Serum Levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin D and Their Association With Symptoms in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Front Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 23;11:599958. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.599958. eCollection 2020.


Objective: To measure levels of vitamin A (VA) and vitamin D (VD) and the symptomatic association of their co-deficiencies on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Chinese children (6-9 years). Methods: Eighty-two children (69 boys and 13 girls; mean age = 7.1 ± 0.9 years at the time of the diagnosis) with ADHD were recruited as ADHD group. A total of 106 healthy children were recruited as the healthy control (HC) group. Serum levels of retinol and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) of all children were evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry. The Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham IV Rating Scale (SNAP-IV) was employed to assess the clinical symptoms of ADHD. Results: Children suffering from ADHD had significantly reduced serum levels of retinol and 25(OH)D compared with those of HCs, and the prevalence of VA deficiency and VD deficiency were higher in children suffering from ADHD. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D and retinol were linked closely with the presence or absence of ADHD after adjustment for age, body mass index, season of blood sampling, and sun exposure. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D and retinol showed a negative correlation with the total scores of SNAP-IV. Children with ADHD as well as VA and VD co-deficiency had increased SNAP-IV total scores and ADHD inattention subscale scores. Conclusion: VA deficiency and VD deficiency in children with ADHD were increased in comparison with that in HCs. VA and VD co-deficiency associated with ADHD symptom severity. Attention should be paid to regular testing of VA levels and VD levels. However, the mechanism of VA and VD in ADHD needs to be further studied. Interventional studies on VA and VD supplementation are recommended to further verify the relationship between VA and VD co-deficiency and ADHD.

Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; children; dopamine; vitamin A; vitamin D.