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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jen

ADHD is it a symptom or a disease?

ADHD is it a symptom or a disease? I think of it more of a symptom, a label of impaired methylation and root causes that need to be addressed.

However, because it is labeled as a disease, like many things we can treat with a pharmaceutical drug. But what if you didn't have to medicate?

Let's discuss methylation:

We need methylation for so many cellular processes. Including fat metabolism, immune responses, energy production, cell membrane repair and vascular health.


It can also have an impact on detox and hormones. The methylation cycle is involved in neurotransmitter production and metabolism. ♻️ Cancer, autism, ADHD, congenital and neural tube defects, cognitive decline, depression, cardiovascular disease, and schizophrenia have been linked to methylation defects. 😱

Methyl groups are transferred from cell to cell and can turn genes on and off. Vitamins, minerals and amino acids act as cofactors for these important functions to happen!

Supporting methylation means providing correct co-factors that are needed for the different enzymatic pathways.

These include:


🌀Fe, Iron

🌀Zn, Zinc

🌀Mg, Magnesium



🌀B6 (pyridoxine)

🌀B9 (folate)

🌀B12 (cobalamin)

These are best acquired through a healthy diet! Lots of green vegetables and leafy greens!

For supplements I think magnesium is great for everyone (unless you have kidney disease talk with your specialist), a B vitamin complex (look for methylated folate), and zinc. Iron and choline are easier to get in your diet. If you are feeling anxious on high dose B vitamins- back down and listen to your body! You could be over-methylating.

My favorite Methylated B Vitamin is here.

Environmental exposures?

A study in Pediatrics found that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. There will need to be more studied, however this is very concerning! Try to avoid organophosphates which are found in common pesticides used in your garden and farms. Stay NO to roundup! (If you have even been to my house- we do have weeds and I embrace them! I don't want my children or pets walking around in a neurotoxin!)

source: Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):e1270-7. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3058. Epub 2010 May 17. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and urinary metabolites of organophosphate pesticides. Bouchard MF1, Bellinger DC, Wright RO, Weisskopf MG.

Did you know flame resistant pajamas contained chemicals linked to ADHD. 😱

Yeppers. Polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants (PBDEs) which are found in children's pajamas, other clothing and furniture are pretty toxic!

For pjs we wear snug fitting 100% cotton jammies!

Also, make sure you wash your children's clothing (and yours!) before you wear it! Chemicals can be present on the clothing and washing it before wear will help remove it!

What are some other ways to help with ADHD symptoms?

There are studies that show children with ADHD show improvement with the addition of exercise.

While schools are cutting back on PE and using taking away recess as a punishment for bad behavior this is doing a great disservice to our children.

30 - 45 minutes a day is recommended, if you children does not want to participate in a team sport, just get them outside and moving. There will still needs to be more research but it is also suggested that having children out in nature for this physical activity will benefit even more!

Other supplements?

The omega-3 fatty acids derived from marine animals primarily consist of EPA and DHA, and, therefore, serve as good dietary sources of DHA. The only rich sources are cold water fish including anchovies, herring, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and sardines, cod liver oil, and other fish oils. Dietary sources of omega-3 are not plentiful in plant foods with the exceptions of flax and chia seeds, and are found in small amounts in walnuts, arugula, purslane, free-range chicken eggs and grass-fed animals and their milk. The omega-3 fatty acids derived from plants consist of the shorter precursor n-3 PUFA, ALA. DHA can be synthesized from ALA in the liver, however these conversion rates are low, sometimes less than 7%. If you are vegan using plant derived sources you will need a higher dose of flax seeds (freshly ground) or chia seeds to obtain the same benefit as marine sources omega-3s.

At present, the recommended daily dietary intakes of ALA and of EPA and DHA in combination are 1,200 and 500 mg. These recommended dietary levels are achieved by less than one-third of the North American population, mainly because the North American diet has low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. Those with neurological, cognitive or psychiatric disorders have been shown to have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than controls..

What about a supplement that works with the brain? Calm focus is that supplement! The nervous system contains neurons responsible for processing and transmitting information using neurotransmitters and electrical ion channels. Neurotransmitter receptors are the gateways for communication between nerve cells. Neurotransmitter imbalance is one of the consequences of high stress. The ingredients in Calm Focus support balance of neurotransmitters while promoting calming focus.

To summarize!

Look for root causes: gut health, environmental exposures, and genetic SNPS.

Get on the correct supplements to support the body properly!

Omega-3 (or Liquid Omega-3) , Methyl B, and Calm Focus can help! Make sure to work with your doctor!

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