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For everyone with ADHD, the study that neurologists at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Nimes, France, published in 2006 seems to good to be true. The researchers managed to drastically reduce the ADHD symptoms of a group of children – not by using an amphetamine type of substance, but with a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6.

For everyone with ADHD, the study that neurologists at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Nimes, France, published in 2006 seems to good to be true. The researchers managed to drastically reduce the ADHD symptoms of a group of children – not by using an amphetamine type of substance, but with a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6.

Indeed, the study was sponsored: by sanofi-aventis to be exact. This pharma giant produces the supplement Magne-B6, a combination of magnesium lactate and vitamin B6 [structural formula shown on the right].

On top of this, the methodology used doesn’t win any prizes either. To start with, the researchers didn’t have a control group that was given a placebo, and it’s not clear exactly how the researchers measured the reported change in behaviour of the ADHD children.

The researchers gave 40 children, average age 6, 6 mg magnesium and 0.6 mg vitamin B6 per kg bodyweight every day for a minimum of eight weeks. The idea behind the supplementation is the theory that ADHD is the result of oversensitive receptors for – or too high production of – the neurotransmitter N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) in the brain. NMDA activates brain cells, and makes the more sensitive to other neurotransmitters, but in too high concentrations can kill brain cells.

The figure below shows how the ADHD children’s behaviour changed as a result of supplementation. The researchers looked at hyperactivity, lack of attention at school and aggression. Score 0 = no symptoms; Score 4 = maximum score.

1

The researchers believe that the cells of people with ADHA take up magnesium less easily than the cells of healthy people. To test this theory the researchers measured the concentration of magnesium ions [Mg2+] in the red blood cells of healthy children [Controls] and in the ADHD children that they studied.

The figure below shows that the concentration of magnesium in the cells of the ADHD children before supplementation [ADHD/Before] was indeed lower than in the cells of the healthy children, and that the supplementation increased the concentration [ADHD/After].

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The first author of the study, Marianne Mousain-Bosc later wrote a book ‘La solution magnesium’, in which she argues in favour of magnesium supplementation as a treatment for ADHD, autism, depression and epilepsy. [amazon.com] There is no English translation available.

Improvement of neurobehavioral disorders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. I. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

Mousain-Bosc M1, Roche M, Polge A, Pradal-Prat D, Rapin J, Bali JP.

Abstract

Some previous studies have reported the involvement of magnesium (Mg) deficiency in children with ADHD syndrome. In this work, 40 children with clinical symptoms of ADHD were followed clinically and biologically during a magnesium-vitamin B6 (Mg-B6) regimen (6 mg/kg/d Mg, 0.6 mg/kg/d vit-B6) which was set up for at least 8 weeks. Symptoms of ADHD (hyperactivity, hyperemotivity/ aggressiveness, lack of attention at school) were scored (0-4) at different times; in parallel, intraerythrocyte Mg2+ (Erc-Mg) and blood ionized Ca2+ (i-Ca) were measured. Children from the ADHD group showed significantly lower Erc-Mg values than control children (n = 36). In almost all cases of ADHD, Mg-B6 regimen for at least two months significantly modified the clinical symptoms of the disease: namely, hyperactivity and hyperemotivity/aggressiveness were reduced, school attention was improved. In parallel, the Mg-B6 regimen led to a significant increase in Erc-Mg values. When the Mg-B6 treatment was stopped, clinical symptoms of the disease reappeared in few weeks together with a decrease in Erc-Mg values. This study brings additional information about the therapeutic role of a Mg-B6 regimen in children with ADHD symptoms.

PMID: 16846100 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16846100

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