In 1997 researchers reporting in the journal Magnesium Research, divided 75 children (ages 7to12) with diagnosed ADHD into two groups in a preliminary, controlled trial. The children had a deficiency of magnesium which was determined in blood serum, red blood cells and in hair.
Fifty children, 20 of whom showed disruptive behaviour, were supplemented with 200 mg per day of magnesium for 6 months in addition to their standard treatment. The other group of 25 children, 10 of whom showed disruptive behaviour, received the standard treatment without magnesium.
At the end of the trial, the children whose treatment included magnesium supplements demonstrated a significant improvement in hyperactive behaviour as determined by parent and teacher ratings and other standard testing procedures compared to the children who had not received the supplements. (Magnesium Research. 1997 Jun; 10(2): 149-56).
In 1998 one of the researchers in the study above, reporting in the journal Annales Academiae Medicae Stetinensis (Poland), elaborated on the study, reiterating the decrease of hyperactivity in the group of children treated with magnesium, but adding that in the group of children given standard treatment without magnesium, hyperactivity had actually intensified!
The researcher concluded: “…magnesium supplementation together with standard traditional mode of treatment gives us the opportunity to extend the methods of therapy of ADHD children who are the “children of the risk” in connection with their educational, emotional and social problems.” (Ann Acad Med Stetin. 1998;44:297-314. Polish).
In 2004 French researchers, reporting in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, investigated the effects of magnesium and vitamin B6 supplementation on the behaviour of 52 hyper excitable children all under the age of 15 years.
Thirty of the hyperactive children were low in magnesium and were subsequently treated with magnesium and vitamin B6. After 6 months of treatment all children had reduced symptoms of hyperexcitability including physical aggression, instability and learning attention.
Interestingly, the researchers also tested their family members for low levels of magnesium and similar symptoms. Those that fitted the criteria were also supplemented with magnesium and vitamin B6 and also responded in a positive manner. (Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2004 Oct;23(5):545S-548S).
In 2006 Russian researchers used a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 to treat children aged from 6 to 12 with ADHD.
The children were split into two groups, 31 children were given the magnesium and vitamin B6 combination, while 20 children in the other group received a multivitamin complex.
After 30 days the researchers established significant improvements in the magnesium and vitamin B6 group compared to the control group.
The main areas of improvement were in behaviour, decreased level of anxiety and aggression and increased attention. (Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2006 Jan-Feb;69(1):74-7).
In 2006 French researchers, reporting in the journal Magnesium Research, supplemented 40 children with clinical symptoms of ADHD with magnesium and vitamin B6 for 8 weeks. In almost all of the children symptoms of hyperactivity, hyperemotivity (excessive emotions) and aggressiveness were significantly reduced after two month
In addition, school attention was also improved. The researchers observed that when the magnesium and vitamin B6 treatment was stopped, clinical symptoms of the disease reappeared in a few weeks. (Magnesium Research. 2006 Mar;19(1):46-52).
These results suggest that magnesium supplementation, or at least high amounts of magnesium in the diet, may prove to be beneficial for children with ADHD.
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