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Old 12-16-08, 12:50 PM
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Question Vitamins?

I keep reading on here about Omega 3's and other vitamins to take, but do they all work for everyone?

What about Vitamin B12? Or Vitamin C?
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Old 12-16-08, 01:34 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

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Originally Posted by ndnbutterfly View Post
I keep reading on here about Omega 3's and other vitamins to take, but do they all work for everyone?

What about Vitamin B12? Or Vitamin C?
The only supplement that has *any* research showing the possibility of effectiveness is Omega 3 and that is still in the preliminary stages of research.

The rest of the vitamins and other supplements have, for the most part, been shown not to be effective for the treatment of ADHD.

I wish it was other. It would be nice to have a non stimulant over the counter treatment but alas we do not.

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Old 12-16-08, 02:54 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

I've heard of some people responding well to specific vitamins in large doses like Vitamin B1 (tiamine). But in general, they are not efficacious for ADHD treatment, and there is little or no research to support their use.

However, I've seen some studies demonstrating vitamin supplementing being beneficial for overall cognition and learning. This is especially true in cases of deficiency. They are cheap, readily available, and benign so I don't see why not go give them a try. You also might want to try a multi mineral, or a multi vitamin/mineral combination. A vitamin B complex is another thing to try.

Of note, is that energy drinks commonly combine caffeine with B vitamins (and other vitamins too sometimes). I feel like the two are synergestic for helping with cognition and overall energy level. I bet it could really help combining ADHD stimulants with vitamins, especially the B vitamins. Just beware of taking vitamin C as obviously it might interfere with absorption. And read up on the potential toxicity of certain vitamins/minerals if megadosing, especially Vitamin A and iron.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:09 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

I agree with the posts here. Omega 3's are always good, especially since most people don't eat an adequate amount of fish. Deficiency can cause ADHD like symptoms, depression, and some other bad stuff.

Most nutritionists I have talked to have recommended B12 and B6 for energy, but I don't notice much of a difference even with mega doses. You didn't mention energy being a problem though.

I read a statistic the other day that over 60% of the U.S. population is deficient in magnesium which is involved with certain transmissions in the brain. Can't remember which. Some people here seem to have a consensus that magnesium is good to take if you're adhd or on meds. Also, if you decide to get magneisum supplements do some research on the most effective type. Some absorb well and others not well at all.

Multi-vitamins are always good every now and then. Too many people don't have a diversified enough diet.

Also, like the above poster, be careful of Iron and Vitamin A. They can be very toxic.

Also, something interesting of note that I was reading in a nutrition science reference journal in the library, in a study conducted they found that high amounts of vitamin C and certain metals (in particularly Iron and Copper) had a significant oxidative effect on cells. Oxidative is bad. But when the metals aren't present Vitamin C has a noticeable anti-oxidive effect.

If you're a male, some nutritionists would say to try to get a multi-vitamin without iron, only because they assume that since you're male that you consume more meat. But anyway, if you consume a lot of meat (regardless of sex) or an adequate amount, then maybe you want to consider getting a multi-vitamin without iron in it. One-A-Day Men's Health seems to have only a little bit of iron, or maybe none at all.
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Old 12-19-08, 04:35 AM
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Re: Vitamins?

"The only supplement that has *any* research showing the possibility of effectiveness is Omega 3 and that is still in the preliminary stages of research."

This is not correct. There is research (double-blind clinical trials in humans) indexed on medline supporting the effectiveness of phosphatidylserine (PS) and also B-6/mg.

Just remember that with ADHD, what works for one person may not work for another. Even drugs like Ritalin and Adderall do not work for some. PS "cures" my ADHD. It has helped some of my friends also, but doesn't work at all for others.
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Old 12-19-08, 10:26 AM
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Re: Vitamins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwurm2 View Post
"The only supplement that has *any* research showing the possibility of effectiveness is Omega 3 and that is still in the preliminary stages of research."

This is not correct. There is research (double-blind clinical trials in humans) indexed on medline supporting the effectiveness of phosphatidylserine (PS) and also B-6/mg.

Just remember that with ADHD, what works for one person may not work for another. Even drugs like Ritalin and Adderall do not work for some. PS "cures" my ADHD. It has helped some of my friends also, but doesn't work at all for others.
Could you post a pointer or search terms. I searched on phosphatidylserine and ADHD and did not find anything. Doesn't mean that it is not there, just that I did not find it.


