Increasing prevalence rates of pediatric and adolescent attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), concerns over the safety and efficacy of psychostimulants, and fears about long-term use of psychostimulants have led many parents to seek alternative therapies for their children. Numerous environmental factors have been suspected of influencing ADHD. Over the last few decades, there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of nutrition and the potential role it has on influencing ADHD and ADHD symptomatology. This article focuses on nutrition, dietary modifications, and nutraceuticals, which are the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies for the management of pediatric and adolescent ADHD. The aim is to present a narrative literature review for dietary modifications and nutritional supplementation for pediatric and adolescent ADHD. Searches were made in full-text English language articles from 2000 to February 2012 in the PubMed Central, Medline, Cochrane Library, Psych INFO, Scopus, and CINAHL databases. The review revealed a full range of research strategies, but this article concentrates on randomized controlled trials, observational studies, longitudinal studies, epidemiological studies, surveys, qualitative reviews, narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. The literature reveals a mixture of results in respect to dietary modifications and nutritional supplementation for children and adolescents with ADHD; however, the future of nutritional research appears promising.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Complementary and alternative medicine