Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
seem to have iron deficiency, according to the results of a small
study. The researchers suggest that such kids may benefit from
Iron deficiency causes abnormal functioning of the brain
neurotransmitter dopamine and may contribute to the pathology of
Researchers measured iron levels in 53 children with ADHD and in
a comparison group of 27 matched children who did not have ADHD.
Ferritin levels in blood were used to assess iron stores in the
84% of the children with ADHD had abnormal ferritin levels
compared with 18% of those who did not have ADHD. Extremely low
serum ferritin levels were found in 32% of ADHD children but only
one of the non-ADHD kids.
The researchers also saw that the lower the ferritin levels, the
more severe were general ADHD symptoms, as well as specific
The researchers suggested that iron supplementation might improve
dopamine activity in children with ADHD, thus decreasing the need
However, run out to the store to buy an iron supplement for your
ADHD child. Your child needs to be evaluated by a physician and
have a panel of blood tests before you can know whether iron
supplementation is indicated. Giving an iron supplement when none
is needed could be harmful.
If you think your child may have attention deficit/hyperactivity
disorder, please call one of our clinics for a consultation. We
have a comprehensive protocol for treating ADHD that does not
require the use of pharmaceuticals. We can fully evaluate whether
your child needs iron, and give you the best dietary sources of
iron, as well as the most appropriate type of iron supplement.
Source: Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, December