Serotonin is critical in the brain. It is a neurotransmitter that helps one to feel calm and produces a sense of well-being. When serotonin levels are low in the brain, you begin to experience depression, irritability, and moodiness. Children with ADHD tend to have low serotonin levels which result in anxiety. They, therefore, lose their calmness, aggravating ADHD symptoms. There are studies that show that natural serotonin vitamins help to alleviate ADHD symptoms, resulting in increased cognitive performance and attentiveness. In this article, we delve into vitamins that increase the production of serotonin in the brain.
We will begin by looking at the B vitamins (B6 and B12) and how they help to reduce ADHD symptoms.
B vitamins have two ways of relieving ADHD symptoms. The first is via the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. The second is via aiding in the proper functioning of the central nervous system.
Carbohydrate metabolism results in just enough glucose to meet the body’s energy demands. However, in children with ADHD, some steps are skipped during carbohydrate mechanism, especially after the ingestion of excess sugar. This results in excess blood sugar, which is what causes children with ADHD to become hyperactive and restless.
Vitamin B helps to balance between the neurotransmitters that contribute to hyperactivity in people with ADHD and those that cause depression. When the B vitamins needed for this balance are in inadequate quantities, ADHD symptoms worsen.
A clinical study involving 100 children conducted by Dr. Arnold Brenner showed improved mental focus, behavior, and attentiveness. The children were in in 4 groups. Each group was given one vitamin B, B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), B5 (pantothenic) and a placebo. All the vitamin groups showed reduced ADHD symptoms when compared to the placebo group.
Natural vitamin B for serotonin production
Vitamin B1 – helps to reduce ADHD symptoms via carbohydrate metabolism. Foods containing vitamin B1 include legumes, red meat, green leafy vegetables, sweet corn, brown rice and whole grains. The recommended daily dose is 25 to 50 mg.
Vitamin B2 – works in the same way as vitamin B1. Foods containing vitamin B2 include milk, peas, and whole grains. Take 25 to 50 mg daily.
Vitamin B3 – works like vitamins B1 and B2. Take 50 to 100 mg daily. You can find it in potatoes, meats, and peanuts.
Vitamin B9 – helps in serotonin synthesis in the brain. Found in spinach, citrus, whole grain food, and peas. Take 800 mcg daily.
Vitamin B12 – helps in the production of myelin, a sheath around neurons in the brain. The right amounts of this vitamin help in the production of adenosyl-methionine, an amino acid that contributes to improving a patient’s mood and mental sharpness. Together with vitamin B9, it ensures maximum production of the amino acid. Vitamin B12 also aids in the proper synthesis of S-adenosyl-methionine which improves concentration, mental alertness and helps the patient to develop a sense of well-being.
Vitamin B6 – helps in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin. It also makes it easier for magnesium to enter the brain.
Vitamin B seems to be the superpower among natural serotonin vitamins. It is advisable to use vitamins and supplements to alleviate ADHD symptoms, especially if they are all natural.