Alpha Lipoic Acid and ADHD

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant found naturally in both animals and plants. Unlike other antioxidants, ie vitamin C (water-soluble) and vitamin E (fat-soluble), it is able to function in both aqueous (water) and fat environment.

Another interesting fact is that it has the potential to reactivate other antioxidants, such as vitamin C or vitamin E, after they have scavenged free radicals, and render themselves inactive.

Alpha lipoic acid plays an important role in the detoxification system. It is the precursor to L-cysteine and recycler of glutathione, which is another detoxification antioxidant that eliminated toxins from the body. It also has the ability to increase glutathione levels into the body.

How does it help with ADHD symptoms?

Symptoms of ADHD and other developmental disorders are thought to be the result of high levels of heavy metal acquired through either exposure to heavy metals or an inefficient detoxification system. The most common suspects of heavy metals are mercury and lead. Both are notorious for their detrimental neurotoxicity on young developing brains.

Small amount of mercury occurs naturally in the environment. However, with industrialization, factories are dumping of massive amounts of mercury-containing waste products in nearby lakes and rivers, and into our water supply and food chain. Mercury is also found in many processed food in the form of additives and preservatives.

Lead is found mostly in old buildings constructed with lead paint and lead pipes. As a result, children living in such buildings are inevitably exposed to it. Lead may also be found in toys made in foreign countries that do not have stringent safety regulations as the United States.

Alpha lipoic acid relieves ADHD symptoms through mitigation and chelation of heavy metal toxicity. Because it can work in both aqueous and fat medium, it can eliminate toxins from any body tissues. Many developmental disorders, such as ADHD, autism, apraxia, etc are suspected to be result of heavy metal toxicity, especially those found commonly in the mercury-containing immunization shots.

Food sources

  • Beets
  • Broccoli

• Brussel sprouts

  • Organ meats
  • Red meat

• Peas

• Spinach

• Tomatoes

Dosage for supplementation

Because alpha lipoic acid is not considered a vitamin, there is no recommended dose from the US Food and Drug Administration. No adverse effect has been reported on high doses of up to 600mg per day for adult. Dose of 50-100mg is good place to start.

As always, check with your child’s registered dietitian for proper dosage.

Possible side effects

• Nausea and vomiting, and headache with high doses or when given intravenously.

• May decrease effectiveness of chemotherapy as an antioxidant.

• May increase effectiveness of medication to control blood glucose.

As always consult a registered dietitian and/or physician who are familiar with dietary or nutritional supplements and working with children with developmental disorders. Avoid implementing trials of these supplements on your own. Some of these supplements may interact with your medication and some require closing monitoring of a pair of experienced eyes.