Truehope: The path to natural health Truehope Logo MyTruehope Login Call 1.888.878.3467 to start your journey to wellness today!

What is ADD and ADHD

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects almost 10% of American children between 13 and 18 years old, as well as 4% of U.S. adults over 18.

Only a licensed mental health professional can provide an ADHD diagnosis, after a thorough evaluation.

ADHD has three primary characteristics: Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.


  • Are effortlessly distracted, fail to catch details, are forgetful, and regularly switch activities.
  • Find it difficult to focus.
  • Are quickly bored with projects, unless it is something they enjoy.
  • Find organizing and completing tasks, or learning something new, to be challenging.
  • Struggle completing or submitting homework or other assignments.
  • Often lose things which are essential in completing tasks.
  • Have difficulty listening in conversations.
  • Daydream.
  • Are often confused.
  • Sometimes move slowly.
  • Struggle to quickly, accurately process information.
  • Have a hard time following instructions.


  • Are often restless, especially while sitting.
  • Can be nonstop talkers.
  • Run around while touching various things.
  • Are constantly moving.
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.


  • Impatience.
  • Can sometimes make inappropriate comments.
  • Display their emotions unrestrained.
  • Act without taking consequences into account.
  • Find it hard to wait for things they want.
  • Interrupt conversations and activities.
ADHD Subtypes

Although ADHD is a broad term, it does have three subtypes:

Predominantly Inattentive, Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD.

  • Most (six or more) symptoms are in the hyperactive-impulsive categories.
  • Fewer than six inattentive symptoms, although inattention may still exist to some degree.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive, when one is hyperactive and impulsive, but not inattentive.

  • Most (six or more) inattentive symptoms and fewer than six hyperactive-impulsive symptoms exist, although hyperactivity-impulsivity may still exist to a certain extent.
  • Kids are less likely to act out or have difficulties getting along with other kids. They may sit still, but struggle being attentive. Such children are often overlooked in that parents and teachers may not notice that child has ADHD.

Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive: When one is inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive.

  • Six or more inattentive symptoms and six or more hyperactive-impulsive symptoms exist.
  • Most kids have this type of ADHD.
  • Kids must have any combination of these symptoms for 6+ months at levels surpassing those of other children of the same age.
  • Adults must have ADHD symptoms that began in childhood and continued throughout adulthood.
Adult ADHD

Adults with ADHD struggle with inattentiveness, impulsivity or hyperactivity.

Without proper treatment, the adult may encounter a variety of psychological, social and vocational problems.

Although some adults with ADHD can concentrate on projects they find interesting, others are frustrated with any task. Some adult ADHD sufferers can be socially withdrawn, and others can be very social in a destructive way (like jumping from one relationship to the next).

Adults with ADHD may also have a lot of challenges in school:

  • Poor performance.
  • A history of disciplinary actions.
  • Took the same grade twice in, or even dropped out of, school.

If these conditions are not properly managed, they may lead to a variety of psychological, social and vocational problems.

Because of all of the above, adults with ADHD are more likely to:

  • Struggle with employment (in terms of job satisfaction, stability and performance).
  • Struggle with socioeconomic status.
  • Have higher-than-average number of driving violations (speeding, crashes or license suspensions).
  • Use illegal substances.
  • Smoke cigarettes.
  • Self-report other psychological problems.
ADHD in Children

Some children seldom act hyperactive or impulsive. For example, they may be well-behaved in class, and even appear to be working on their studies; however, they are not really focused on their assignment. This situation is often indicative of children with Attention Deficit Disorder, or "ADD".

Other kids may exhibit hyperactivity or impulsiveness to a degree beyond that of ordinary kids, perhaps indicating ADHD.

Adverse behaviors range from mild to severe. They can vary with the situation or be present all the time.

Learn More About Your ADHD

Although only a licensed medical practitioner can diagnose ADHD, the above explanations should give you a better understanding about ADHD, which affects millions of people all over the world.

