Does ADHD have anything to do with enzymes and can No-Fenol enzyme supplements help?
Mary, a long time friend of Myomancy, dropped me a line recently about ADHD and diet with a link to information on enzymes and ADHD. Enyzmes act as a catalysts for the chemical reactions that drive our biology and each has a specific role to play. The article promotes the use of No-Fenol, an enzyme supplement that is typical of the type on the market.
When I looked at ADHD and diet, I found there was no evidence of a poor diet causing ADHD. The best advice I could find was to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. This won’t directly help with the ADHD but you will feel better and it helps to avoid weight problems (see ADHD and Obesity). However there was connection between omega-3 and ADHD . Supplements of fish oils did help some people on some specific tasks. Could enzyme supplements help ADHD in the same way?
The logic behind enzymes supplements is that by increasing the number of enzymes in the digestive system all the food you eat will be processed more efficiently. This will ensure that all the vitamins and minerals needed at picked up from our food. This presupposes that ADHD is caused by vitamin or mineral deficiencies, a position that is questionable.
Searching both Google Scholar and the maker of No-Fenol’s web site I can find no evidence to say that enzymes supplements help ADHD. In fact I can’t find a single piece of evidence that enzymes supplements can help with anything other highly specific medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis.
Diet and ADHD is an area that is rich in advice, supplements and books. Most of these are done with the best intentions but lack any direct evidence for their claims. Companies use science to show how Ingredient X helps with Vitamin Y that has been linked to Problem Z but that doesn’t mean the taking more X or Y will help with Z. Before taking any supplement its worth asking to see research showing that the specific product you are considering buying works on your problem. If they can’t then their claims are speculation at best.