Rationale for Dietary Antioxidant Treatment of ADHD
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Laboratory of Nutrition and Functional Food Science, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1 (A104), 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Cell Biology and Immunology Group, Wageningen University, De Elst 1 Building 122, 6709 PG Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040405
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and the Function of the Central Nervous System)
Increasing understanding arises regarding disadvantages of stimulant medication in children with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This review presents scientific findings supporting dietary antioxidant treatment of ADHD and describes substantial alterations in the immune system, epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and oxidative stress regulation in ADHD. As a result, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress could develop, which can lead to ADHD symptoms, for example by chronic T-cell-mediated neuroinflammation, as well as by neuronal oxidative damage and loss of normal cerebral functions. Therefore, modulation of immune system activity and oxidant-antioxidant balance using nutritional approaches might have potential in ADHD treatment. The use of natural antioxidants against oxidative conditions is an emerging field in the management of neurodegenerative diseases. Dietary polyphenols, for example, have antioxidant capacities as well as immunoregulatory effects and, therefore, appear appropriate in ADHD therapy. This review can stimulate the development and investigation of dietary antioxidant treatment in ADHD, which is highly desired.