The effects of a probiotic supplement on symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Science
Probiotics have been shown to have a positive effect on mental health, which can happen through normalization of the hypothalamic-‐pituitary-‐adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is responsible for regulating the levels of cortisol in the body, and studies have shown that children with the symptoms of ADHD have lower cortisol levels than control groups, suggesting HPA axis dysregulation. Animal studies have linked HPA axis dysfunction to disturbances in the gut microbiome, disturbances that can be corrected through the administration of probiotics. The current study aimed to investigate the potential therapeutic effect of probiotics on the symptoms of ADHD in children. Ten children, between the ages of seven and thirteen years, were given a probiotic or a placebo supplement for four weeks and any changes in their ADHD symptoms were recorded. In this small sample of children, probiotics reduced the severity of ADHD symptoms, and should be further investigated as a natural treatment for ADHD.
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