It would surprise me however if there was no research ongoing on non stimulant treatments. There is, for many in the field, a strong interest in finding another avenue for treating ADHD. It would be wonderful if one could be found.

I overstated when I used the term "any" and I do stand corrected. (I knew what I meant, why didn't everybody else?). I should have said something along the order of 'validated studies" in that they have been published in peer reviewed journals and have been replicated in peer reviewed studies.

Also, I agree and have stated often in the past that it is very likely that, with some individuals, alternative treatments work for often they do. I also recommend regularly that if it works for you and does no harm, then keep on.

Science however, in this type of research works with groups of subjects, the larger the better.

In any case, thanks for your correction. It was appreciated.

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Old 12-19-08, 10:39 AM
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Re: Vitamins?

So do you think it would be ok to take B-12 (1000mg) timed release along with my Adderall?
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Old 12-19-08, 02:42 PM
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Arrow Re: Vitamins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizfriz View Post
Could you post a pointer or search terms. I searched on phosphatidylserine and ADHD and did not find anything. Doesn't mean that it is not there, just that I did not find it.
The best place to START searching for academic research on any topic is here: http://scholar.google.com/

Here's a google scholar search for phosphatidylserine ADHD, there are plenty of hits

Marginal research still shows up in this engine, but for the most part, the articles here have been peer-reviewed and are usually lacking in purely anecdotal evidence (i.e., weak).

There is peer-reviewed research on many of the supplements showing up in this forum. In the interest of fairness, you can draw your own conclusions. As a promoter of science and scientific literacy, I am more than willing to change my belief about a substance if good research shows my belief is wrong or right.

You MAY have to pay for some of the articles, but the abstract (summary) often has enough information to be useful. Sometimes I paste the entire abstract into the 'real' google search engine and find someone who has posted a personal copy. In the past three years, I've paid for a few articles for good research on stuff before I stuck it in my body(every med I'm on, every supplement I've considered) , frequently the article cost is less than a month's cost of a supplement.

I don't trust regular Google searches on health issues, especially on stuff I put into my mouth.

Many times, if you 'pull the thread,' regular google postings on a topic, ALL cite the same original article that may be based on useless data. I call this the google lemming fallacy. Just because there are 5 million google hits on "carrying rocks on the top of your head cures ingrown toenails," does not mean it's true.

"The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data" - my boss
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Old 12-19-08, 03:46 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowmix View Post
The best place to START searching for academic research on any topic is here: http://scholar.google.com/

Here's a google scholar search for phosphatidylserine ADHD, there are plenty of hits

Marginal research still shows up in this engine, but for the most part, the articles here have been peer-reviewed and are usually lacking in purely anecdotal evidence (i.e., weak).

There is peer-reviewed research on many of the supplements showing up in this forum. In the interest of fairness, you can draw your own conclusions. As a promoter of science and scientific literacy, I am more than willing to change my belief about a substance if good research shows my belief is wrong or right.

You MAY have to pay for some of the articles, but the abstract (summary) often has enough information to be useful. Sometimes I paste the entire abstract into the 'real' google search engine and find someone who has posted a personal copy. In the past three years, I've paid for a few articles for good research on stuff before I stuck it in my body(every med I'm on, every supplement I've considered) , frequently the article cost is less than a month's cost of a supplement.

I don't trust regular Google searches on health issues, especially on stuff I put into my mouth.

Many times, if you 'pull the thread,' regular google postings on a topic, ALL cite the same original article that may be based on useless data. I call this the google lemming fallacy. Just because there are 5 million google hits on "carrying rocks on the top of your head cures ingrown toenails," does not mean it's true.

"The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data" - my boss
Very good post.

While not an expert, one of my missions on this forum is to teach the basics principles of science research so parents can look at the different studies and claims that come out and put them in some kind of realistic prospective. The arcane ways of Science are not always easy to comprehend and so many cannot understand why different treatments are not accepted. I understand how they feel and hope to keep helping them learn.

I feel that one of the major issues here is that it really takes a good bit of advanced training to critique studies as to how well they are done and their impact. I feel that it really takes a clinical doc and post graduate research training to do it well.

