-6786 to learn more and receive a free ADHD assessment and customized neurocognitive training plan.