There are effective ways to obtain relief. Many former ADHD sufferers now live a life free of their condition's symptoms, while others have embraced solutions which make their condition easily manageable.

If you feel pharmaceuticals aren't for you, EMPowerplus Advanced, combined with other healthy lifestyle changes, may be the answer. Learn more about how EMPowerplus Advanced can help by clicking here.

See What Scientists Say About EMPowerplus and ADHD

In a recent study, Julia Rucklidge, PhD examined the significant effects of EMPowerplus on adult ADHD.

Rucklidge's study is the first double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial of Truehope EMpowerplus to be published.

In the study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (here), New Zealand researchers assigned 80 adults with ADHD into two groups: half of them used EMPowerplus, and the other half used a placebo.

After the 8-week trial, significant differences emerged between the two groups on self- and observer-ADHD rating scales. Clinicians rated those in the EMPowerplus group has having improved more—not only in ADHD symptoms, but generally, too—than the placebo group.

It also seemed those with moderate or severe depression saw a greater change in mood if they were taking EMPowerplus than if they were taking the placebo.

Researchers are already recruiting participants for another trial, which will look at children and ADHD.

EMPowerplus Bottles

How EMPowerplus Helps

If you are one of millions of people who prefer natural treatments to pharmaceutical medications, Truehope EMPowerplus Advanced could be the answer you have been searching for.

If you suffer from symptoms of a mental illness or a mood disorder and you want to address the cause effectively rather than "cover up" the symptoms with medication, Truehope's EMPowerplus Advanced can help.

Made up of 36 clinically proven vitamins, minerals, amino acids and anti-oxidants, Truehope's EMPowerplus Advanced could help with your ADD and ADHD.

Extensive independent research shows that when the body and brain are provided with the essential nutrients found in EMPowerplus Advanced, they are able to function properly—often negating signs and symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Don't be fooled by imitations—only Truehope EMPowerplus Advanced contains these nutrients in a microground form so the body can actually absorb them into the bloodstream.

Since the symptoms of ADD and ADHD are caused by chemical issues in the brain, why treat your condition with more chemicals? Try EMPowerplus Advanced today to see for yourself how nature can work in harmony with your body to help you feel like your best self.

Click here to see one recommended plan to begin addressing your ADD or ADHD with micronutrients.

Get on the natural path to wellnes by ordering today

Clinical Research

Vitamin–Mineral Treatment of ADHD in Adults: A 1-Year Naturalistic Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Journal of Attention Disorders, Published online before print May 7, 2014, doi: 10.1177/1087054714530557
Full Text

"Dominant treatment from the end-of-treatment to follow-up was investigated as a mediator of outcome; those staying on the micronutrients performed better than those who switched to medications or discontinued micronutrients."

Despite widespread use, there is little data investigating the long-term impact of micronutrients on psychiatric disorders. This study investigated the naturalistic outcome 1-year post-baseline of a randomized controlled trials (RCT) that compared micronutrients with placebo in 80 adults with ADHD.

All participants were contacted and clinician-rated questionnaires completed.

A total of 72 (90%) of the sample participated; although there was significant regression in psychiatric functioning from the end-of-trial on all measures, outcomes remained significantly improved from baseline. Dominant treatment from the end-of-treatment to follow-up was investigated as a mediator of outcome; those staying on the micronutrients performed better than those who switched to medications or discontinued micronutrients. Cost was the most substantial reason why people stopped micronutrient treatment.

For the small number of participants who stayed on micronutrients, the benefits conferred through the controlled trial were maintained. The results are limited by small sample, lack of blinding, expectation, and reliance on self-report of symptoms.

Moderators of treatment response in adults with ADHD treated with a vitamin–mineral supplement
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, Volume 50, 3 April 2014, Pages 163–171
Full Text

"Results: There were significant changes in all outcome variables after 8 weeks exposure to the micronutrients."

To date there has been no research investigating moderators of response to micronutrient treatment of mental illness, specifically baseline nutrient levels.

