Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, or ADHD, is characterized by excessive levels of restlessness, inattention, and impulsivity. This disorder begins in childhood and often persists into adulthood. In France, 3.5 to 5.6% of school children suffer from it, according to the HAS (High Authority for Health).
The diagnosis is made by a specialist around 9-10 years of age based on questionnaires and subjective tests. The exact origin is unknown. Genetics play a role, we frequently find thyroid hypofunction. But the main contributors would be food (additives, excess industrial fat, deficiency of B vitamins) and environmental (exposure to chemicals, molds, pollutants and heavy metals).
We interviewed the scientific team of Yunova® Pharma, which offers a new nutritional approach from Nutrineural® science.
Can you describe the mechanism of ADHD?
The brain is essentially made up of lipids which are very sensitive to environmental and food aggressions. They need to be protected and renewed frequently. In ADHD, there are biochemical modifications of these lipids which lead to a malfunction of neurotransmission with an impact on learning and memory (acetylcholine) and on the reward circuit (dopamine).
Is there a treatment?
No treatment can cure ADHD, but a set of measures can reduce and better control the symptoms: medication, psychotherapy and neuronutrition.
Medication management is not systematic and must be implemented by an ADHD specialist, who assesses the relationship between the risks and the expected benefits.
The drugs prescribed are psychostimulants, which have the role of stimulating the central nervous system. Only one of these products is available in France: methylphenidate. It requires close medical supervision. This substance, derived from amphetamines, can have various side effects: insomnia, slowing of height and weight development, heart palpitations, aggressiveness, decreased appetite, headaches, diarrhea and abdominal pain as well as mood disorders.
The growing controversy over the generalization of methylphenidate and its side effects makes it imperative to reflect on comprehensive management involving psychotherapy and neuronutrition in addition.
What are the recommended therapies for ADHD?
Among them, only two have proven their effectiveness in the treatment of ADHD according to an Inserm study published in 2004: Family Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT.
The first aims to strengthen family skills to help parents better manage their child’s behavior, cope with difficult situations and learn useful and appropriate strategies.
CBT, on the other hand, is based on learning and implementing new behaviors. The goal is to teach the hyperactive child behavioral patterns that are more appropriate to their school, family and social environment.
What diet for ADHD?
The objective of the neuronutritional approach is to help the brain regenerate its essential fatty acids which are degraded in ADHD, in order to improve Neurotransmission.
Two cerebral lipids have particularly demonstrated their interest in brain nutrition: phosphatidylserine and Omega 3:
- Phosphatidylserine is part of the phospholipid family. It is present in neurons and myelin sheaths, and constitutes nearly 18% of the dry weight of the brain. It enhances the efficiency of neurotransmission and communication between neurons, playing a role in the fluidity and integrity of phospholipid membranes. It is involved in cognitive functions such as short-term and long-term memory, learning ability and concentration.
- Choline is a natural precursor of acetylcholine and also stimulates the dopaminergic system.
- Omega 3s are essential fatty acids containing DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, which participates in brain development, maintaining the integrity of brain functions and the retina.. Since fish oils rich in DHA contain residual traces of heavy metals, it is desirable to favor a vegan Omega 3, based on 100% pure algae.
According to a meta-analysis of 4 clinical studies published in April 2021 by an American team: Taking phosphatidylserine alone or in combination with omega-3 can reduce the disorders overall. It improves attention and learning capacity in 90% of children and adolescents treated.
In conclusion, the neuronutritional approach has its place in the overall management of ADHD. It consists of supplementation with phosphatidylserine, minerals, B vitamins, omega 3 essential fatty acids, to improve short-term and long-term memory, learning ability and concentration.
It can be used alone from the outset or as a replacement, in children who do not tolerate psychostimulants well. It can also be offered in addition to the drug, in order to reduce the undesirable effects, which promotes compliance with the treatment.
For nutritional support, rely on food supplements manufactured to the highest quality standards, containing active ingredients carefully selected according to progress in Neuroscience. Also check the excipients, the absence of preservatives, or nanoparticles, and vegetable capsules…
Yunova® Pharma, based on Nutrineural® science has developed:
- Nutrineural® Focus composed of Phosphatidylserin , Choline , group B vitamins and minerals
- Nutrineural® Omega 3 , rich in DHA, Algae extract, 100% vegan.
 Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children: justification for its integrative management. PM Kidd. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Oct.