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Pharmacotherapies have been the main line of treatment for over half of children suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders despite that the core symptoms of these disorders are not addressed with medications. On the other hand, medications for autism, ADD, and ADHD have numerous side effects (dyskinesias, dystonic reactions, tremors, seizures, drowsiness, irritability, appetite loss, vomiting, social withdrawal, and even sudden deaths – plus, increased risks of developing obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and thyroid disorders. Fortunately, supplements for neurodevelopmental disorders can offer great relief. This blog highlights those supplements helping decrease autism, ADD, and ADHD symptoms.

Can Supplements Decrease Symptoms of a Disorder?

Supplements have been used as complementary therapies for numerous conditions for decades. As a matter of fact, the term nutraceutical, which includes supplements, came about from combining “nutrition” and “pharmaceutics.” Nutraceutical applies to products using herbs, dietary supplements (nutrients), and foods used for medicinal purposes. Several natural products have been demonstrated to have therapeutic effects and rarely harmful side effects. Let’s look into supplements for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Supplements Helping Decrease Symptoms of Autism, ADD, and ADHD

Let’s start with the base – all the elemental supplements that everyone should be taking in order to optimize their health:

Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement

Taking a multivitamin/multimineral supplement is crucial for maintaining overall health. It serves as a convenient way to fill in any nutritional gaps. Taking a multi ensures that the body receives adequate amounts of nutrients vital for physiological processes, such as immune function, energy production, and healthy growth and development.

Taking a multivitamin/multimineral supplement is even more important for those with health conditions, dietary restrictions, and nutritional deficiencies. Studies show that children with neurodevelopmental disorders are more likely than other children to suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

The following are some high-quality multivitamins for children with neurodevelopmental disorders:


Gut health is primordial since it directly impacts the brain, immune system, mood, and gastrointestinal health. This is why everyone should be eating fermented foods and supplementing with probiotics. It is seen that children with neurodevelopmental disorders exhibit a dysregulated gut microbiome composition. Since the role of probiotics in neurohealth is so grand, the term “psychobiotics” emerged in 2013 as a class of probiotics with potential applications in treating psychiatric diseases and neurocomplications.

Research shows that probiotic supplementation interacts with gut bacteria, reducing intestinal inflammation, restoring abnormal GI microbiota, and improving adaptive functioning (daily living, social, and communication skills), sensory processing, and cognitive functioning.

Studies show that the severity of autism and GI symptoms improved after a 3-month intervention with 8 probiotic strains (S. thermophiles DSM 24731, B. breve DSM 24732, B. longum DSM 24736, B. infantis DSM 24737, L. acidophilus DSM 24735, L. plantarum DSM 24730, L. paracasei DSM 24733, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus DSM 24734 – products Vivomixx and Visbiome contain the same 8 strains of probiotics).

High-Quality Probiotics:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Another supplement that helps decrease autism, ADD, and ADHD symptoms is omega-3 fatty acids. They are found in fish oil and have been linked to improved cognitive function and focus. It is seen that individuals with ADHD have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Research shows that supplementation with fish oils (EPA and DHA) alleviates symptoms in some children and has even been beneficial for academic achievement.

High-Quality Omega-3 Fatty Acids:


These compounds are found abundantly in plants. Curcumin, resveratrol, catechins (like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), flavonoids (anthocyanins, luteolin), and polyphenolic compounds are some examples of polyphenols. Long-term consumption of diets rich in polyphenols regulates immune responses and mitochondrial activity while protecting against certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal problems, lung damage, and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Studies show that supplementing with a daily oral formulation of quercetin, luteolin, and quercetin glycoside rutin significantly improved communication and concentration while reducing abnormal behaviors in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Research on luteolin (flavonoid with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, and neuroprotective properties) shows that a mixture of luteolin with quercetin improved allergies in about 75% of children, eye contact and attention in 50%, social interaction in 25%, and speech in about 10% of children with neurodevelopmental conditions.

Other scientists have studied curcumin and their results indicate that curcumin enhances sociability and restores neurological, behavioral, biochemical, and molecular changes associated with autistic symptomatology. It also mitigates disturbed levels of oxidative stress in the cerebellum and the hippocampus.

