Meta-Analysis Supports Potential of Omega-3s for ADHD

Omega-3 and ADHDAccording to a new meta-analysis of “gold standard” clinical studies, Omega-3 essential fatty acid supplements could improve symptoms and cognitive performance in adolescents and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Data taken from seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and involving over 500 youth was analyzed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines.  The data used was taken from established scientific literature databases to insure only appropriate studies were included in this meta-analysis.

Researchers found that supplementation with Omega-3 essential fatty acids significantly improved hyperactivity and inattention symptoms. Improvements in hyperactivity were only seen when doses of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) were over 500 mg/day.  Additionally data from case-control studies were also taken to determine if Omega-3 levels were associated with ADHD.  Results showed that adolescents and children with ADHD had lower levels of EPA, DHA and total Omega-3.  Improvements in certain measures of cognitive performance were also associated with Omega-3 supplementation.

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Maternal Vitamin D May Be Vital To Childhood Development

Vitamin D and Childhood DevelopmentAccording to new research preventing Vitamin D deficiencies in women who are pregnant may be important for insuring their child’s normal development.

Over 7000 mother child pairs were studied in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children a cohort study.  All pairs were accessed for Vitamin D status (serum total 25(OH)D) levels during pregnancy (for the mother) and at least one measure of child neurodevelopment: Pre-school development at six to 42 months; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores at age 7; IQ (Intelligence Quotient) at age 8; Reading Ability at age 9.  Additional tests assessing the child’s coordination, balancing, jumping, kicking a ball, building brick towers, were performed.

Researchers reported that the children of Vitamin D deficient mothers were more likely to have test scores in the lowest group (the bottom 25%) for pre-school developments tests (gross and fine motor development) when compared to the children of Vitamin D sufficient mothers.  Prenatal Vitamin D insufficiencies were also found to affect the social development of the children at ages 3 and ½.  No associations between maternal Vitamin D status and other outcomes at older ages like IQ or reading abilities were seen.

Researchers concluded that preventing Vitamin D deficiencies in pregnancy may be important to prevent below average development in the first four years of a child’s life.

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