Nutritional supplements for the treatment of ADHD

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014 Oct;23(4):883-97. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2014.05.002. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation appears to have modest benefit for improving ADHD symptoms. Melatonin appears to be effective in treating chronic insomnia in children with ADHD but appears to have minimal effects in reducing core ADHD symptoms. Many other natural supplements are widely used in the United States despite minimal evidence of efficacy and possible side effects. This review synthesizes and evaluates the scientific evidence regarding the potential efficacy and side effects of natural supplements and herbal remedies for ADHD. We provide clinicians with recommendations regarding their potential use and role in overall ADHD treatment.

Keywords: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; Gingko biloba; Magnesium; Omega-3 fatty acids; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Zinc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diet therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Melatonin / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Melatonin