We conducted analyses of data from a randomized placebo-controlled trial (RCT) of 80 adults (= 16 years) with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), whereby participants were treated acutely (8 weeks) with micronutrients or placebo followed by an open-label (OL) phase of 8 weeks whereby all participants received micronutrients. To ensure that all participants had been exposed to the micronutrients for 8 weeks, only those 64 who had adhered to the treatment protocol and completed 8 weeks on nutrients were included in the data analysis: 34 from the group that had been randomized to the micronutrient arm, and 30 from the group that had been randomized to the placebo group and hence had only received nutrients in the OL phase. Six outcomes were examined: change in ADHD symptoms (self/clinician), ADHD responder, Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I), change in mood, and change in Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). Demographic, developmental and psychiatric history, current clinical characteristics, and baseline nutrient levels were all considered as putative predictors.

There were significant changes in all outcome variables after 8 weeks exposure to the micronutrients. Among the nutrients recorded at baseline, substantial deficiencies (27%) were only observed for vitamin D. However, other than an association showing that higher iron at baseline was correlated with higher baseline depression scores, baseline nutrient levels were not correlated with baseline psychiatric variables/current clinical characteristics. Regression analyses revealed that higher baseline ferritin and lower baseline copper and vitamin D levels were associated with a better response to treatment for some but not all outcomes. None of the other nutrient levels was found to be associated with outcome, including zinc, vitamin B12, iron, and folate. There were no childhood risk factors, demographic variables or clinical correlates that contraindicated micronutrient treatment; more severe symptoms at baseline and greater number of developmental risk factors predicted greater treatment response.

Further research looking at nutrients more broadly is required to confirm these initial observations about ferritin, vitamin D and copper; however, the results suggest that serum nutrient levels have limited value for identifying who will respond to treatment.

Vitamin-mineral treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial
The British Journal of Psychiatry, Published online ahead of print January 30, 2014, doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.132126
Full Text

"Specifically, participants taking the micronutrient formula reported greater improvement in both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity compared with those taking a placebo."

The role of nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is gaining international attention; however, treatments have generally focused only on diet restriction or supplementing with one nutrient at a time.

To investigate the efficacy and safety of a broad-based micronutrient formula consisting mainly of vitamins and minerals, without omega fatty acids, in the treatment of ADHD in adults.

This double-blind randomised controlled trial assigned 80 adults with ADHD in a 1:1 ratio to either micronutrients (n = 42) or placebo (n = 38) for 8 weeks (trial registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000308291).

Intent-to-treat analyses showed significant between-group differences favouring active treatment on self- and observer- but not clinician-ADHD rating scales. However, clinicians rated those receiving micronutrients as more improved than those on placebo both globally and on ADHD symptoms. Post hoc analyses showed that for those with moderate/severe depression at baseline, there was a greater change in mood favouring active treatment over placebo. There were no group differences in adverse events.

This study provides preliminary evidence of efficacy for micronutrients in the treatment of ADHD symptoms in adults, with a reassuring safety profile.

Could yeast infections impair recovery from mental illness? A case study using micronutrients and olive leaf extract for the treatment of ADHD and depression.
Advances in Mind-Body Medicine Journal, Summer 2013 - Vol 27, No. 3
Full Text

"One case was followed systematically over a period of 3 y[ears] with documentation of deterioration in psychiatric symptoms (ADHD and mood) when infected with Candida and then symptom improvement following successful treatment of the infection with olive leaf extract (OLE) and probiotics."

Micronutrients are increasingly used to treat psychiatric disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, stress, and anxiety. However, a number of factors influence optimal response and absorption of nutrients, including the health of the gut, particularly the presence of yeast infections, such as Candida. As part of a wider investigation into the impact of micronutrients on psychiatric symptoms, many participants who experienced a yeast infection during their treatment showed a diminished response to the micronutrients. One case was followed systematically over a period of 3 y with documentation of deterioration in psychiatric symptoms (ADHD and mood) when infected with Candida and then symptom improvement following successful treatment of the infection with olive leaf extract (OLE) and probiotics. This case outlines that micronutrient treatment might be severely compromised by infections such as Candida and may highlight the importance of gut health when treating psychiatric disorders with nutrients. Given the role that inflammation can play in absorption of nutrients, it was hypothesized that the infection was impairing absorption of the micronutrients.

