By: Dr. Richard G. Boles – Sept. 26, 2022
What is ADHD? Basically, ADHD is the result of inadequate executive function in the prefrontal cortex. The condition occurs when executive function is insufficient to focus the mind during non-preferred tasks (inattention), and to regulate behavior when challenged by emotions (impulsivity, hyperactivity).
Severity: Although often not considered to be a serious condition, this is often far from reality. Through inattention and impulsivity, people with ADHD have substantially increased rates of injury and death from accidents (especially auto), drug and alcohol abuse, obesity (overeating), and multiple diseases (e.g., STDs from unsafe sex, lung cancer from smoking). Additionally, impulsivity in ADHD leads to increased incidence of school dropout, unemployment, criminality, divorce, and unplanned pregnancy. Given the increased risks involved, robust treatment of ADHD is often advocated and appropriate.
Drugs v. supplements: Medical treatments for ADHD consist of diet and drugs. Multiple dietary nutrients have been shown in studies to be helpful, and since the dosing is generally quite high, intervention is generally done by dietary supplementation. Dietary supplementation has the following potential advantages over medications*:
- The stimulant medications often prescribed for ADHD often have significant side effects. In contrast, dietary supplementation rarely has appreciable side effects.
- People with ADHD are often described as being more creative, interesting, humorous, empathic, spontaneous, courageous, and energetic. These benefits can be lessened or abolished by the medications prescribed, but not by dietary supplementation.
*Note that Dr. Boles does not advocate against the use of medication in ADHD. While some milder cases can be adequately treated with dietary supplementation alone, in many other cases dietary supplementation plus diet is appropriate. ADHD has a serious condition, every case is different, and treatment needs to be individualized.
Neurodevelopmental Disease (NDD): ADHD is an NDD. Other diseases in this category include autism, intellectual disability, and epilepsy. In recent years, the use of whole genome (DNA) sequencing in thousands of cases has elucidated the underlying causes of NDD. While the causes are complex, many of the pathways are amenable to dietary supplementation. These include mitochondrial function, other aspects of metabolism, membrane fluidity, and the neurotransmitter excitation-to-inhibition ratio. Through NeuroNeeds®, Dr. Boles has spearheaded the development of several dietary supplementation products for NDDs.
The product line shown below is Dr. Boles’ premium line for people with NDD. In general, his patients with various NDDs have done very well on these products, including those with substantial ADHD. One of his own sons is on these products, which has made a significant difference in his ADHD.
However, this product line is not appropriate for everybody. Those with lesser degrees of disease, and/or tighter budgets, have asked for a simpler, yet effective, dietary treatment. For these people, FocusNeeds® was developed.
Less intense disease or anyone wanting improved focus:
FocusNeeds is designed to be a single product for optimized dietary supplementation to assist focus. Its use is appropriate in the following situations:
- Mildly-affected people
- Including, some siblings of people with more-substantial NDD
- Those on tighter budgets
- People wanting the simplicity of a single product to buy
- Anyone wanting to boost their focus, whether or not they have a diagnosis
The ingredients include essentially every dietary supplement shown in clinical studies to help with attention and/or impulsivity.
- Vitamins: B2, B6, B9 (folate), B12, D
- Minerals: magnesium, zinc
- L-theanine (calming ingredient natural to teas)
Omega-3 fatty acids:
- High-dose DHA+EPA from fish oil sufficient for excellent heart health
- Also, assists general health including skin, hair & nails
- Phospholipid-bound omega-3s from krill oil for excellent brain health**
- Astaxantin, a powerful antioxidant natural to krill
- Phosphatidylserine from sunflower seed
**Note that most popular brands of omega-3 fatty acids contain fish oil. However, omega-3s from fish oil cannot directly enter the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids almost exclusively enter the brain via the MFSD2A system, which requires phospholipid binding. Omega3s from krill are naturally bound to phospholipids.
To learn more, see https://www.neuroneeds.com/what-is-focusneeds
Disclosure: Dr. Boles is the Chief Medical & Scientific Officer for NeuroNeeds LLC, the start-up company that makes SpectrumNeeds®, EnergyNeeds®, QNeeds®, OmegaNeeds®, FocusNeeds®, and CalmNeeds®. As such, he may receive financial compensation based upon by efforts and/or the success of the company. You are under no obligation to purchase this or any products, whether recommended by Dr. Boles or another health care provider. As always, it is recommended that you contact your physician regarding these products and all other changes to disease management.
The Content within this article and NeuroNews Blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Blog.