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Published in: Vol. 5, No. 4
Category: Original Research

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Alan W. Brue, Thomas D. Oakland, and Robert A. Evans

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Review of the Evidence for the Clinical Efficacy of Human Acupuncture

 
 

The Use of a Dietary Supplement Combination and an Essential Fatty Acid for Children with ADHD

Abstract. Background: We investigated the efficacy of a dietary supplement combination (Ginkgo biloba, Melissa officinalis, Grapine, dimethylaminoethanol, and l-glutamine) and an essential fatty acid (flaxseed) as a treatment for inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity. The purpose of this study was to provide empirical evidence regarding their effectiveness in reducing ADHD-related behaviors in children diagnosed with this disorder.

Methods: Sixty participants initially were chosen to participate in 2 12-week trials. Thirty participants were chosen randomly from those not taking Ritalin, and 30 participants were chosen randomly from those taking Ritalin. After attrition, the same 51 children completed each trial.

Results: During trial 1, the dietary supplement combination was not more effective than a placebo at ameliorating children’s inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity among children taking and not taking Ritalin. Results from trial 2 were mixed. Among children taking Ritalin, teachers reported those who received the double dietary supplement combination displayed less inattentive behavior than those who received the double dietary supplement combination plus an essential fatty acid. Also, among children not taking Ritalin, parents reported those who received the double dietary supplement combination plus an essential fatty acid displayed less hyperactive-impulsive behavior than those who received the double dietary supplement combination. However, teachers reported those who received the double dietary supplement combination displayed less hyperactive-impulsive behavior than those who received the double dietary supplement combination plus an essential fatty acid.

Conclusions: Given the mixed results from this study, the ingredients in the dietary supplement combination and an essential fatty acid taken either individually or in combination with Ritalin may not be a reliable and effective alternative or complementary treatment of ADHD.

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