Omega-3 in ADHD
Over the past decade, researchers studying the association between certain polyunsaturated fatty acids and ADHD symptoms have documented improvements in behavior, reading, and spelling in children who take properly balanced supplements. Now, a double-blind study confirms the link between omega-3 and omega-6 supplements and better brain function.
The study, carried out by the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, used a sample of 75 children and adolescents with ADHD. The group received either omega-3/6 supplements or a placebo for three months. The entire sample then received the active supplement for three months. The researchers found that symptoms improved significantly in 35% of subjects with inattentive ADHD who received the supplement. These new data also suggest that fatty acid supplements can be a good alternative or complementary treatment, especially for those who find stimulant drugs ineffective.
In addition, research suggests that finding the right balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is important. Previously, Paul Montgomery, D. Phil found that “the correct ratio of omega-3s to -6 fatty acids appears to be roughly four to one.” These fatty acids can be consumed as food by giving your child fish such as salmon, tuna and eats trout and shellfish such as crabs, clams and oysters. If your child does not like seafood, Sandy Newmark, MD recommends, “Children ages four to six should start with a daily supplement of 500 mg omega-3s; Children from seven years of age, 1000 mg. “
Talk to your pediatrician to determine the optimal dosage for ADHD treatment and how you can best balance DHA (docashexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosaapentaeic acid) through diet and supplements.
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Updated May 31, 2021
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