Vitamin D is a vital nutrient which plays a key role in the well being of humans. Primarily Vitamin D helps to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and assists the normal functioning of the immune system. Other benefits of maintaining good levels of Vitamin D include good bone health as it helps prevent bone diseases such as soft bones and fragile bones.
So is it possible that Vitamin D deficiency can also worsen ADHD symptoms? Unfortunately there is no solid evidence which proves that low Vitamin D levels can aggravate ADHD symptoms. However, it is important to understand that this vitamin plays significant functions in maintaining and regulating some essential body processes, which in turn might factor in to reducing the symptoms of ADHD.
Vitamin D increases the levels of an antioxidant known as Glutathione in the brain. This antioxidant is useful in preventing damage to neurons and therefore helps in preserving brain health in individuals. It also aids in the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are two major brain chemicals which are known to assist in the treatment of ADHD when their optimal levels are maintained.
Vitamin D is also known to boost the activity of Choline Acetyltransferase, which is the enzyme liable for the production of the main brain chemical called Acetylcholine. This brain chemical increases attention span and when this chemical is present in good amounts, it allows the individual to focus on an activity for a longer time period. As we know that inattention and lack of concentration are two of the main symptoms of ADHD, we can conclude that good vitamin D levels can indirectly help in reducing these problems of ADHD.
Sadly there is not enough concrete evidence available which can prove that low Vitamin D levels can worsen your child’s ADHD symptoms. At the same time there is no harm in trying it out and discussing it with your child’s doctor to determine if it is helping your child or not.
Sources of Vitamin D
Salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring are all great sources of Vitamin D. Doctors usually recommend including fish at least twice a week to your food. As a single serving of most of these fish can provide almost the required daily dosage of the vitamin, it is important that you make fish a regular part of your meal.
Almost all milk brands available at grocery stores are fortified in a way that a glass of milk provides about a quarter of the Vitamin D daily requirement. So make sure when you grab your milk bottle from the shelf that it has been fortified with a good amount of Vitamin D.
Yolks are a great source of Vitamin D, so including eggs to your child’s diet is a great way to supplement Vitamin D.
This of course will require turning off the video game but spending just 10-15 minutes in the warm sun can easily provide a day’s worth of Vitamin D. Plus the physical activity and exercise will bring added cardiovascular benefits that our kids can’t get enough of.
Even if Vitamin D does not directly impact ADHD symptoms, you can ensure that your child is healthy and otherwise well by providing foods which are good sources of Vitamin D as well. As always, be sure to first speak with a physician to determine if your child could benefit from a little extra Vitamin D.
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