Researchers from the University of Otago, the University of Canterbury, the Canterbury District Health Board and Oregon Health & Science University have been studying micronutrients and their effect on pediatric ADHD, specifically researching a micronutrient supplement produced by Hardy Nutritionals®, called Daily Essential Nutrients.

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The researchers recently published their findings Oct. 2, 2017, in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
While micronutrient therapy has been researched before, this is the first study of its kind.  To that end, researchers stated, “This is the first fully blinded randomized controlled trial of medication-free children with ADHD assigned to either micronutrients or placebo…”

Half of the ninety three study participants (aged from 7 – 12 years) were randomly assigned Daily Essential Nutrients and the other half were assigned placebo [micronutrient look-alike pills but with no active ingredients] for 10 weeks.”
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Key Research Findings After Just 10 Weeks:

  • Micronutrients significantly reduced impairment and improved overall function.
    • Clinician ratings identified that “…47% of those on micronutrients [were] ‘much’ to ‘very much’ improved versus 28% on placebo.” (Overall Clinician Global Assessment Improvement, p=0.029)  The study authors reported: “Many parents commented that…their child was calmer, more able to be reasoned with, and happier.”
  • Micronutrients significantly improved inattention.
    • Researchers found that “Inattentive symptoms appeared to be improved more than hyperactive-impulsive symptoms… 32% of those on micronutrients versus 9% of those on placebo showed a substantial change (30% drop) in inattentive symptoms.” (Clinician ADHD – attention sub-scale, p=0.005)
  • Micronutrients dramatically improved emotional regulation and aggression.
    • Researchers found that “Twice as many of the children who entered the trial with severe mood dysregulation, and were randomized to micronutrients, showed a clinically significant improvement in emotional dysregulation compared with placebo (41% vs. 20%)… These measures tapped into behaviours including hot tempers, fights with other children, explosive angry outbursts, and moods changing rapidly for no reason. These improvements on emotional control were consistent across the three raters (clinician, parent and teacher).”  (Parent Conduct Problems ratings, p=0.015; Teacher Emotional Control ratings, p=0.009)
    • Researchers acknowledged that “Management of emotional dysregulation presents a considerable therapeutic challenge for parents, teachers and clinicians…” and were very encouraged by what the study results meant for the lives of the children involved, concluding that “These improvements bode well for improving life outcomes.”
  • Daily Essential Nutrients was safe: there were no differences in side effects between the micronutrient and inactive placebo group.
    • Researchers concluded the study by commenting, “In addition to conferring the symptom improvements, the micronutrients were safe and well-tolerated over the course of the 10-week trial and as such, they may have an important role in the treatment of childhood ADHD, particularly in cases where conventional stimulant medication is not viable, either due to ineffectiveness, poor tolerability or parental preference.

While the recently published double-blind study demonstrates safety and efficacy over the course of 10 weeks, micronutrient therapy is typically a long term course of treatment.  Preliminary results are typically reported within 4 to 6 weeks and have been shown in other studies to improve over time.

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The recommended dosage is another commitment.  Adults and children will need to work up to the full therapeutic dose of 12 capsules of Daily Essential Nutrients (or the equivalent 3 scoops of powder) per day for the best chance at achieving clinical results.  Learn more about Hardy Nutritionals®, the formulator of Daily Essential Nutrients here.

Source: Vitamin-mineral treatment improves aggression and emotional regulation in children with ADHD: a fully blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2017 Oct 2. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12817. [Epub ahead of print] Rucklidge JJ, Eggleston MJF, Johnstone JM, Darling K, Frampton CM.

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