Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


Zinc and ADHD

Zinc and ADHD

Zinc and ADHD

Zinc and ADHD

Original Publish Date: 4/9/22


When I became a nutritional therapist, I wanted to work with children. But I realized I needed to work with parents to help things trickle down to the children.


My heart is always with our children, and I will always go the extra mile to help the younger generation. Here are some free resources:



I also share a lot of my parenting books on my Amazon book page (scroll to the bottom of the book list).


Pro tip: if you’re an avid reader or audiobook consumer, check out your local library. You can access a lot for free.


Zinc and ADHD Study

Long ago, I read books on ADHD, ADD, and the role of pharmaceutical companies in pushing the diagnosis. One of the books was ADHD Nation by Alan Schwarz. It was chilling.


“In this powerful, necessary book, Alan Schwarz exposes the dirty secrets of the growing ADHD epidemic” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), including how the father of ADHD, Dr. Keith Conners, spent fifty years advocating drugs like Ritalin before realizing his role in what he now calls “a national disaster of dangerous proportions”; a troubled young girl and a studious teenage boy get entangled in the growing ADHD machine and take medications that backfire horribly; and big Pharma egregiously over-promotes the disorder and earns billions from the mishandling of children (and now adults).”


“While demonstrating that ADHD is real and can be medicated when appropriate, Schwarz sounds a long-overdue alarm and urges America to address this growing national health crisis.” (New York Magazine)


Ritalin was originally made to calm housewives and then recommended for children who acted up in classrooms. Maybe our children were never meant to sit for 8 hours a day. 


Many families use amphetamines during the day and Mountain Dew or coffee at night to calm their children. A lot of the diagnosis comes from the teachers and is then confirmed by psychiatrists. 


What if we worked on the diet first? 


Two studies show that zinc and iron may help (but not fully conclusive) with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders. The first study from 2011, “Zinc for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Pilot Trial Alone and Combined with Amphetamine” demonstrated that there were some benefits to supplementing zinc. 

It’s not perfect but they also noted that there were a lot of uncontrolled variables, such as diet and preexisting conditions. 


The second systematic review in 2021: “The Role of Iron and Zinc in the Treatment of ADHD among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials” showed some promises with zinc but that additional research is needed. 


What if we tried a meat-based diet with additional zinc supplementation? 


Most of the neurotransmitters will properly be fed with adequate amino acids (assuming they are properly utilized and absorbed by the body) and fatty acids (cholesterol-rich foods). You can read my microblog on the Unhappy gut = Unhappy brain


Not everything needs to be medicated, especially as the first defense. Sometimes children want to be dancers or a lover of arts. They probably aren’t meant to sit in classrooms. 


There are risks with amphetamines: 



It’s tricky as people struggling with ADHD struggle with anxiety and depression, and may generally have a higher susceptibility to substance abuse. This is also one of the arguments used for the relative safety of these amphetamine medications. 

There’s no easy answer but always start with the gut and nutrition. Always.


In health,


Nutrition with Judy


  • Hélène
    October 15, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    Putting kids on amphetamines is sick
    Full stop

  • SHelene
    October 15, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you so much for this!! I’ve said for years it makes no senses to drug kids into compliance, when you can let them move around and they will learn better with out the side effects of drugs!

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