Food and Behaviour Research

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Effects of iron supplementation on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Konofal E, Lecendreux M, Deron J, Marchand M, Cortese S, Zaïm M, Mouren MC, Arnulf I. (2008) Pediatr Neurol. 38(1) 20-6 

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Abstract:

Iron deficiency has been suggested as a possible contributing cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. This present study examined the effects of iron supplementation on ADHD in children.

Twenty-three nonanemic children (aged 5-8 years) with serum ferritin levels

There was a progressive significant decrease in the ADHD Rating Scale after 12 weeks on iron (-11.0 +/- 13.9; P < 0.008), but not on placebo (3.0 +/- 5.7; P = 0.308). Improvement on Conners' Parent Rating Scale (P = 0.055) and Conners' Teacher Rating Scale (P = 0.076) with iron supplementation therapy failed to reach significance. The mean Clinical Global Impression-Severity significantly decreased at 12 weeks (P < 0.01) with iron, without change in the placebo group.

Iron supplementation (80 mg/day) appeared to improve ADHD symptoms in children with low serum ferritin levels suggesting a need for future investigations with larger controlled trials. Iron therapy was well tolerated and effectiveness is comparable to stimulants.

FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:

For more research into the possible role of iron in ADHD, see