Post-Earthquake Psychological Functioning in Adults with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder: Positive Effects of Micronutrients on Resilience
New Zealand Journal of Psychology, Volume 40, No. 4, 2011, Pages 51-57, ISSN: 1179-7924
Full Text

"Significant improvement was observed in the ADHD group… across a range of verbal abilities including verbal learning, verbal cognitive flexibility and fluency, and verbal inhibition."

Little research has investigated how micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) affect cognitive functioning, despite preliminary studies showing they may improve psychiatric functioning.

This pilot study investigated the impact of a 36-ingredient micronutrient formula consisting mainly of vitamins and minerals on neurocognitive functioning in 14 adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and severe mood dysregulation.

The formula was consumed in an open-label trial over an 8-week period.

The participants completed tests of memory (Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning) and executive functioning (Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System and Conners Continuous Performance Test) at baseline and at the end of the trial. A gender- and age-matched control group of 14 non-ADHD adults not taking the formula were assessed on the same tests 8 weeks apart in order to investigate the impact of practice on the results.

There were no group differences in ethnicity, socio-economic status and estimated IQ. Significant improvement was observed in the ADHD group, but not the control group, across a range of verbal abilities including verbal learning, verbal cognitive flexibility and fluency, and verbal inhibition. These neurocognitive improvements were large and consistent with improved psychiatric functioning. No changes were noted above a practice effect in visual–spatial memory and there were no improvements noted in reaction time, working memory, or rapid naming for either groups.

Although the pilot and open-label design of the study limits the generalizability of the results, it supports a growing body of literature recognizing the importance of nutrients for mental health and cognition. The results also provide evidence supporting the need for randomized clinical trials of micronutrients as well as other experimental studies in order to better assess whether improved neurocognitive functioning may contribute to improved psychiatric symptoms.

Can Micronutrients Improve Neurocognitive Functioning in Adults with ADHD and Severe Mood Dysregulation? A Pilot Study
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, December 2011, 17(12) 2011, pp. 1125-1131
Full Text

"...Scores showed that [all] the 16 participants on the nutritional supplement were more resilient to the effects of the earthquake than the 17 individuals not taking the supplement..."

The September, 2010, 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, provided an opportunity to study the after-effects of a major earthquake where death and injury were absent. It created a natural experiment into the protective effects on well-being of taking EMPowerplus (EMP+), a micronutrient supplement, in a group of 33 adults diagnosed with ADHD who had been assessed prior to the earthquake. Fortuitously, 16 were currently taking the supplement as part of on-going research at the time of the quake, while 17 were not (they had completed their trial of EMP+ or were waiting to begin consumption). The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale(DASS-42) which had been administered at varying times before the earthquake on recruitment into the micronutrient study was re-administered by telephone 7-10 and again 14-18 days post-earthquake to volunteer, earthquake-exposed participants. A modified Brinley plot analysis of the individual DASS-42 scores showed that the 16 participants on the nutritional supplement were more resilient to the effects of the earthquake than the 17 individuals not taking the supplement. This effect was particularly marked for Depression scores.

Micronutrients reduce stress and anxiety following a 7.1 earthquake in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Psychiatry Research, Volume 189, Issue 2 , Pages 281-287, 30 September 2011
Full Text

"...Micronutrients may increase resilience to ongoing stress and anxiety associated with a highly stressful event in individuals with ADHD and are consistent with controlled studies showing benefit of micronutrients for mental health."