I have just the normal training one receives in grad school and do not feel myself at all qualified to do this Being the lazy person I am, I usually take my research from survey articles and let others do the hard work and I take the benefit of their efforts. Sliding into slothful ways perhaps but a small sin which I very much enjoy in my old age.

To date me, I usually use medline to check on articles and did not think of Google. Does Psychlit still exist? The world changes and it is at times hard to keep up.

Anyway, liked the post and tend to agree.

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Old 12-19-08, 06:24 PM
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Arrow Re: Vitamins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizfriz View Post
Very good post.

While not an expert, one of my missions on this forum is to teach the basics principles of science research so parents can look at the different studies and claims that come out and put them in some kind of realistic prospective. The arcane ways of Science are not always easy to comprehend and so many cannot understand why different treatments are not accepted. I understand how they feel and hope to keep helping them learn.

I feel that one of the major issues here is that it really takes a good bit of advanced training to critique studies as to how well they are done and their impact.
You don't need to be a scientist to understand a study (see footnote) I agree the technical stuff about the neurotransmitters, etc is over most people's head, but the methods of studies are easy to suss out to see if the structure of the study is sufficient to back the claim.

Here are a few tips to help interpret the quality of a study:

* Best : Peer-reviewed placebo-controlled double-blind experiment in leading journal

* Blinding means neither the subject or the experimenter or the observer knows if the subject is in the control, treatment, or placebo groups

* Control groups either receive a placebo (sugar pill) or pill with known effectiveness (aspirin for pain, stimulant for ADHD).

* Sample size of over 75. The bigger the better.

* Less than 25% 'drop out rate' - the dropouts are 'invisible.' High dropout rates ruin studies

* Does the study ask a testable question? (Can results be measured by anyone using the methods described in the study, and thus the study be reproducible.)

Studies that are questionable:

* Open label studies (the people taking the stuff knew what they were taking (were not 'blinded))

* Low sample size is bad

* High dropout rate is bad because those who don't report results may have quit because nothing happened (or it worked). We just don't know.

* Self - selected (people knew what the study was and signed up for it)

* Self - reported (the people who took the drugs/placebo report how they feel)

* Observer/data collector knows if the subject is getting the drug/placebo

* Tooth fairy studies : "You could measure how much money the Tooth Fairy leaves under the pillow, whether she leaves more cash for the first or last tooth, whether the payoff is greater if you leave the tooth in a plastic baggie versus wrapped in Kleenex. You can get all kinds of good data that is reproducible and statistically significant. Yes, you have learned something. But you haven’t learned what you think you’ve learned, because you haven’t bothered to establish whether the Tooth Fairy really exists."

Footnote: You don’t have to be a scientist to use the scientific method, it’s a way of thinking anyone can use. In 1996, eleven-year-old Emily Rosa became the youngest person to have a research paper published in a peer-reviewed medical journal — the April 1996 Journal of the American Medical Association. Rosa performed a study testing the claimed med ability of twenty-one Therapeutic Touch practitioners to detect and manipulate energy or aura. She was nine when she ran the experiment and eleven at publication. For the study, Rosa sat behind a screen and had Therapeutic Touch practitioners place gloved hands through holes in the screen. Rosa tossed a coin to decide if she would place her own hand close to the practitioner’s left or right hand. Her hypothesis was that if the practitioners could feel and manipulate energy or auras, they could feel her aura when her has was next to theirs, and should be able to identify which hand was closest to Rosa’s. The results showed the practitioner’s responses were no better than guessing. Rosa concluded the practitioners were not able to detect an energy field. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Rosa )
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Old 12-20-08, 09:44 AM
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Re: Vitamins?

Chowmix

This was a very good post. Well said and accurate. I will keep it for as an informational reference for use when the need arises.

Dizfriz
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Old 12-20-08, 01:03 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

Thank you, Dizfriz
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Old 12-20-08, 04:43 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

I agree that having studies published in peer review journals add relevancy to any claim but they should not be used as a litmus test to determine whether a supplement can be beneficial.

For expensive medications with many side effects this level of research is a must (and required by the FDA), but for low cost supplements, there will probably never be this amount of research. There is not enough incentive for anyone to take on the research and no large corporation is focused on driving the research.
For instance, the magnesium supplements that I take cost about $10 for a years supply. Even if I had made a mistake on trying this out, it would have only cost me $3.99 for the first bottle.

