The effect of vitamin D and magnesium supplementation on the mental health status of attention-deficit hyperactive children: a randomized controlled trial.
BMC pediatrics. 2021;21(1):178
Plain language summary
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder and studies have found it to be associated with nutrient deficiencies, namely magnesium and vitamin D. The aim of this randomized, controlled study is to assess the effect of vitamin D and magnesium supplementation on mental health and behavioral outcomes in children with ADHD. Sixty-six children with ADHD were randomly allocated to receive both vitamin D plus magnesium or placebo for eight weeks, and a validated children’s mental health questionnaire was assessed. After eight weeks, serum vitamin D and magnesium, as well as various behavioural outcomes (emotional problem, peer problem, total difficulties and internalising), were all significantly improved among the treatment group compared to placebo. Based on these results, the authors conclude co-supplementing vitamin D and magnesium can improve the behavioral function and mental health of children with ADHD. They suggest larger, well-designed studies are needed to both validate these findings and further explore whether micronutrient deficiencies in ADHD are a cause or effect of the disorder.
BACKGROUND Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by varying severity in attention deficit and hyperactivity. Studies have shown deficiencies in the serum level of magnesium and vitamin D in people with ADHD. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of vitamin D and magnesium supplementation on mental health in children with ADHD. METHODS We conducted a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 66 children with ADHD. Participants were randomly allocated to receive both vitamin D (50,000 IU/week) plus magnesium (6 mg/kg/day) supplements (n = 33) or placebos (n = 33) for 8-weeks. Strengths and difficulties questionnaire was used to evaluate children's mental health at baseline and the end of the study. RESULTS After eight weeks of intervention, the serum levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 and magnesium increased significantly in the intervention group compared with the control group. Also, children receiving vitamin D plus magnesium showed a significant reduction in emotional problems (p = 0.001), conduct problems (p = 0.002), peer problems (p = 0.001), prosocial score (p = 0.007), total difficulties (p = 0.001), externalizing score (p = 0.001), and internalizing score (p = 0.001) compared with children treated with the placebo. CONCLUSION Vitamin D (50,000 IU/week) and magnesium (6 mg/kg/day) co-supplementation for a duration of 8-weeks could improve the behavioral function and mental health of children with ADHD. However, further well-designed studies with a larger sample size are needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION IRCT2016030326886N1 .