Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that affects both children and adults. It is distinguished by a constellation of symptoms including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Children with ADHD may struggle to stay focused on tasks, become easily distracted, and struggle to control their impulses. They may also engage in impulsive behavior, such as blurting out answers before the question has been fully answered or interrupting others. Fidgeting, squirming, or an inability to sit may be signs of hyperactivity.
These symptoms can have serious consequences for a child's academic performance, social interactions, and overall quality of life. Children with ADHD may struggle to complete homework or school assignments, have difficulty making and maintaining friends, and may feel constantly "in trouble" as a result of their behavior.
While the precise cause of ADHD is unknown, research indicates that it may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Nutrient deficiencies, including Vitamin B12, have also been linked to the development and severity of ADHD symptoms, according to research.
Vitamin B12 was discovered in the early 1900s when it was discovered that consuming raw liver could cure pernicious anemia, a previously fatal disease. Vitamin B12 was isolated and its chemical structure was identified in the 1940s, paving the way for the development of effective treatments for pernicious anemia.
How it Works
Vitamin B12 is a necessary nutrient that is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. It is involved in a variety of biological processes, including DNA synthesis, energy metabolism, and red blood cell production. Vitamin B12 is also necessary for the synthesis of myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
Myelin aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system by speeding up the transmission of nerve impulses. When myelin is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses can slow or stop, resulting in symptoms like weakness, numbness, and cognitive impairment.
Vitamin B12 also aids in the regulation of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the brain that carry signals between nerve cells. These neurotransmitters are required for cognitive function, mood regulation, and behavior regulation. Dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are important neurotransmitters in the treatment of ADHD symptoms.
Studies and Results
Several studies on the effects of Vitamin B12 on cognitive function and ADHD symptoms in children have been conducted. The size, design, and dosage of these studies varied, but they all suggest that Vitamin B12 supplementation may be beneficial in improving cognitive function and managing ADHD symptoms in children.
In one study published in the Journal of Child Neurology, 60 children with ADHD received 8 weeks of Vitamin B12 supplementation. The children were given either 500 mcg of Vitamin B12 or a placebo at random. The results showed that children who received Vitamin B12 improved significantly more than those who received a placebo.
Another study published in the Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences included 50 children aged 6 to 16 with low Vitamin B12 levels. For three months, the children were given either 1,000 mcg of Vitamin B12 or a placebo. The study discovered that children who received Vitamin B12 supplementation had significantly better cognitive function than those who received a placebo.
According to a review of several studies on Vitamin B12 and ADHD, supplementation with Vitamin B12 may improve cognitive function and reduce the severity of ADHD symptoms in children. The review did note, however, that more high-quality studies are required to fully understand the benefits of Vitamin B12 supplementation in managing ADHD symptoms.
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 for children varies depending on age. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 require 0.9 mcg per day, while children between the ages of 4 and 8 require 1.2 mcg per day. Children between the ages of 9 and 13 require 1.8 mcg per day.
Vitamin B12 is essential for supporting cognitive function and controlling ADHD symptoms in children. Vitamin B12 supplementation can improve cognitive function and help regulate neurotransmitter production, reducing the severity of ADHD symptoms. If you suspect your child is deficient in Vitamin B12, consult with their healthcare provider to determine the proper dosage.
Amanullah, S., & Khan, A. (2017). Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Child Neurology, 32(10), 943–950. https://doi.org/10.1177/0883073817716337
Chavan, P., Joshi, S., & Nalgirkar, A. (2015). Cognitive Function in Children with Low Serum Vitamin B12 Level. Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences, 10(3), 205–208. https://doi.org/10.4103/1817-1745.165642
National Institutes of Health. (2021, February 12). Vitamin B12. Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/