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Magnesium and ADHD
This article is from The Open Line Website Messages for the NOW Generation in the feature Health Matters in the December 2001 Issue.
“A positive influence of magnesium in the prevention and treatment of hyperactivity in children is more and more frequently raised in the literature,” began Polish researchers Kozielec and Starobrat-Hermelin in the first of two articles they published in the June 1997 issue of Magnesium Research magazine. The researchers proceeded to unveil the results of two studies conducted to examine the relationship between dietary magnesium and hyperactivity symptoms, which they refer to as “ADHD syndrome”.
In the first study, magnesium levels in 116 children with “recognized ADHD” were compared to normal magnesium levels for their age group; in the second, 75 “ADHD” children who had been found magnesium-deficient were divided into a magnesium supplementation group and a control group and the results compared after six months. The children in the first study ranged in age from 9 – 12, of which 82% were boys. Magnesium levels were determined in blood serum, red blood cells and in hair with the aid of atomic absorption spectroscopy. Magnesium deficiency was found in 95% of those examined.
“The conclusion from the investigation is that magnesium deficiency in children with ADHD occurs more frequently than in healthy children. Analysis of the material indicated the correlation between levels of magnesium and the quotient of development to freedom from distractibility.” In the second study, “the aim of our work was to assess the influence of magnesium supplementation on hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.” The investigation started with 75 children, aged 7 – 12 years, who fulfilled DSM IV criteria for ADHD, with recognized deficiency of magnesium in the blood (blood serum and red blood cells) and in hair based on atomic absorption spectroscopy results.
50 of the children were given daily magnesium supplementation of about 200 mg. while the remaining 25 were “treated in a standard way, without magnesium preparations.” Hyperactivity was assessed with the aid of psychometric scales: the Conners Rating Scale for Parents and Teachers, Wender’s Scale of Behavior and the Quotient of Development to Freedom from Distractibility. In the group of children given 6 months of magnesium supplementation, an increase in magnesium content in the hair and a significant decrease in hyperactivity was reported, compared to their clinical stare before supplementation and compared to the control group which had not been treated with magnesium. “At the same time, however, among the children given standard treatment without magnesium, hyperactivity has intensified.”