Micronutrients reduce stress and anxiety in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder following a 7.1 earthquake

Julia Rucklidge, Jeanette Johnstone, Rachel Harrison, Anna Boggis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume189
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 30 2011

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Earthquake
  • Micronutrients
  • Stress
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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