Q. Dear Terry, “I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) as a kid. I used to be on medication, but started improving my diet and other things that made a big difference. For the most part, my ADD is under control. However, sometimes it is a little difficult to focus. Are there any herbs or nutrients that might help with focus?”– Martin R., Carmel, IN
A. Dear Martin, Trouble focusing is a common concern among people of all ages. There are many factors that can contribute to diminished focus or concentration, including stress, vitamin deficiencies, sleep disturbances, and many others. When it comes to a safe and effective natural approach to increasing focus, concentration, and energy levels, I prefer red ginseng and B vitamins.
Red ginseng (Panax ginseng) has been used in traditional practice for thousands of years, helping people feel more focused, resilient, alert, and energetic. Conventionally grown ginseng is often laden with pesticides and other chemicals to increase yield, which can have a negative impact on cognitive function.
Fortunately, there is an innovative, clinically studied form of red ginseng that is hydroponically cultivated without the use of pesticides. This unique growing process helps the plants develop significantly higher levels of beneficial compounds called noble ginsenosides.
The red ginseng I prefer can make a huge difference when it comes to focusing, concentrating, and staying on task. In a clinical study on this specific ginseng, people with high workloads (teleoperators, IT personnel, engineers, etc.) were given either red ginseng or placebo and then had their mental processing skills evaluated. Those in the red ginseng group saw a five-point increase, with positive results starting on the first day. The placebo group experienced an eleven-point decrease from baseline. In a separate clinical study, participants experienced a 48 percent average increase in mental clarity, 67 percent average increase in energy, 46 percent average increase in restful sleep, and a 72 percent increase in stamina.
I would take 100 mg of hydroponic red ginseng with rare and noble ginsenosides in the morning.
Additionally, I think B vitamins (B6, B12, and folate) are essential for keeping the mind sharp and preserving mental clarity. B vitamins can help boost mood and energy levels too. Other research has found that B6, B12, and folate have a positive effect on mood and stress symptoms.
I prefer B vitamins in their bioactive forms: vitamin B6 as pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P), vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, and folate as methylfolate. These forms of B vitamins don’t require conversion in the liver and are in the form the body already uses.
I would take 10 mg of P-5-P, 1,000 mcg of methylcobalamin, and 400 mcg of methylfolate in the morning.
Terry . . . Naturally
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