Can Natural Nootropics Help ADHD?
- Written by Melanie Smith
- October 19, 2021
Do you feel like everything is coming at you and you want to get things done but you can’t seem to focus on the task at hand? Those who have ADHD know this feeling well.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterised by a chronic pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. This brain health issue highlights differences in brain activity that affect attention, focus, the ability to sit still, all of which can impact the quality of life .
Symptoms usually start in early childhood and continue into adulthood. If this affects you, you will be familiar with how this impacts your personal and professional life, including performance, productivity, stress-coping ability, and your relationships.
A range of neurobehavioural issues that adults with ADHD may experience include:
- Find it physically difficult to still
- Inability to focus and concentrate
- Poor planning and organisation
- Trouble carrying out a task from beginning to end
- Easily distracted
- Poor stress-coping ability
- Frequent mood changes
- Impulsive behaviours 
ADHD and The Brain
ADHD does not appear to be caused by a singular fault within the brain, but rather a complex spectrum of neurobiological factors at play. Here’s a brief look at what science has uncovered so far.
The ADHD brain has impaired activity in several functional regions of the brain:
- Frontal Cortex – This region controls the high-level functions – attention, executive function and organisation.
- Limbic System – This region regulates our emotions and attention and is located deeper inside the brain.
- Basal Ganglia – This area is responsible for inter-brain communication and information, where disruption can “short-circuit” the system, resulting in inattention or impulsivity.
- Reticular Activating System – Many pathways go in and out of the brain, relaying information. A deficiency within this system can cause inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity.
On a biochemical level, ADHD shows a dysregulation of our catecholamines, which are both neurotransmitters and hormones within the brain and body:
- Dopamine: responsible for our drive and motivation; the brain’s reward mechanism
- Adrenaline (epinephrine): our ‘fight or flight’ response; helps the body respond to stress
- Noradrenaline (norepinephrine): mobilises the brain and body for action and helps manage stress
When these are out of balance, it creates the ADHD picture. Healthy catecholamine levels are essential for our brain’s executive function – attention, focus, working memory… as well as part of regulating our stress responses and moods.
Brains that experience ADHD are also shown to have increased oxidative stress. The shift in the balance between oxidants and antioxidant mechanisms in favour of oxidants is what is meant by “oxidative stress”, which creates excess inflammation and free radical damage where the brain is particularly susceptible.
What about Genetics?
ADHD has a genetic component, where many common gene variants each have very small effects. As we now know through studies in epigenetics, we can somewhat influence our genetic system as it is highly dynamic and responsive to input.
This means we can always take the opportunity to minimise the impact our genes have on the quality of life with healthy lifestyle measures that include promoting brain health [3, 4].
How could Natural Nootropics help with ADHD?
Here’s the great news – there are natural options to help with the symptoms of ADHD. As we’ve learned, to do this we need to feed the brain, help bring the catecholamines into balance and reduce oxidative stress.
Conventional ADHD therapies typically act on norepinephrine and dopamine as they are closely associated with attention. Natural nootropics also have the potential to help optimise those catecholamines by harnessing plant compounds and nutrients that provide a broad scope of action for brain health, and also provides high antioxidant value .
Research shows us the following benefits:
- Brahmi (bacopa): Regulates dopamine to reduce restlessness, poor self-control, inattention and
impulsivity [5, 6].
- Panax Ginseng: Regulates norepinephrine to reduce hyperactivity and inattention [5,6].
- Pine Bark: Helps sustain healthy dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain to improve attention, visual-motoric coordination and concentration, reduce hyperactivity; reduces oxidative stress 
- B Vitamins: People with ADHD have been shown to have lower levels of these nutrients. All B vitamins are involved in brain function, particularly for cellular energy and making neurotransmitters.
- Berries and Grapes: High antioxidant value through proanthocyanidins directly benefit a host of brain regions and brain networks that have been identified as being responsible for many of the symptoms of ADHD [8, 9].
Natural Nootropics can play an important role in brain health, particularly providing neuroprotection, antioxidant value, and modulation of neurotransmitters. These all contribute to the overall influence on the genetic variations relative to ADHD and how that plays out in your life.
In conclusion, we know that the ingredients in the E2B natural nootropics promote focus & clarity and the supplements give you a mental edge that enhances productivity, and we also know people with ADHD cannot focus and concentrate.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and is not intended to diagnose or treat ADHD. Natural supplements may interact with medications; please consult your healthcare practitioner for more
- What is ADHD? U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 2021.
- Paolo Curatolo et al. The neurobiological basis of ADHD. Ital J Pediatr.; 2010
- Stephen V. Faraone et al. Genetics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. J Molecular Psychiatry; 2019. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-018-0070-0
- Nidhin Joseph et al. Oxidative Stress and ADHD: A Meta-Analysis. J Atten Disord; 2015.
- Natural Product-Derived Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Safety, Efficacy, and Therapeutic Potential of Combination Therapy. J Neural Plast. 2016.
- Kean JD et al. A systematic review of the Ayurvedic medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri in child and adolescent populations. J Complement Ther Med.; 2016.
- Vitamin levels in adults with ADHD. Elisabeth Toverud Landaas et al. BJ Psych Open. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153567/
- Joanna L Bowtell. Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation. J Appl Physiol Nutr Metab; 2017. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28249119/
- Gioacchino Calapai et al. A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Clinical Trial on Effects of a Vitis vinifera Extract on Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults. J Front. Pharmacol.; 2017.