High-Quality Polyphenol Supplements:

Amino Acids

Amino acids are molecules used to make proteins and are found in protein-rich foods such as steak, quinoa, eggs, turkey, fish, mushrooms, cheese, beans, etc. Fortunately, amino acid supplementation is possible for those finicky eaters. Research shows that an amino acid blend of glutamine and taurine provides benefits by decreasing symptoms while tryptophan helps improve sleeping cycles.

N-dimethylglycine (DMG) is another amino acid of importance – manufactured as vitamin B15. Research has shown it to be statistically effective in reducing hyperactivity, irritability, inappropriate speech, and lethargy, as well as improving eating willingness. Additionally, a combination of DMG, pyridoxal HCL (vitamin B6), and magnesium improved areas of behavior, communication, sociability, and cognitive/sensory awareness.

High-Quality Amino Acids:

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for the bones and teeth, the immune system, brain health, inflammation regulation, and more. Fortunately, you don’t need to supplement if you take enough sunlight daily since the body produces vitamin D through the sun. Yet, vitamin D deficiency has been seen in children with ADHD, ADD, and autism.

Research shows that after vitamin D3 supplementation, there were improvements in attention and impulsivity. Plus, symptom scores were significantly reduced on the Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).

Benefits of vitamin D

High-Quality Vitamin D Supplements:

Now that we got the basics out of the way. Let’s look into specific supplements that have been studied and are helping decrease autism, ADD, and ADHD symptoms:


Magnesium is another supplement for neurodevelopmental disorders. This mineral plays a key role in many aspects of our health, including brain, nerve, and muscle function, regulates blood pressure, and supports the immune system.

Research shows that magnesium helps improve attention and reduce hyperactivity. Plus, supplementing magnesium with vitamin D helps reduce conduct problems, social problems, and anxiety/shyness scores.

High-Quality Magnesium Supplements:

N-AcetylCysteine (NAC)

N-AcetylCysteine is another supplement helping decrease autism, ADD, and ADHD symptoms. NAC is necessary to make and replenish glutathione – one of your body’s most important antioxidants supporting immune function, toxin elimination, and free radical neutralization. It can also play a role in preventing cancer.

Research shows that N-acetylcysteine helps reduce hyperactivity and enhances social awareness. Plus, a systematic review of the literature concluded that N-acetylcysteine was shown to exert a beneficial effect on symptoms of irritability.

High-Quality NAC Supplements:


Zinc is an antioxidant that plays a role in immune function and childhood development, and contributes to wound healing and the manufacturing of proteins and DNA. Zinc is also deficient in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Studies show that zinc supplementation increases cognitive-motor performance and serum metallothionein concentration, which plays a crucial role in metal homeostasis, detoxification (heavy metal detox), and protection against oxidative stress. 

High-Quality Zinc Supplements:


EDTA ( EthyleneDiamineTetraAcetic Acid) is a natural substance that can be safely administered in humans. It is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier of toxic heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, and mercury.

This is essential for children with autism, ADD, and ADHD since these disorders are associated with environmental toxicity and higher vaccination rates. Furthermore, EDTA is published to inhibit or block completely the toxic effects of almost all snake venom phosphodiesterases in the body.


L-theanine is another supplement for neurodevelopmental disorders. It’s a powerful compound found in green tea, matcha, Gyokuro, and Oolong tea. Research shows that L-theanine tea has calming effects, and helps improve focus, cortisol levels, and sleep patterns. It also positively affects sensory responsivity, motor coordination, and manual dexterity in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Other studies revealed that using 300 mg/kg of green tea extract offers neuronal protection against harmful agents, reduces oxidative stress, and significantly improves behavioral assessments in children with neurodevelopmental issues.

High-Quality L-Theanine Supplements:

Green tea – another supplement for neurodevelopmental disorders

Ginkgo Biloba

Another supplement helping decrease autism, ADD, and ADHD symptoms is ginkgo biloba. This herbal supplement has been helping people improve blood flow to the brain and enhance cognitive function for decades.

Research shows that taking ginko twice daily is beneficial in improving social interactions, verbal and non-verbal communication, behavioral problems, impatience, hyperactivity, poor eye contact, and improper speech, as well as poor attention and concentration in children with autism, ADD, and ADHD.

