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Kids with ADHD May Need Iron

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 15:16

Results of a small study in France suggest that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be low on iron. An iron deficiency could be a contributing factor to ADHD because it leads to abnormal functioning of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. A French research team tested 53 youngsters with ADHD and a comparison group of 27 children. They found that 84 percent of the kids with ADHD had low iron levels compared with only 18 percent of the children in the control group, 32 percent of the ADHD kids had extremely low iron levels compared to only one of the youngsters in the matched group.

The researchers found that the lower the iron levels, the more severe a child's ADHD symptoms. They suggested that iron supplements might improve dopamine activity in kids with ADHD and reduce the need for the drugs often prescribed to treat the disorder. While growing children need iron, supplements can lead to toxicity, and children should not take iron except upon the advice of a physician. Results of the French study were published in the December 2004 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Source: Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, December 2004