Could Micronutrients Replace Ritalin as Treatment for ADHD?

A number of independent studies back clinical micronutrients as a safe, effective alternative to psychiatric medications. While there are a number of ADHD treatments available for both adults and children, it is unusual to see “independently researched” and “stimulant-free” associated with one.

How can nutrition treat mental health, you might ask?
It’s really not a new idea. 
For decades, Dr. Bruce Ames, world-renowned biochemist and senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oklanda Research Institute has been touting the importance of adequate nutrition. Dr. Ames has shown that deficiencies of at least seven essential nutrients can cause mutations by inducing chromosome breaks by the same mechanisms as radiation. [1] His research is part of a larger body of evidence showing that deficiencies in at least 14 nutrients kill brain cells or degenerate nerves or nerve endings. [2] It is little wonder that this renowned scientist has concluded that “We are starving, even though we are all getting fat, we are starving for vitamins and minerals.” [3]

So couldn’t we just eat more vegetables?
Dr. Ames is just one of many researchers finding that even carefully selected diets may no longer provide us with the levels of essential minerals and vitamins considered adequate, not to mention the quantities of essential nutrients required to optimize health for those with existing mental or physical illness.   Research has shown that food crops today have lower nutrient values than they did 50+ years ago.

Intensive agricultural practices, including extensive chemical use and food supply over-processing, are just two among many factors depleting our food sources of essential nutrients.   It’s not that diet and lifestyle improvements are unnecessary—indeed they are incredibly helpful—but the truth is, even the healthiest modern diet is simply not enough to be a complete treatment for most people, which makes supplementation a serious issue. 

Dr. Julia Rucklidge, one researcher who has conducted a number of independent studies on clinical micronutrient therapy for ADHD says: “The evidence now is pretty remarkable in terms of using vitamins and minerals for the treatment of mental illnesswe’ve been collecting data to look at it specifically for the treatment for ADHD, for which we’ve found a robust effect compared to placebo in adults with ADHD. There are also other studies that have been done both in my lab and also internationally that have shown the effect of micronutrients for the treatment of stressPTSDautism, across the whole range of disorders like depressionanxietystress… ”

Has your family found alternative sources for ADHD using suppliments and dietary changes? Share in Comments Below.


[1] Ames, BN. A role for supplements in optimizing health: the metabolic tune-up. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004. 423:227-234.

[2] Vinh Quôc Luong K et al. J Neurosci Res. (2012); Karmon Y et al. Neurol Res. (2012); Muller DP et al. Crit Rev Neurobiol. (1990); Bowling FG. Semin Cell Dev Biol. (2011); Ames BN et al. Mol Aspects Med. (2005); Giacomello M et al. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. (2013); Takeda A. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. (2003)

[3] The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) World Congress on Anti-Aging and Biomedical Technologies in Las Vegas. 2011

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to cure or treat any disease. These statements do not constitute medical advice, you should ask your doctor before starting or changing any health regimen.

†Refers to Daily Essential Nutrients and pre-2013 versions of EMPowerplus co-formulated by David L. Hardy, founder of Hardy Nutritionals®.


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