Ask a Practitioner: What can I do to increase focus and concentration?

We get questions nearly every day via Ask a Practitioner from people with a variety of health concerns. Our practitioners take turns answering these questions, offering advice based on their experience and expertise. Each week we’ll be posting some of these questions with the hopes that our practitioners’ advice can help answer some of your health questions.

Q. What are your recommendations for increasing focus and concentration? My adult son has ADD and doesn’t want to go the prescription medication route.

A. Thank you for your question. The following are suggestions to assist your son with focus and concentration:

1. DHA—is an essential fatty acid found in great concentrations in fish and flax oils. The human brain is approximately 70 percent DHA, so when we supplement with it, we are directly supporting the function of the brain and nervous system. I would recommend taking 2+ grams of a good quality fish oil (Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega is my favorite). Other great brands include: Pharmax, Renew Life, Pharmaca, Metagenics, and New Chapter.

2. Think Clearly by Supernutrition—I used this product often when I was studying in my doctorate program and had great results. It’s a natural vitamin/herbal supplement, made from whole foods, and has many elements that support brain activity.

3. A good multivitamin—My favorite is New Chapter’s Men’s Daily, which is also food-based. Supernutrition and Megafood also make fantastic multivitamins.

4. Bach Flower Essence Clematis—This is literally a formula extracted from the Clematis flower that “helps you live more actively in the present.”

5. Phosphatidylserine—Helps the brain cells to function properly.

6. Digestive health—Examine your son’s digestion and diet. Is he getting proper nutrition? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to poor concentration. Taking a good probiotic can play a crucial role in aiding with digestive and immune issues, which can also have an impact on concentration.

-Kate Brainard, Naturopathic Doctor, La Jolla

The information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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