The role of good nutrition for resilience in the face of stress is a topic of interest, but difficult to study. A 7.1 earthquake took place in the midst of research on a micronutrient treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), providing a unique opportunity to examine whether individuals with ADHD taking micronutrients demonstrated more emotional resilience post-earthquake than individuals with ADHD not taking micronutrients. Thirty-three adults with ADHD were assessed twice following the earthquake using a measure of depression, anxiety and stress also completed at some point pre-earthquake (baseline). Seventeen were not taking micronutrients at the time of the earthquake (control group), 16 were (micronutrient group). While there were no between-group differences one week post-quake (Time 1), at two weeks post-quake (Time 2), the micronutrient group reported significantly less anxiety and stress than the controls (effect size 0.69). These between group differences could not be explained by other variables, such as pre-earthquake measures of emotions, demographics, psychiatric status, and personal loss or damage following the earthquake. The results suggest that micronutrients may increase resilience to ongoing stress and anxiety associated with a highly stressful event in individuals with ADHD and are consistent with controlled studies showing benefit of micronutrients for mental health.

Effect of micronutrients on behavior and mood in adults with ADHD: evidence from an 8-week open label trial with natural extension.
Journal of Attention Disorders, 2011 Jan;15(1):79-91
Full Text

"...Measures of mood and hyperactivity/impulsivity were normalized."

To investigate the impact of a 36-ingredient micronutrient formula consisting mainly of minerals and vitamins in the treatment of adults with both Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and severe mood dysregulation (SMD).

14 medication-free adults (9 men, 5 women; 18-55 years) with ADHD and SMD completed an 8-week open-label trial.

A minority reported transitory mild side effects. Significant improvements were noted across informants (self, observer, clinician) on measures of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, mood, quality of life, anxiety, and stress all with medium to very large effect sizes (all ps < .01); however, the mean of inattention remained in a clinical range whereas the means on measures of mood and hyperactivity/impulsivity were normalized. Follow-up data showed maintenance of changes or further improvement for those who stayed on the micronutrients.

Although this study, as an open trial, does not in itself prove efficacy, it provides preliminary evidence supporting the need for a randomized clinical trial of micronutrients as treatment for the more complex presentations of ADHD.

Successful Treatment of Bipolar Disorder II and ADHD with a Micronutrient Formula: A Case Study.
CNS Spectrums, 2010 May;15(5):289-95
Full Text

"The formula was reintroduced, showing gradual improvement in all psychiatric symptoms. This case represents a naturalistic ABAB design showing on-off control of symptoms."

Bipolar disorder with co-occurring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a challenge to treat. Ten previous reports have shown potential benefit of a micronutrient treatment (consisting mainly of vitamins and minerals) for various psychiatric symptoms, including mood and ADHD. This case study aimed to investigate the longer term impact of the micronutrients on both psychiatric and neurocognitive functioning in an off-on-off-on (ABAB) design with 1 year follow-up. A 21-year-old female with bipolar II disorder, ADHD, social anxiety, and panic disorder entered an open-label trial using a nutritional treatment following a documented 8 year history of on-going psychiatric symptoms not well managed by medications. After 8 weeks on the formula she showed significant improvements in mood, anxiety, and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Blood test results remained normal after 8 weeks on the formula. She did not report any adverse side effects associated with the treatment. She then chose to come off the formula; after 8 weeks her depression scores returned to baseline, and anxiety and ADHD symptoms worsened. The formula was reintroduced, showing gradual improvement in all psychiatric symptoms. This case represents a naturalistic ABAB design showing on-off control of symptoms. After 1 year, the patient is now in remission from all mental illness. Neurocognitive changes mirrored behavioral changes, showing improved processing speed, consistency in response speed, and verbal memory. A placebo response and expectancy effects cannot be ruled out although previous poor response to treatment and the duration of the current positive response decrease the likelihood that other factors better explain change. These consistently positive outcomes alongside an absence of side effects indicate that further research, particularly larger and more controlled trials, is warranted using this multinutrient approach.

See More Research