A University of Canterbury researcher believes nutrients could help treat and contain ADHD in adults who may not be able to tolerate medications.
The findings of the study were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry recently and found nutrients were significantly better than placebos in the treatment of ADHD.
The discovery may open new doors for many children, families and adults across the country if it can be replicated in other trials, says Professor Julia Rucklidge.
"It will help in treatment options for children with ADHD who may not tolerate medications or do not respond to the first line treatments.
"If supported by further studies, micronutrients may become a viable and acceptable treatment option for many families."
Prof Rucklidge is part of a research group studying the effects of micronutrients on a range of different symptoms, including depression, sleep and addictions.
"Although some practitioners have been using micronutrients to treat mental illness for many decades the research has been scant or non-existent," she says.
"Many consumers and practitioners vouch for micronutrients as a treatment for all kinds of ailments, but too often their support is based on anecdotal evidence that is not backed by rigorous scientific approaches."
The trial is the first to successfully show that nutrients can be beneficial for ADHD sufferers, as others have been overshadowed by the placebo effect. It will need to be repeated, however, before practitioners can start using the evidence as advice.
Prof Rucklidge is currently recruiting for another trial, this one looking at children and ADHD.