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Pump a Little Iron

Approximately 2 million children in the U.S. suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Treatment options for ADHD include behavior modification therapy and prescription medication; however, a recent study suggests that iron supplementation may help control the symptoms of ADHD, thus effectively reducing the need for medication.

French researchers examined the iron levels in 53 children ages 4-14 diagnosed with ADHD and 27 healthy children in a control group, as well as evaluated parent surveys regarding the ADHD symptoms in their children.

Results: 84 percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD had abnormal iron levels, opposed to 18 percent of children in the healthy group. "These results suggest that low iron stores contribute to ADHD and that ADHD children may benefit from iron supplementation," the researchers concluded.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, ask your doctor about iron supplementation as a treatment alternative. Experts have also noted that good nutrition plays a large role in keeping ADHD symptoms in check.

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Konofal E, Lecendreux M, Arnulf I, Mouren MC. Iron deficiency in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dec. 2004; 158: 1113-1115.


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