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Los Angeles Personal Trainer & Certified Nutritionist > Nutrition Advice  > The Link Between ADHD and Poor Diet

The Link Between ADHD and Poor Diet

Poor diet results to health issues and one of the series of preliminary studies recorded in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is the effect of inadequate diet of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder affecting not only children but people of any ages. Individuals with ADHD have difficulty focusing on something and easily get distracted and they are much more impulsive and restless.  It was noted that some of the physical symptoms of ADHD are comparable to the symptoms when an individual lacks essential fatty acids (EFA) in the food intake. These essential fatty acids are not readily produced by humans or animals and therefore it should be form part of the diet.

Essential fatty acids are important for the body as they maintain cellular structure. They are essential for the central nervous system to function well and in the formation of hormones. When one is deficient with EFA it can result to abnormal growth, dry and scaly skin, frequent urinating and feeling extreme thirst. There are dysfunctions linked with behavioral, sensory and neurological when one is insufficient in EFA. These symptoms or dysfunctions are also found out after several studies on children with ADHD focusing on the EFA metabolism.

According to a study, malnourished rats reflected variations in behavioral patterns. Human infants who were administered with nutritional supplements indicated improved mental function. Under normal conditions, poor diet allows the brain to function but when under stressful and hectic conditions, an individual is more prone to behavioral and mental disorders. There are different symptoms and indications when a child or an individual has ADHD and the most noticeable are difficulty in paying attention, listening and completing tasks. These children are often observed playing around, interrupting others and unruly which affects the social interaction and performance in school including family relations.

In a study performed utilizing 6 to 12 year-old boys from central Indiana, 53 of the boys with ADHD were found to have lower EFA levels compared to 43 boys who do not have the disorder. Those with lower levels of EFA reflected more behavioral problems than those with normal levels of EFA. The recent study correlates to the previous researches that low levels of essential fatty acids can be linked to the behavior of children. Deficiency in essential fatty acids has found out to increase behavioral, sensory and neurological dysfunction. Proper diet is therefore essential to live a well balanced life.

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