High-Quality Ginkgo Biloba Supplements:

Vitamin B-12

This water-soluble vitamin found in animal foods plays a vital role in forming red blood cells and DNA, as well as brain and nerve cell development and function. A study showed that vitamin B12 levels were more than 3-fold lower in children with neurodevelopmental issues and schizophrenia than in controls.

It’s best to supplement with Methyl B12 (methylcobalamin) which is highly absorbable because many of these children can’t absorb vitamin B12 due to genetic issues such as MTHFR or MTRR. Data suggests that methyl B12 can help alleviate symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders by reducing oxidative stress.

High-Quality B12 Supplements:


Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid with powerful antioxidant properties that help protect cells from free radicals and oxidative stress. Astaxanthin has shown promising effects in the context of neurodegenerative disorders too.

Research shows that astaxanthin improves behavioral disorders and oxidative stress.

High-Quality Astaxanthin Supplements:


Iron is essential for blood production, immune function, respiration, energy metabolism, and transferring oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Iron deficiency has been associated with poor concentration, cognitive difficulties, and symptom severity.

Research shows that iron supplementation (80 mg/day) helps improve ADHD symptoms in children with low serum ferritin levels (iron stored in the blood).

High-Quality Iron Supplements:


Melatonin is a hormone that synchronizes biological functions and circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, poor sleep is a common issue in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Nocturnal melatonin secretion helps initiate and maintain sleep patterns.

Studies show that melatonin supplementation improves sleep duration, sleep onset latency, and night‐time awakenings.

High-Quality Melatonin Supplements:


Piperine is an alkaloid present in black pepper that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and reduces insulin resistance.

Studies have demonstrated that piperine helps enhance cognition, protect neurons, and decrease anxiety and behavioral alterations.

High-QualityPiperine Supplements:


Other supplements for neurodevelopmental disorders are cannabinoids. Preclinical studies show that the endocannabinoid system is involved in the pathological physiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

A controlled study of 150 participants showed that BOL-DP-O-01-W (a whole-plant extract containing CBD and THC in a 20:1 ratio) improved disruptive behaviors in children.

High-Quality Cannabinoid Supplements:

Bacopa monniera (L.) Wettst

Bacopa monniera (L.) Wettst is an herb used to deal with cognitive deficits and hippocampal cell damage. Treatment with B. monniera has been shown to significantly improve behavioral issues, decrease oxidative stress markers, and restore the cerebellum’s structure.

High-Quality Bacopa monniera (L.) Wettst Supplements:

Supplement Blends

There are other supplements for neurodevelopmental disorders that can help ameliorate symptoms:

  • Brain Rescue: This formulation protects the brain from neurotoxins, neuro-degeneration, inflammation, and injury. It helps decrease inflammation in the neurons. Those with neurodevelopment disorders, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorders, dementia, Parkinson’s, GTE, and post-concussion syndrome can benefit. It contains EGCG, PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone), Vitamin CoQ10 (Ubiquinone), Vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B12, DHA, Vitamin E, Fat-Soluble Vitamin C, Quercetin,  and Gluthataione.
  • MaryRuth Organics Nootropic Focus: This nootropic formulation aims to support focus and attention, as well as relaxation. It’s made with Astragalus Root, Wood Betony Herb, Ginkgo Leaf, Eleuthero Root, Gotu Kola Herb, Rhodiola Root, Licorice Root, Lavender Flower, Spearmint Leaf, and Passionflower Leaf.

Targeted supplementation can help decrease autism, ADD, and ADHD symptoms by addressing neurotransmitter imbalances and providing essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These powerful compounds fill in nutritional gaps and play vital roles in brain function, neurotransmitter synthesis, and overall cognitive health. Just take care of the basic supplements and introduce the ones that make more sense according to the symptoms exhibited. The quality of life of those suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders can be improved with consistent supplementation, a specific dietary strategist, and a holistic therapeutic approach.  

To a Fitter Health You,

Adriana Albritton

The Fitness Wellness Mentor

Disclaimer: The information provided on FITNALL is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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