Other people's experience is probably the best bet in choosing the right supplements. So my advise is to look for supplements that most commonly come to the top of the list. Omega 3's and Magnesium seem to be widely used for helping with ADD. I take both and they help me. I've also tried several others but most others don't seem to help me. You can always try a few other and throw them out if you don't see any noticeable changes. I still a have a few that I still need to try.
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Old 12-20-08, 04:48 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

"Could you post a pointer or search terms. I searched on phosphatidylserine and ADHD and did not find anything. Doesn't mean that it is not there, just that I did not find it."

When I perform the same search, I get 5 hits, all of which are on point. This is not a lot, but is more then nothing. "ADHD" isn't the universally accepted descriptor for the disorder, so you can find more results by searching for other keywords such as "deficit" instead of "ADHD."

Also, most of the research is not specific to ADHD. Search on just phosphatidylserine limiting your results to "clinical trials" to obtain more results not specific to ADHD, but still of relevance.

To obtain FDA approval as a drug requires years of very expensive research. It take many millions of dollars. Companies are only willing to perform these studies and underwrite these drugs for proprietary substances that they can patent. The patent gives them a time-limited monopoly on profiting from the drug. This is not a conspiracy or anything of that sort--companies simply invest money in research into which they will obtain a good return.

As a result there is not very much research into non-proprietary, non-patentable substances. We are mainly dependent on grant money (private or public for that) and these funding sources are usually not sufficient for well-designed studies with a good sample size. Instead we get a scattering of small studies of varying design which then conclude that more research should be done to confirm their results.

If we wait for the kind of studies needed for FDA drug approval, we may be waiting a long, long time.

I am very picky about taking supplements. I will not take something until I spend many hours reading about it on pubmed and elsewhere to confirm first that it is safe (no or minmal health risks), and second that it is likely to be effective (would work for what I want to take it for).

I did not find sufficient literature indicating, to my satisfaction, that PS was effective. I was able to satisfy myself that PS was reasonably safe, but because I didn't have good evidence that it was effective, intially this was not enough to make me buy it.

But, after following the long PS threads on alternative and complimentary medicine forum adhdnews.com, I finally decided to try it on the basis of the "anecdotal" evidence presented. This was a first for me and I saw it as being analagous to buying a lottery ticket. I expected that it probably would not do anything, or if it did, it wouldn't be nearly as effective as the Ritalin I was taking. I was completely unprepared for how well PS worked. It worked much better then my wildest expectations.

The only thing that has disappointed me about PS is the inconsistency between brands. 100 mg of PS should be 100 mg of PS, but some brands do not work at all. When it "works" for me the effect is very noticeable.
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Old 12-20-08, 06:08 PM
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Re: Vitamins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwurm2 View Post
"Could you post a pointer or search terms. I searched on phosphatidylserine and ADHD and did not find anything. Doesn't mean that it is not there, just that I did not find it."

When I perform the same search, I get 5 hits, all of which are on point. This is not a lot, but is more then nothing. "ADHD" isn't the universally accepted descriptor for the disorder, so you can find more results by searching for other keywords such as "deficit" instead of "ADHD."

Also, most of the research is not specific to ADHD. Search on just phosphatidylserine limiting your results to "clinical trials" to obtain more results not specific to ADHD, but still of relevance.
.....

I did not find sufficient literature indicating, to my satisfaction, that PS was effective. I was able to satisfy myself that PS was reasonably safe, but because I didn't have good evidence that it was effective, intially this was not enough to make me buy it.
All good points. Research showing there is no harm in the supplement when taken for other uses is valuable.

It's not surprising there isn't much research on use of some approaches for ADHD because either there is not much of a market OR researchers have not found a need to explore. To receive funding, research must have some sort of plausible mechanism or means to explain how the substance will effect a particular disorder. I.E.,some ingredient in the substance is being zeroed in on to support a particular CAM claim.
Barriers to funding would be:

* Market
* No explicable explanation for results

The only ones left to fund experiments would be either:

* Manufacturers of the supplement
* Government agencies, like the NCCAM agency.

While some in the medical arena are disappointed that the NCCAM is funding studies without plausible mechanism, for the foreseeable future, the NCCAM IS sponsoring such studies. They have a page that might help you evaluate medical information found on the web.
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